Windshield wipers are always ready to spring into action. And that's the problem â€” for their blades, anyway. These slender strips of silicone rubber dare to stand up to Mother Nature and the whims of our unpredictable climate. There's also the problem of the increasing amount of pollution. So unless you garage your car, wipers receive no shelter throughout their short lifespans. And to be fair to your blades, although it may seem to you that you're replacing them (or you need to) every time you turn around, the average duration of a wiper blade is from six months to one year.
No doubt about it, the elements are your windshield wipers biggest destroyer. And while your wipers, for their part, wage a valiant battle, they're like Don Quixote and his futile battle against the windmill giants, they face a losing battle. In winter, they work hard to combat snow and ice. And if you take the time to examine them you'll see that they come away with battle scars. Throughout the winter, the freezing temperatures sap their lives, leaving them brittle and subject to cracking. And although come spring, we may sigh with relief as the warming temperatures promise summer is on its way, all the windshield wipers have to look forward to is the sunlight and heat which will warp their blades and dry them out further.
Even the car on which the windshield wipers are installed does its bit in their deterioration. The exhaust it emits bears chemicals and oils that settle on the windshield eat away at the squeegee's rubber the next time they are turned on. Multiply this by the similar effects of the dirt and grime in the air plus the debris churned up from the road, and the picture looks even grimmer. But there is one more foe that may surprise you.
Yes, you may be unintentionally adding to the harm inflicted by the elements and pollution. Have you ever switched on the wipers while they were still covered with snow, or even worse, frozen to the windshield. Even though you might plead you were in a hurry and didn't have time to clear off the ice or heavy snow, the added weight plus the force of breaking away from the ice could cause the arm to break and/or cause brittle pieces of rubber to stick to the glass. And don't look now, even the windshield wiper fluid you subsequently released to help its plight contained chemicals that didn't do the rubber any good.
You can clean the snow off the windshield by hand without the fluid as often as possible â€” and examine the rubber each time you do, noting if it is cracked, brittle or beginning to warp to the extent that the wipers no longer cover the curvature of the windshield. But if you live in or near Terre Haute and rely on Dorsett Hyundai to maintain your Elantra, Sonata's or Santa Fe, one of their certified technicians will spot the damage when they inspect them as part of the complimentary multi-point inspection that comes with each service. And should he find they are nearing the end of their usefulness he can replace them with genuine OEM blades.
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