This is a real pet peeve of ours! Windshield wiper blades don't get the respect they deserve. They play a critical role in the safety and drivability of your vehicle by removing water, dirt, slush and snow. Here in Kelowna, they endure temperature fluctuations, from sub-zero winter weather to burning hot Okanagan summer sunshine. At times, they might have to operate for hours on end. Yet they're relatively cheap to buy and are made out of thin, flexible rubber -- not exactly the sturdy type of material that can take this kind of abuse forever. All of this combines to make your windshield wiper blades one of the hardest working and least durable parts on your car or truck.
Over time, they will crack, lose their shape and flexibility. Dryer climates certainly immune from wiper wear - heat and lack of moisture can damage your blades even if you never use them; just as very cold temperatures can make your blades stiff and easy to break. It is our opinion that most wiper blades need to be changed every six to 12 months, depending on weather conditions and the material the blades are made out of.
Ordinary rubber blades have the shortest lifespan, halogen-hardened rubber blades last a little longer and silicone blades do the best, sometimes even lasting a year even under difficult conditions.
Some signs that will tell you it's time to change your wiper blades are: streaking or large gaps where no water is being removed, squeaking or chattering sounds which can mean that the rubber is deteriorating. If the blade breaks down entirely, it can cause scratching to your windshield which will then cause your windshield to have to be replaced.
Most blade arms will take rubber refills which can be the last expensive fix. However, blade arms can get bent over time which will negatively affect your wiper's performance. Come in to Boyd's downtown on Water Street in Kelowna and we will help you find the perfect solution for your vehicle.