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Poll
How Often Do You Change Your Wiperblades?
Once a Year
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Every 6 Months
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
When they Need To Be
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
Don't Know
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 2


Author Message
KB
New member



Joined: May 30, 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:28 am Reply with quote Back to top

I was reading that wiperblades should be replaced about once a year, every six months ideally, and to be honest I think like most people I'd never really paid attention to mine until they stopped working properly.

I read that apparently they make a million wipes a year, but then I live in England so I probably see more rain than most people.

I've also read that cleaning them with vinegar helps but I wasn't sure if that was the case. Vinegar is acidic, right?
Confused

*link snipped
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myownworld
Site Admin
Site Admin



Joined: Jan 06, 2010
Posts: 485

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

Welcome to Fun and Safe Driving KB. Thank you for joining the forums Smile
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 705
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:53 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I usually change them when they stop working properly. Back in Moscow it took 3-6 months depending on the season, here in DC area it is usually once a year, right before winter.

Oh, and you certainly can clean them time to time using just a clean rug, this will extend their lifespan a bit. You don't need any chemicals for that, the idea is to physically remove the abrasives that accumulate on blades over time.
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Wipers usually last between six months to one year and in some rare conditions they can last even longer - towards a maximum of two years of shelf life, including the time in storage which also effects the rubbers.

Wipers don't just need to work, they need to work WELL. The faster and better they clear out dust, mud, bugs, water and what not - the better. Sometimes, people fail to replace the wipers in time because they believe that they function properly where in fact it takes all too long for them to remove dirt and water, or that they are required to work at a needlessly high speed (which also distracts the driver for no need).

Be more sensitive and see when your wipers don't manage to clear the windshield as well as they used to, or when they simply move water around rather than cleaning them off. Also, wipe them with a paper towl and see if they leave a strong black strike on them. If they do - they are aged. Also look for cracks and general roughness and dryness in the rubber.

The solution:

1. Always replace the wipers in good time, once or twice a year. The mechanical arms of the wipers also need checking and in times - fixing.

2. Use a good cleaning fluid or water mixed with dishing soap - never just water. Check it at least each month and refresh it if it becomes inefficient in breaking through the dirt.

3. Manually clean the windshield and all windows and mirrors, including the inside of the windows and windshields and the lights and tail lights - each week or two at most.

4. Clean the wipers themselves and maybe use a bit of lemon juice or natural oil (like olive oil) to make them last longer.

5. Don't overuse the wipers - turn them off when you don't need them and do not apply them to a speed higher than needeed.

6. Try not to apply the wipers when the windshield is dry - first splash it with the washers. Keep in mind that the wipers are just as important in the dry season

7. Use the wipers proactively - when you are about to hit a sudden local rain shower or get a splash of water from a puddle of another car's tire spray or splash - activate the wipers on maximum in ADVANCE.

8. In rain-struck countries - use a moist repelent like Rain-X to aid the function of the wipers.
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newbielearner
Active member
Active member



Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
Wipers usually last between six months to one year and in some rare conditions they can last even longer - towards a maximum of two years of shelf life, including the time in storage which also effects the rubbers.

Wipers don't just need to work, they need to work WELL. The faster and better they clear out dust, mud, bugs, water and what not - the better. Sometimes, people fail to replace the wipers in time because they believe that they function properly where in fact it takes all too long for them to remove dirt and water, or that they are required to work at a needlessly high speed (which also distracts the driver for no need).

Be more sensitive and see when your wipers don't manage to clear the windshield as well as they used to, or when they simply move water around rather than cleaning them off. Also, wipe them with a paper towl and see if they leave a strong black strike on them. If they do - they are aged. Also look for cracks and general roughness and dryness in the rubber.

The solution:

1. Always replace the wipers in good time, once or twice a year. The mechanical arms of the wipers also need checking and in times - fixing.

2. Use a good cleaning fluid or water mixed with dishing soap - never just water. Check it at least each month and refresh it if it becomes inefficient in breaking through the dirt.

3. Manually clean the windshield and all windows and mirrors, including the inside of the windows and windshields and the lights and tail lights - each week or two at most.

4. Clean the wipers themselves and maybe use a bit of lemon juice or natural oil (like olive oil) to make them last longer.

5. Don't overuse the wipers - turn them off when you don't need them and do not apply them to a speed higher than needeed.

6. Try not to apply the wipers when the windshield is dry - first splash it with the washers. Keep in mind that the wipers are just as important in the dry season

7. Use the wipers proactively - when you are about to hit a sudden local rain shower or get a splash of water from a puddle of another car's tire spray or splash - activate the wipers on maximum in ADVANCE.

8. In rain-struck countries - use a moist repelent like Rain-X to aid the function of the wipers.



I really like all your posts. They are just so helpful, thanks mate once again Smile

One question though:
When you say:"Activate the wipers on maximum in ADVANCE" - Do you mean to switch them on max speed directly?
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:44 am Reply with quote Back to top

Yes. You know how there is a big puddle and either when you go through it or when a car in the offside goes through you get a decent splash that makes you blind for a few good seconds before the wipers get it off?

