How Is the View from Your Windshield?

Dale Bertram
June 22, 2012

I’m a person who is amazed when I am talking to someone and notice their eyeglasses are a smudgy mess … how can they stand it? More importantly, how can they see? Then I look at their windshield and it is also smudgy. Mr. Magoo somehow comes to mind.

It is interesting that 80 percent of vehicle accidents are contributed to poor visibility and yet the average driver gets their wipers replaced every two and a half years. They should be replaced every six months or at most every year. Think of what your windshield encounters!

  • Rain 
  • Insects coming to a messy end 
  • Dust 
  • Pollen 
  • Bird droppings

All these need to be cleared from your windshield when you are driving. If your wipers are worn and you turn them on to clear buildup, you could end up with an even smearier blur instead of clear glass.

Most wiper blades are made of rubber that breaks down over time, just like your belts and hoses. The ozone oxidizes the rubber, causing cracks to form on the surface. Hot summer days are hard on wipers, too, because a windshield can get very hot. This makes the rubber lose flexibility and crack.

All of this causes the chattering and smearing when you turn them on to clear the windshield. What is this telling you? “This is a sign … please replace us!” They even make blades now that tell you when they need to be replaced! If you are a procrastinator in this department, they might be worth checking out. If you have a rear wiper blade, don’t forget to replace that, too!

Hopefully this has convinced you that good wiper blades are a must. Keep in mind though that those wiper blades don’t function by themselves. If the nozzle isn’t squirting fluid properly onto the windshield (I’ve seen some squirt the car behind them or beside them!) the nozzle may need adjusting. If it doesn’t squirt fluid out at all, it either needs fluid added or the nozzle is clogged. I’ve also seen weak washer pumps.

If your vision isn’t as clear as it should be, please make it a priority to get it taken care of sooner rather than later. Oh … and if you wear glasses, they need to be clean and clear, too!

Happy Motoring!

Dale Bertram

About the Author

I am an ASE-certified technician and have owned my own auto repair business, Fairway Auto Repair, since 1991. I am also an AMI graduate with a AAM degree, and continue my education by taking various courses during the year. I am a hard core car guy. Basically if it isn't mechanical, I'm not interested in it. This passion for vehicles has driven me throughout my life. My hobbies are my cars. I have two 1968 Camaros and a 1971 Camaro that my son and I built. I also raced an IMCA modified dirt track car for 10 years. In the last few years, I have been involved with autocross and road course racing events.  I have been married to my wife, Lorie, for 28 years and we have two children, Kaila (16) and Landon (13). I also enjoy the outdoors and hiking. Please check out my shop's page at

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