Changing the windshield wiper this is how it works
Function and overview
The wiper blades are in constant use when driving in the rain as well as in snow and ice. In the cold season in particular, these components have to do heavy work that they can do worse and worse due to wear and tear. In addition to the obvious loads, heat and UV radiation also pose a risk to the wiper blades. These influences make the rubber compound in particular porous. As a result of the damage to the wipers, not only streaks can occur during use. Some wipers are so attacked that they damage the windshield when you use them. In order not to let things get that far, you should therefore inspect the wiper blades regularly and replace them if necessary. In this way, expensive consequential damage and even accidents due to a lack of perspective can be avoided. Intact wiper blades are also of legal relevance, since the road traffic licensing regulations stipulate a clear view. Wiper blades differ greatly from one another in terms of cleaning performance and wear. Security requirements and legal regulations § 40 of the StVZO forms the legal basis for the safety regulations with regard to the windows, the windshield wipers and the associated defrosting and drying systems. The first paragraph of this paragraph already stipulates that the safety glass used must meet the requirements of being clear, translucent and free of distortion. This includes functioning windshield wipers, which contribute to a clear view in appropriate weather conditions. It also includes a heating system that can remove frost and condensation. These safety features are also checked during the general inspection. The TÜV can refuse you the test sticker if the windshield wipers no longer work correctly. In general, you can expect good quality windshield wipers to need replacing about every two years. However, the service life has to be considered depending on the use and the loads and can therefore fluctuate. You should therefore check the cleaning performance and wear and tear regularly. If, for example, you notice that wiping does not provide a clear view, but rather streaks form, this is an indication that the rubber has become brittle. If there are only small or short streaks of water, this is still not a problem, but longer stripes that severely impair the field of vision can mean that the windscreen wipers have become unusable. In this case, you should replace the wiper blades as soon as possible. In practice, a half-yearly inspection of the leaves is usually sufficient. It makes sense to have this carried out in a car workshop as part of the spring or winter check. To choose the right wiper Blade Wiper wipers and their accessories are offered in numerous designs, made of different materials and in different qualities and price ranges. The main materials used include natural rubber and synthetic rubber. Road safety experts consider a combination of both materials to be the best solution. The rubber insert of the wiper blades should consist of natural rubber, while synthetic rubber is used on the brackets. A more recent development that is used in many new cars can be found in so-called flat blades. These flat bar wipers can exert a particularly even pressure when wiping by adapting to the properties of the window, so that an even cleaning performance is guaranteed. You can also install this type of wiper in most older vehicles, as many have a suitable holder for the wiper. The compatibility of windshield wipers for certain brands and models can usually be found in the product packaging. In any case, you can obtain information directly from the manufacturer. When changing, you shouldn’t forget the rear wiper, which has to be replaced at similar intervals as the front wipers. With wiper blades there is a strong correlation between price and quality, so a higher investment is generally worthwhile in terms of safety and durability. Your ADAC will also carry out regular comparative tests to inform you about differences in quality and what to look out for when choosing a windshield wiper. Assembly of the wiper blades The installation of the wiper blades is not the same for all vehicle and wiper models. In many cases there is a standardized recording for the leaves. However, the operating instructions for the specific wiper used must always be observed. The range also often includes adapters for different wiper systems. Thorough cleaning of the panes is recommended prior to installation. Use glass cleaner to remove dirt and residue from the front and rear windows. In this way, an optimal wiping performance of the new sheets is guaranteed. When installing, you should make sure that the wiper blades do not snap back, as this can damage not only the wiper arms but also the front or rear window. The wiper blades can usually be changed without any problems, so that there are no costs for the workshop. This means that only the pure material costs are to be borne, which can vary depending on the design and model. When changing the wiper blades, the fill level of the washer fluid tank should also be checked. This is especially true in the winter months, when you also have to pay attention to antifreeze. Common mistakes and tips for a longer lifespan Proper handling and regular maintenance of the wipers will extend their service life. If they are not used for a long time, for example during long periods without rain, the wiper blades become dirty. For example, residues of dust or dead insects can settle between the wiper and window or on the rubber of the wiper. The wipers should be cleaned with a brush or household sponge and clean water. The windscreen washer anti-freeze can be used for heavy dirt. Under no circumstances should you use solvent-based cleaning agents or lubricants, as these degrade the graphite layer of the rubber. The ADAC offers further care and purchase information.A common mistake many motorists make is using the windshield wiper as an ice scraper. This misuse can destroy the wipers by making the rubber brittle. In the worse case, this use leads to severe mechanical damage. The windshield wiper motor can also fail, which is expensive to repair. The wipers that move across the iced glass can also cause severe scratches on the glass. In the case of iced windows, you should therefore first remove the layer of frost before moving the windscreen wiper over the defrosted window.
Wiper blades safety, inspection, selection, replacement The wiper blade is one of the essential features of a roadworthy motor vehicle. Functioning wiper blades are indispensable in appropriate weather conditions. At the same time, they are constantly exposed to the highest levels of stress and wear. This raises the questions of how you can give your windshield wipers the longest possible service life, when a change is indicated and how it should be carried out.
Good visibility is essential when driving a car. The windshield wipers should also work well for this. We explain what to watch out for when changing and how the wiper blades last longer.
It is better to change windshield wipers more often
Only clean the wiper blades with a damp cloth
Always keep the front and rear windows clean
Especially when the days get shorter in autumn and winter, the low sun often blinds drivers in the early morning and evening hours. To ensure that you always have a good view of the road when driving, you should always keep the inside and outside of the front and rear windows clean. And if necessary, clean with glass cleaner before driving.
If the windshield is not really clean and the wiper blades also streak, visibility quickly becomes poor and the risk of accidents is greater. Broken wipers can also scratch the windshield.
Therefore, if in doubt, you should change the windscreen wipers more often.
At the latest during the main inspection, the inspectors even refuse to issue the desired badge if the windshield wipers no longer work properly. Changing the windshield wipers in good time is therefore a must.
Step-by-step instructions: six helpful tips
Take great care when changing the windscreen wipers: a wiper arm that hits the windshield without braking can quickly crack the glass.
Always protect the windshield with a cloth or towel when changing it.
Check the manual to see if a special maintenance item needs to be set.
Wiper blades are mounted with a plug-in or clamping mechanism. Tip: Remove the old wiper and place it in the same position next to the wiper arm – this makes assembly easier.
The new wiper blade must audibly click into place, otherwise it will fly away while driving.
When changing the blades, also check and change the rear window wiper.
Always clean the front and rear windows
If the windshield wipers smear, clean the windshield with glass cleaner
Use windshield cleaner concentrate only in the concentration specified by the manufacturer. Undiluted use is usually counterproductive
But: Never clean the wiper blades with aggressive cleaning agents, as these can damage the thin coating that allows the blades to slide better.
Heavily soiled wiper blades can be easily wiped off with a damp cloth
After washing the car with the wax program, the windscreen and windscreen wipers must be cleaned of wax residue with a special cleaning cloth (available from staff). This is the only way for the windshield wiper to work streak-free afterwards.
Check from time to time whether the wiper arm is bent and whether the wiper is completely in contact with the windshield.
What should be considered when buying windshield wipers?
The packaging of the wipers often states for which vehicle type and which year of construction they are suitable. There are windshield wipers with classic bracket technology as well as modern flat blade wipers.
Bracket wipers are cheaper, but cumbersome to assemble. Flat blade wipers are more expensive, but mostly better. But: Switching from the ironing to the flat sheet system is not always that easy.
When buying new wipers, if possible choose a dealer who sells a large number of windscreen wipers and the goods do not lie around for long. Because even in shops, windshield wipers age and slowly lose their capabilities.