It’s that time of the year again, Fall. Fall leads to more rain storms than Summer and is the preview, usually, of what is to come during Winter. Preparing for Fall/Winter includes taking care of the windshield. I did a blog on cleaning and sealing the glass. That will get you by as far as clear vision, the glass sometimes needs some help.
Windshield wipers are actually required in the FMCSR, Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations. 393.78 Windshield wiping and washing systems. I’m going to paraphrase from here, if your vehicle was manufactured on or after December 25, 1968, it must have a windshield wiping system that meets the requirements of FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) No. 104 (S4.1) in effect on the date of manufacture. There is a lot to FMVSS No.104 (S4.1), read it if you want but it gives very specific requirements for wiper and washer operation, not light reading. You just need to know that they need to work, by law.
I want to focus on the wiper blades themselves, more so replacing them. It’s a simple process taking a just few minutes. I like to change the blades when the glass contact edge feels rough to the touch, or if they start to streak the glass. If blades are left too long the sun can deteriorate the rubber and cause damage to the glass. Once the windshield is scratched it cannot be repaired and must be replaced.
There are many brands and styles most are $6-$8 per blade. I have tried several and like the standard blade that came on the truck. I also like to keep a spare set in the truck, you never know when one could get damaged. During the snow season ice can build up on the frame of the blade, a spare set can be swapped out to keep you moving while the iced over blades thaw. There are winter blades available that have a cover on the frame that lessens the possibility of ice buildup.
Heated wiper blades have been available for years, I ran them for a while, expensive and hard to keep operating. This was around 2005-2007, technology has improved a lot since then and maybe these are better now, I may look into them again.
Watch the short video to see just how easy it is to change the blades. Remember, safety first, watch where you step so you don’t slip and fall while you are changing the blades, you will be 3 feet off the ground and reaching for the wiper arms.
Till next time be safe.