Automotive Tips from The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley: Wiper Blades – Signs of Wear
Dec 11, 2016
90% of our driving decisions are based on vision. Anything that impedes your vision can affect your driving safety – including a dirty windshield. In that sense, your wiper blades are an important safety system. Most Lancaster drivers will wait until their wipers have failed before they replace them. Then they find themselves in a driving situation around California when they really need forward visibility only to discover that their wipers are worn or maybe even torn and can’t clear snow or rain from the windshield.
As an important safety system, wiper blades should be replaced BEFORE they fail. Test your wipers at least once a month. If they are not doing the job, your friendly and professional The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor can replace them for you.
Automotive Tips from The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley: Wiper Blade Options
Nov 17, 2015
Wiper blades are critically important to Lancaster drivers for good driving visibility and safety. When it’s time to replace your wiper blades, there are a number of different wiper blade designs and grades. Lancaster drivers should always use at least the design or grade that came with their vehicle.
If you live in California where there is a lot of wet weather, flying insects, or you do a lot of highway driving, you may want to upgrade to a more advanced design or premium quality wiper blade. Your friendly and professional The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor can share the options available for your vehicle and help you decide which wiper blades are optimal for you.
Automotive Tips from The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley: When to Replace Your Wiper Blades
Oct 14, 2015
There are several important factors that go into how often Lancaster drivers should replace their wiper blades. Of course, the more you use your wipers, the faster the blades will wear out – especially if you use them on an icy windshield. Whether it’s a lot of bugs and road grime from California freeway driving or lots of wet weather – your blades get a work out and start to wear.
But your wiper blades break down even when they aren’t used frequently. They are damaged by sunlight and temperature changes as well. The rubber in the blades can dry out and crack and eventually fall apart. Check your wipers: If they’re not doing their important job, have them replaced at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster.
Talk to your The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor about how you drive - we can counsel you on the optimal blades for your needs.
When people in Lancaster talk about vehicle safety, they think of tires and brakes. But do we think about our windshields? Isn't the ability to see a prime safety factor when it comes to driving around California? Yet we often don't even notice our windshields until we can't see through them or our wiper blades fail.
It's estimated that around 46 million people are driving with wipers that won't keep their windshields clear during a storm — that's 46 million people with impaired vision during a storm. For safety's sake, Lancaster drivers need to change the way they think about wiper blades. Most of us, 78% in fact, only change our wiper blades after they fail. In other words, we don't get new ones until the old ones become a safety hazard. Instead, we need to make wiper blades part of our preventive maintenance routine.
Wiper blades should be changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. In California areas that experience harsh winter weather, special blades are available that prevent ice and snow from collecting on the wiper. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley about wiper blades that repel ice and snow.
No matter what blades you use on your vehicle in the winter, don't expect them to clear the ice and snow from your windshield after your vehicle has been parked for a while. Using your wipers will shred your blades and may even damage your wiper motor. And don't drive on Lancaster roads with a frosted windshield. That's a serious safety hazard. It can cause accidents, and you could be held liable.
Wiper blades are subjected to harsh conditions in California. They're out in the Lancaster sun and in the cold. Over time, they become hard and brittle and lose their flexibility. Then they start to tear. Without flexibility, wipers just can't clear a windshield of water or snow. And torn wipers can actually scratch your windshield. Then the entire windshield has to be replaced — along with the wiper blades. It's a prime example of how preventive maintenance could have saved you repair bill.
Lancaster drivers can purchase new wiper blades at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley or at any Lancaster auto parts store. They cost about the same. But at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley we'll also throw in the installation.
Once you have good wipers installed, don't forget to top off your windshield washer fluid. If you take your vehicle in for a full-service oil change at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster, your washer fluid will get topped off then. But it's good auto advice to purchase a jug of washer fluid to keep at home — just in case. And pack it in the car when you go on long trips.
While we're on the subject, The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley advises Lancaster drivers to always fill their washer fluid reservoir with windshield washer fluid. Don't ever use water. Water can freeze in the reservoir, which can damage it. It can also freeze onto your windshield. Besides, plain water just can't get a windshield clean. Think about it. Do you use plain water to clean your bathroom mirrors? And a bathroom mirror doesn't get exposed to anything near the gunk that can end up on your windshield. Windshield washer fluid was designed to do one thing — to clean windshields. Let it do its job.
A clean windshield is not just good vehicle care for Lancaster drivers — it's also a safety feature. Let's keep it that way.
If you've ever been in a vehicle accident around Lancaster, California, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do.
Let's review what you should do in case of an accident in Lancaster, California:
When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime in California, even if it's not your fault. And hit-and-run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your driver's license or even jail time in our local Lancaster lockup.
Most places, including California, require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able.
Warn other Lancaster motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood.
Call 911 as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.
Always file a police report. It's tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you won't have an objective report to help defend yourself.
Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don't. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone, including the police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of California law, the other guy may be responsible.
Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as, "I was going 35 miles per hour," or, "I was going 55 kilometers per hour," not, "I wasn't speeding." Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you.
Also get the officer's name and badge number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.
Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:
Date of birth
Driver's license number and expiration
Also take down a description of the other vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number (VIN). Most insurance companies don't record license plate numbers, so the VIN is the best way to track the vehicle.
Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can't wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary.
Always call your insurance agent or your California auto insurance company's 800 number.
Call or see your local Lancaster physician if you think you may have been injured.
We here at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley hope that you never have to use this information and wish you happy travels.
If you're gonna drive around the Lancaster area, you've got to be able to see! So having a good set of windshield wipers is extremely important. We've all experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm or when our windshield is just dirty.
It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. But windshield wipers are like most other vehicle parts– they require regular attention in order to work their best.
You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If it's going to be a particularly harsh winter in California, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall. Winter blades are designed to resist freezing.
Speaking of winter and freezing conditions, if your car has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don't use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That'll just tear up the blades and cause them to wear out more quickly. It may even damage the wiper motor.
Over time, wiper blades become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don't cover the windshield effectively.
Worn wiper blades aren't just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire windshield, a big cost for such a little part.
Replace worn blades right away. Our professionals at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley can provide you with a quality replacement blade. They cost about the same as they would at the store, but installation is included at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster.
Of course you also need windshield washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home, or in the car if you are on a long trip.
Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy bottled water, may freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won't do a good job of cleaning your windows.
And remember that some vehicles have two reservoirs: one for the windshield and one for the back window, which may be under the hood or somewhere in the back.
So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road, and give us a call.