It is a sad fact that wiper blades cause a lot of auto glass damage. I'm sure you've seen vehicles with wiper scratches all across the windshield and that may even be why you are visiting this page.
Even though I repair rock chips, I do not remove scratches from auto glass. If the scratch is deep enough to catch your fingernail, you need to replace the windshield.
How to Avoid Nasty Glass Scratches
To avoid windshield wiper scratches, follow these guidelines:
- Keep your windshield clean. Wiper blade scratches are often caused by gritty dirt and sap buildup on the windshield. It takes a lot of rain or wiper fluid to get rid of the buildup so it is better to hand wash the windshield first, then run the wipers. You should also regularly clean rubber wiper blades. The video below shows you how.
- Do not run the wipers on a dry windshield. Who hasn't accidentally turned on the wipers when it isn't raining? This is probably the number #1 cause of wiper scratches. But that goes back to the previous point... if you keep your windshield clean, you reduce the risk of scratches if you accidentally turn on the wipers.
- Keep your wiper fluid reservoir filled and working properly. If your wiper fluid barely sprays, you may get scratches when trying to clean the windshield. If the reservoir is full, then check the spray nozzles and clean them if they are clogged. If that doesn't work, you may need a new washer fluid pump.
- Inspect wipers regularly. If they are worn out, replace them. It is cheaper to replace wiper blades than a windshield! Also check the clips to make sure they are locked in place. Loose clips can cause scratches. On standard wipers, loose or missing clips allow the blade to twist and bend which causes the metal part of the blade to scratch the glass.
Windshield Wiper Blades and Rock Chips
You should replace your windshield wiper blades if you used them while you had a rock chip.
Rock chips and cracks create a rough surface that damages the rubber blade. Even the slightest nick in the edge of the blade affects performance. If you notice streaking or the blade is not running smoothly across the glass, it is time for a replacement.
Sun, heat, cold, road debris, lack of use, and windshield damage all cause rubber blades to deteriorate. For this reason, most wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
In Texas, a damaged windshield will pass inspection, but damaged wiper blades won't. Don't wait to fail your vehicle safety inspection before you replace the wipers.
Read more about windshield repair: