WITH Jamaica's climate, you can go months without needing to use your wiper blades, and so they're usually two of the most neglected parts of a vehicle for the budget-conscious woman driver.
But checking your wipers should be a very important part of your car care routine, as wipers that work properly will ensure your safety and that of other motorists when it starts to rain.
Guy Eaton, service manager at Stewart's Auto, explained that bad wiper blades will leave streaks and marks that will impair visibility.
And the last thing you want to happen during a deluge is to have an impediment to you seeing exactly where you're driving to.
"It's very important that you ensure that the wiper blades are in good working order," he said.
1. If you want to get your blades clean and they're fairly new, use some rubbing alcohol on a piece of cloth to wipe the blades off.
2. For blades with rust that still work, a sanding down and a paint job will fix the problem. Newer cars are using plastic instead of metal, but for those cars that still use metal wiper blade housing, this works for a quick clean-up.
3. The blades are easy to change. If you're just replacing the rubber refills, this involves merely pulling a clip and sliding the broken rubber out. You can also replace the entire housing, which is the complete blade composing the metal frame and the refill. Wiper blades are cheap and easy to replace and you can either do it yourself, or go to a gas station to have an attendant do it for you.
4. You'll know your blades need replacement when they scratch the windshield, or when they fail to remove the water from your windscreen. The blades get worn from contaminants in the air, exposure to sunlight, heavy use and normal deterioration.