Worn wiper blades aren’t just annoying — they can actually increase your risk of a collision by affecting your visibility. If you think your wiper blades are becoming worn, keep reading to learn more.
How Do Wiper Blades Wear Down?
Wiper blades consist of a metal frame and a flexible rubber blade. The rubber part slides against the windshield to push away water. However, wiper blades can wear down for many reasons. Regular wear and tear is common, but many factors can aggregate the wear and tear. For example, in hot climates, the damaging UV rays can cause the rubber to crack.
Trying to use your wiper blades when debris or ice is on the windshield can also damage the blades, leaving large gaps and cracks. In fact, an obvious sign something is wrong with your wipers is streaking on the glass. This happens because the gaps, cracks, and wear prevent the wiper from pressing evenly on the windshield, so you end up with streaks and missed water, which can affect your visibility, increasing the risk of an accident.
Another common sign is screeching. If the rubber has been worn down or gotten hard from UV exposure, the wiper can’t glide smoothly across the windshield. This results in a screeching sound, but it may also cause the blades to bounce instead of slide along the windshield.
Do Worn Wiper Blades Damage Your Windshield?
Worn wiper blades are already dangerous because they can impact your visibility when it’s raining. However, if left uncorrected, these worn blades can also damage the windshield. This happens when the underlying metal is exposed, allowing it to come in contact with your windshield. Naturally, this can cause small scratches and chips.
Even small scratches and chips pose many problems. First, they make it harder to see clearly through your windshield. So even on sunny days, you may have distorted images or lots of light reflection, increasing the risk of a collision.
Finally, any damage to your windshield may weaken it. Although it’s made of glass, your windshield is durable and helps add structural integrity to the vehicle. If the windshield is compromised, it may be more likely to develop other cracks or chips or even fully collapse in a major accident.
How Can You Repair Damage From Worn Wiper Blades?
If you suspect your wipers have damaged your windshield, start by replacing the wipers, which will prevent future damage. Of course, this won’t undo any existing damage.
Depending on the type and severity of the damage, you have a few options. First, for minor scratches, a technician may be able to buff out the scratches with little effort.
For bigger damage, however, you may need to talk about windshield chip repair. If the chip or crack is small enough, the technicians can heat and reconnect the glass, making it solid again. However, this isn’t always recommended for chips and cracks in the field of vision.
In severe cases, you may need to replace your entire windshield. This is more common if you have extensive damage, such as a crack that reaches the edge of the windshield. Replacement may also be necessary if the chips or cracks are in your main field of vision while driving. In most cases, insurance will cover the cost of windshield replacement, but you may need to pay your deductible first.
Replacing wiper blades isn’t free, but it is an easy and affordable way to help keep your windshield in good condition. If you’ve already experienced damage from worn wipers, seek repairs. To get a quote, contact us at Aaron Auto Glass today.