Seeing Clearly in Your Car

The American Optometrist Association reports that 90 percent of driving decisions are based on visibility. However, we seldom think about the factors that affect our visibility until it is too late.

Typically, unless it is raining, we don’t give our windshield wipers a second thought. It is not until we actually need to use our wipers that we review their performance; and it goes something like this….

“Boy, these wipers are not clearing very well and they are sure making a lot of noise. I need to have them checked out”.

However, for most people, as soon as the rain stops, our mental note “goes out the window” that is, until it rains again. Hence the cycle continues, until one day we see (or read) something that reminds us to check our wipers now, before we need them.

Over time the temperature, ultraviolet light, pollution and road chemicals take their toll on the rubber portion of the blade (even on a car that is parked in storage). To clear properly it is important for this portion of the blade to be very flexible and smooth. Any visible tears, cracks, dryness or discoloration can significantly reduce your visibility.

Bent wiper arms, springs, or frames will also decrease the efficiency of your blades. The wiper arm should be straight and the springs providing a consistent amount of pressure on your windshield. Most of the time damage to these parts is caused by vandalism, some types of automatic car washes and “snapping”* your wipers to clean of the snow and ice.

Spring showers are on their way. To help make your driving decisions good ones; I recommend that your wipers be inspected every 6 months. This can be performed at home or stop by either Express Auto Service center located on Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo, or on Dickman Road in Battle Creek.