So, instead, why not activate the wipers in advance (or, if they are on, accelerating them to maximum speed) so the water gets cleared out sooner?
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newbielearner
Active member
Active member



Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:02 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
Yes. You know how there is a big puddle and either when you go through it or when a car in the offside goes through you get a decent splash that makes you blind for a few good seconds before the wipers get it off?

So, instead, why not activate the wipers in advance (or, if they are on, accelerating them to maximum speed) so the water gets cleared out sooner?


ah, I see what you mean. Given of course, that you're able to anticipate puddles.

Driving through pouring rain is one of the toughest things ever though. Any tips you can suggest for it?
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Well, to begin with - if it's really pouring and you can hardly see - than it's best not to be driving at all. I also recommend new drivers to avoid driving during heavy rain for the first three months and avoid driving alone during such a shower for the first year of driving.

Good maintainence is one of the most important steps you can do to be safe in this situation: Good tires, dampers that aren't worn, an alignment that is in order, wipers that aren't old, full washer fluid, clean windshield and windows, Rain-X on the inside of the windshield, rubber seals on the doors and windows that aren't worn, air-conditioning filter that is functioning properly, etc...

Ensure that the rubber on the pedals isn't worn and that your shoes aren't too bulky (avoid boots like the plague) and that the soles are wiped clean. Just keep a small rag in the car to wipe the soles clean before setting off.

Use the heater, but also press on the A/C button. Cars have seperate systems for cooling and for heating, so what you are doing is activating BOTH at the same time. This gives you:

a) A cabin that isn't too hot and "stuffy" which might lead to falling asleep at the wheel.

b) Activating the air conditioning for about five minutes per week or two keeps the rubber seals lubricated and in working order.

c) The air conditioning blows DRY air which prevents the windshields from misting up. Adjust the air condition so it's blowing from the dashboard to the windshield. You also have a special heater for the rear windshield and some cars have demisters for the side mirrors. Use them all!

Use the headlights and if you do it without dazzling anyone than use the HIGH beams. Of course the lights should also be clean. Keep the speed low enough so you can always stop at a distance shorter than the distance you can see to.

If you can see one hundred feet ahead, your speed should allow you to stop at a distance of at least ninty feet. This means that you can see an obstacle and manage to stop in time. Keep in mind that in the rain you cannot see as far as in good weather AND you can't stop as quickly. Also, keep in mind that in real time it takes one more second just to react and brake.

Keep a BIG gap from other cars. You might be tempted to follow closely behind another driver because you can't see where the road is going. But, if you can't see - so can't the driver ahead, which makes it all so more likely for you to follow him or her off of the road or to hit them when they brake suddenly. Keep a gap four seconds from the car in front.

Beware of puddles and try to go around them or at least slow down well before them. Try to pick up the throttle gently before them, and check the brakes in a series of "taps" after you exit it. Get through puddles in a straight line and with the steering pointing straight, even if the water pushes the car sideways gently.

Don't be too timid on the brakes. You should observe your mirrors because there is an immenet risk from behind when it's raining, but if you need to stop in a hurry, just hit the brakes hard. An orderly-maintained car with ABS should stop fine even when it's pouring.

Limit your speed on highways to 60mph at the very most to avoid hydroplaning and look for a sense of "light" steering and lack of acceleration - as an indication for hydroplaning. If it happens, just reduce the pressure on the accelerator untill you are almost completly off of the pedal and within two-three seconds you will regain traction.
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newbielearner
Active member
Active member



Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:33 am Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
Well, to begin with - if it's really pouring and you can hardly see - than it's best not to be driving at all. I also recommend new drivers to avoid driving during heavy rain for the first three months and avoid driving alone during such a shower for the first year of driving.

Good maintainence is one of the most important steps you can do to be safe in this situation: Good tires, dampers that aren't worn, an alignment that is in order, wipers that aren't old, full washer fluid, clean windshield and windows, Rain-X on the inside of the windshield, rubber seals on the doors and windows that aren't worn, air-conditioning filter that is functioning properly, etc...

Ensure that the rubber on the pedals isn't worn and that your shoes aren't too bulky (avoid boots like the plague) and that the soles are wiped clean. Just keep a small rag in the car to wipe the soles clean before setting off.

Use the heater, but also press on the A/C button. Cars have seperate systems for cooling and for heating, so what you are doing is activating BOTH at the same time. This gives you:

a) A cabin that isn't too hot and "stuffy" which might lead to falling asleep at the wheel.

b) Activating the air conditioning for about five minutes per week or two keeps the rubber seals lubricated and in working order.

c) The air conditioning blows DRY air which prevents the windshields from misting up. Adjust the air condition so it's blowing from the dashboard to the windshield. You also have a special heater for the rear windshield and some cars have demisters for the side mirrors. Use them all!

Use the headlights and if you do it without dazzling anyone than use the HIGH beams. Of course the lights should also be clean. Keep the speed low enough so you can always stop at a distance shorter than the distance you can see to.

