As the weather changes in Canada we get to think about those oh-so chilling winter drives in the snow and those mushy warm drives in the spring time slush. One thing people don’t consider is the ability to see those greasy roads may help to navigate the most treacherous of conditions.
So let’s start with the basics – turn your wipers on. Do they work in all settings and speeds? Are there rubber pieces dragging across the windshield (picture wet spaghetti)? If either of these issues are present have them repaired as soon as possible. In fair weather driving you may not notice a wiper related issue as you don’t often use them.
A good rule of thumb? When you change your snow tires test your wipers at the same time.
Make a seasonal checklist:
- Tires – Check!
- Wipers – Check!
- Snowbrush – Check!
- Gloves – Check!
- Tire pressures set – Check!
- Wiper Fluid full/topped up – Check!
Your blades are subject to how you feel about their performance – some people can live with a little streaking/not full cleaning. Other people want perfection every swipe. If you feel they aren’t clearing well enough – let’s change them out!
This can take one of two paths. If you have OEM wiper blades often times you can change just the rubber insert and avoid changing the entire blade. This saves cost as well as the environment from less refuse after a simple repair has been performed. An entire blade may cost around 20-30$ CAD whereas a refill may only cost 8 – 12$. Plus these oem blades can be worth over 50$ each! Not a cheap mistake to make if you throw them out.
If you have an older car (or one that doesn’t use refills) – head to your local autoparts store or even large department store (no shame in saving a few $$’s at Wal-Mart!). You can remove your blades and take them inside to match the length or, in most stores, they will have a guide book/computer that will tell you what size/model you will need for the passenger and drivers side blade.
A WORD OF CAUTION – when removing the blades from your windshield be VERY CAREFUL not to let the metal arm drop on the windshield. I have seen first hand that this can destroy your windshield with chips, crack, or a complete spider web effect. GO SLOW AND BE CAREFUL. What started as a 20$ repair just got a whole lot pricier.
There are many types to choose from – summer blades, winter blades, double blades, etc. You can spend as much or as little as you like. After procuring the correct blades for your car – install and enjoy being able to see once again!