Avoid the Wiper Blade Blues

“My wiper blades streak, chatter and don’t clean the windshield anymore!”

If that refrain is familiar to you, here’s a rainy-weather tip to keep your customers driving safe and not singing the “Wiper Blade Blues.

If the blades are less than a year old and appear to still be in good condition, then you can start by cleaning the rubber blades with a glass cleaner such as Windex or isopropyl alcohol to remove any dirt, oil and road grime. These contaminants can cause the blades to chatter or smear and not clean the windshield properly.

At the same time, you should also clean your windshield with the same glass cleaner to remove any road grime and oils that would be found on the glass. Best practice is to do this a couple times throughout the year, depending on how many miles you drive.

Next, check the washer fluid container for contaminates and clean if needed. Fill with new clean washer fluid.

You can make your own washer fluid with simple ingredients. Mix together about 85% water, 15% glass cleaner (e.g. Windex) and just a tablespoon of liquid dish washing soap. Simply mix together and add to your truck’s washer fluid reservoir. Not only does this save you money, but many consider this to be a better alternative to what you’d buy in a store.

If after all that you still have smearing or chattering coming from your wiper blades then it’s ultimately time to replace them. Full wiper blades or rubber inserts are fairly inexpensive and easy to replace.

If you take care of your wipers and keep your blades and windshield clean, then you can get about one to two years of use from them on average. If you regularly drive in wet, muddy or snowy conditions or extremely hot weather, the lifespan of your wipers will be reduced.

About the Author

Dan Kincaid

Dan Kincaid spent nearly 27 years as a dealership technician. He is an ASE Master Technician in automotive, school bus, medium/heavy truck and truck equipment, and A/C certified by both ASE and ESCO Institute. He joined Mitchell 1 in 2001 and is currently a Sr. Technical Editor with the Commercial Vehicle Group.