If you can see one hundred feet ahead, your speed should allow you to stop at a distance of at least ninty feet. This means that you can see an obstacle and manage to stop in time. Keep in mind that in the rain you cannot see as far as in good weather AND you can't stop as quickly. Also, keep in mind that in real time it takes one more second just to react and brake.

Keep a BIG gap from other cars. You might be tempted to follow closely behind another driver because you can't see where the road is going. But, if you can't see - so can't the driver ahead, which makes it all so more likely for you to follow him or her off of the road or to hit them when they brake suddenly. Keep a gap four seconds from the car in front.

Beware of puddles and try to go around them or at least slow down well before them. Try to pick up the throttle gently before them, and check the brakes in a series of "taps" after you exit it. Get through puddles in a straight line and with the steering pointing straight, even if the water pushes the car sideways gently.

Don't be too timid on the brakes. You should observe your mirrors because there is an immenet risk from behind when it's raining, but if you need to stop in a hurry, just hit the brakes hard. An orderly-maintained car with ABS should stop fine even when it's pouring.

Limit your speed on highways to 60mph at the very most to avoid hydroplaning and look for a sense of "light" steering and lack of acceleration - as an indication for hydroplaning. If it happens, just reduce the pressure on the accelerator untill you are almost completly off of the pedal and within two-three seconds you will regain traction.


Brilliant tips, cheers mate Smile

Ok, maintainence, headlights on, keep gaps, within speed limits - check!
(lol luckily, am not into boots! )

But thanks for mentioning about the brakes. I always thought breaks in wet weather become ineffective and pretty unreliable.

One thing you mention about switching on heater and A/c at the same time. Doesn't that use up much more fuel?
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:30 am Reply with quote Back to top

The heater consumes almost not fuel. The air-conditioning does take up some fuel and puts more load on the electrical system but you cannot avoid using it and it isn't so bad since:

1. In cold weather, the engine gets more power and torque due to the cooler and more dense air so it gets better milleage.

2. Modern A/C units in cars are more economical and are based on variable power rather than variable activation. This means that in cooler weather - the air conditioning works less and takes up much less fuel. Also, since you don't need very cold air or very fast ventilation - it takes up even less.

3. Whatever you would save on not using the A/C - you would spend on having it repaired. If the air-conditioning is used very unfrequently, it will tend to break down. When you use it, the gas gets circulated inside the system and with it little droplets of lubricant get circulated and help to condition the rubber seals.

You don't need to have the a/c blow air all of the time - just enough to keep the glasses clean from all fumes. If you want to - you can use it after the engine is up to heat so it is even less substantial to your fuel consumption.

Keeping one window slightly open, cleaning the windows frequently, keeping the rubber seals on the doors in good shape and using some kind of substance that can reduce the build-up of mist - can all help reduce the mist and reduce the use of the A/C. Keeping the radiator clean and replacing the air-conditioning filter in time - will also help in reducing gas consumption and increasing the effectiveness of the air-conditioning.
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sgtrock21
Seasoned Driver



Joined: Jul 15, 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I replace wipers when they start to fail. If you can"t see pull over and park at the first safe area. During my commercial driver days I witnessed two of these accidents. The first was when I was driving on a state highway. Smoke from a field burn completely obscured the highway. I pulled over and parked. On the interstate nine people died in a pile-up from the same smoke. Soon after that I was on the interstate and drove into a massive rainstorm which overpowered my wipers. I pulled over and parked then witnessed a major accident in the interstate lanes of the opposite direction. A tractor trailor sudenley shot into the air then came down on the "Jersey" barriors which divided the interstate. Another tractor trailer which was following the first one ran down a slope and lost their load which was scattered. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt. If you cannot see pull over!!!
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newbielearner
Active member
Active member



Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:33 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Astraist wrote:
The heater consumes almost not fuel. The air-conditioning does take up some fuel and puts more load on the electrical system but you cannot avoid using it and it isn't so bad since:

1. In cold weather, the engine gets more power and torque due to the cooler and more dense air so it gets better milleage.

2. Modern A/C units in cars are more economical and are based on variable power rather than variable activation. This means that in cooler weather - the air conditioning works less and takes up much less fuel. Also, since you don't need very cold air or very fast ventilation - it takes up even less.

3. Whatever you would save on not using the A/C - you would spend on having it repaired. If the air-conditioning is used very unfrequently, it will tend to break down. When you use it, the gas gets circulated inside the system and with it little droplets of lubricant get circulated and help to condition the rubber seals.

You don't need to have the a/c blow air all of the time - just enough to keep the glasses clean from all fumes. If you want to - you can use it after the engine is up to heat so it is even less substantial to your fuel consumption.

Keeping one window slightly open, cleaning the windows frequently, keeping the rubber seals on the doors in good shape and using some kind of substance that can reduce the build-up of mist - can all help reduce the mist and reduce the use of the A/C. Keeping the radiator clean and replacing the air-conditioning filter in time - will also help in reducing gas consumption and increasing the effectiveness of the air-conditioning.


Oh I see, cheers for explaining mate! I've learnt so much from you here, and already my friends are impressed with the stuff I've picked up here. Still gotta keep learning though.
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