It essential that vehicles on the road are fully equipped with appropriate windscreen wipers. They assist drivers to have a clear and unobstructed broad view at vital times. The wiper blades help to swiftly remove all forms of obstruction which could range from snow, rain, sleet, dust or even leaves from the front and rear windscreen surface. This enables a smooth journey on the road, even during the worst of weather conditions.

Like other car parts subject to wear and tear, windscreen wipers are not an exception, as they are more fragile. They are designed from a soft rubber material so that they can glide smoothly across the windscreen glass surface without damaging it. This makes them prone to damage quite easily, as they undergo daily use, sometimes for prolonged periods in all seasons.

The wipers also deteriorate during the summer period due to the high temperatures, not just only during the winter months after getting frozen. This provides reasoning for their short lifespan and hence need for regular replacement.


Good windscreen wipers need to effectively clean the screen at all times. Worn out wipers could result in damage to the windscreen glass itself. This can in turn be more costly than replacing the wipers themselves. A badly worn wiper can obstruct the driver’s vision and could lead to an accident or invalidate any insurance claim.


There are a number of different signs that show that the windscreen wiper requires replacement.

  1. Generation of Noises: The first sign to look out for is a squeaking sound as the windscreen wiper drags across the windscreen glass which can cause distraction from driving. Other similar sounds such as screeches or scrapes are also indications that your wiper blades are worn out and need replacing immediately.
  2. Streaking: Windscreen wiper blades in their perfect condition, would clear the windscreen glass in one complete swipe. Streaking occurs when the windscreen wiper blade dries out and begins to crack and foreign substances coat part of the wiper blade surface. They lose their ability to properly clean the windscreen, leaving streaks of rainwater on the surface after several swipes. If the faulty wiper blades are not replaced, then further use could damage the windscreen.
  3. Distorted or Ragged blades: You should carry out a visual inspection of the condition of windscreen wipers routinely, and ideally on a weekly basis, by lifting the wiper blade arms and assessing the wiper rubber. Observing any ragged, distorted or jagged edges where the rubber blades make contact with the windscreen surface should prompt a replacement of the blades.
  4. Irregular movement: When in proper shape, the windscreen wiper blades move smoothly across the windscreen surface in a regular pattern. However, as wipers wear out, the rubber blades start to judder while in use and this is a clear indicator it is time to change the wipers blades. There could be several reasons for this, such as the wiper rubber blades drying out or corroded or the rubber becoming bent and no longer in its original shape or amassed a coat layer from a tree sap.

Windscreen wipers lifespan is typically between 6 and 12 months but this depends on a number of factors including the brand / manufacturing quality and weather conditions and some are more durable and sturdier than others and as a result, last longer.

The signs described above and not approximate lifespan should serve as a prompt for when windscreen wipers actually require replacement.

It’s important to note that any minor damage to the windscreen, or obstruction to a driver’s view, will cause an MOT failure. If any of the above signs have been noticed, the wipers need replacing as soon as possible, as this can cause damage to windscreen glass and may cost significantly more than the windscreen wipers!

Please contact us here at UKCarGlass if you need further assistance or advice


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