When it comes to windscreen wipers, there are two components to consider:
the wiper arm assembly, which should be replaced every 75,000kms and the refills (blades), which generally need to be replaced every six months. Even in the hot weather it’s well worth keeping a close eye on your wipers just as you would when it’s wet, as sunlight and summer heat can break down their rubber edges. A smeared screen coupled with sun glare can be doubly dangerous, especially with an empty wiper water bottle. So remember to keep your windscreen fluids topped up with water and windscreen washer additive.
TIP: “We encourage customers to use a washer additive as adding it helps both performance and durability of wipers, helping smooth operation by keeping blades lubricated and offering a better clean than just water alone,” says Ron Johns, NSW/ACT State Manager for Trico.
Of course, windscreen wipers perform an extra important duty in summer showers and wet road conditions. Dirt, debris and road grime wear wipers down.
To get the most from your existing wipers inspect them from time to time. Lift each wiper arm off the glass and run your finger along the rubber edge. If the rubber is too rigid or chipped, or you get nonstop streaking on your windscreen, you need new refills. When the time comes to replace the refills, remember to replace them in pairs. If one is worn out, the other half won’t be far behind.
Remember to check the rear wiper too (if your vehicle has one). While it may not get as much use as the front wipers, it’s still exposed to the elements and keeps the rear window clear. As Ron Johns says, “To stay safe on the roads, motorists should check that windscreen wipers are in good working order weekly or once a fortnight. Often people don’t check until they find themselves in heavy rain. Heat can also be dangerous as it can damage the rubber of blades, so regular checks in hot and dry conditions are important too.
Simply check there’s water by squirting the washers from time to time so as not to be caught out on the road with an empty bottle.” Why not make a quick visit to Kmart Tyre & Auto Service to help you get your windscreen wiper arm assembly and refills checked?