How to keep your windscreen wipers working

How your windscreen wipers could land you with a fine

We hope it's obvious that your windscreen wipers are really important. Otherwise, you can't see properly in the rain or snow, or get rid of dirt, dust or anything else that makes its way into your line of vision during the course of your journey.

In fact, it's a legal requirement to ensure your windscreen wipers and washers are working properly. You can actually be fined £100 on the spot for not doing so. And if you have an accident when you are knowingly driving with faulty windscreen wipers, it’s unlikely your insurers will pay out. Here's how to keep them swishy and smooth.

Do my windscreen wipers need replacing?

Windscreen wiper blades aren’t designed to last forever; the rubber wears out with use, and ultraviolet rays from the sun turn the blades hard and brittle. Generally, you should replace them every year if you do a lot of miles, but if your mileage is low, and your car is kept out of sunlight in a garage, every two or three years should be fine.

Signs that your wipers might need to replacing include streaks and smears on your windscreen during use, dirty or wet patches being left on your windscreen, juddering rather than moving smoothly, squeaking or - even worse - not touching the windscreen at all. Cracks or splits in the rubber are also a pretty unmistakable sign of wear.

Your car can fail its MOT because of faulty wipers, so it's a good idea to check them before your test.

How do I make my windscreen wipers last longer?

Keep your windscreen wipers clean by wiping them every few months with a cloth soaked in water, rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) or white vinegar - but be careful not to get vinegar on the paint. This will prolong their life, as dirt can damage the rubber – keep the windscreen itself clean for the same reason. After cleaning the blades, you can dab some rubber protectant on a cloth and rub it into them. Making sure your washer fluid is always topped up will also help. Buy good quality fluid, as it will clean better and is less likely to freeze.

How do I replace my windscreen wipers?

Windscreen wipers should be easy and inexpensive to replace; you should be able to get them from any car parts store and fit them yourself. Here's how:

  1. Raise the wiper arms up so they lock in place at a 90-degree angle to the windscreen
  2. Find the clip or hook and detach the old blade
  3. Slide the new blade on and lock it in place, then put the wiper back into the right position

Alternatively, you can go to a car repair centre; here at Carwise Group, we can check your wipers to see if they need replacing, and fit new ones for you.

When you buy from a reputable used car dealer like Carwise Group, you know you can have complete peace of mind. All our cars go through rigorous mechanical checks and a full HPI check to ensure there’s no outstanding finance. We have wide range of used cars for saleat our dealerships in Maidstoneor Harlow– just give us a call if you'd like to book a test drive.