Proper Maintenance of Windshield Wipers

Most of us never even think about our windshield wipers until it's too late: cruising down the highway with a muddied mess of a windshield and our wiper blades smear it instead of clean it. Don't put yourself in a dangerous position-show your windshield wipers the respect they deserve by being proactive and maintaining them. Good visibility is a must for safe driving, and these tips can help keep your wipers in tip-top shape.

1. If ice has accumulated on the windshield, use an ice scraper or wait until the defroster does its job and melts the ice. Scraping wiper blades across ice can ruin them.

2. A clean windshield increases the efficiency of your wipers, so clean your windshield every time you get gas.

3. Replace blades when they are broken, or at least once a year. Choose the same day every year-your birthday?-and you won't forget to change them.

4. If you're parked outdoors for an extended length of time during the winter months, prop wipers away from the windshield to prevent sticking and, quite possibly, tearing.

5. Regular maintenance is necessary for any vehicle to run smoothly; show the same courtesy to your windshield wiper blades. Inspect them for tears, pay attention to squeaks, and if they start smearing rather than wiping, it's time to replace them.

6. Don't forget about those rear windshield wipers!

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