Windshield wiper blades are one of the hardest working — yet least durable — parts of your car.

Having fully-functional windshield wipers is an absolute necessity for the safe operation of any motor vehicle. But over time, they can become less effective due to wear and tear.

Most drivers aren’t aware of this until they go to turn their wipers on in the midst of a rainstorm, only to find that their blades have essentially become useless.

So how long do wiper blades actually last–and when should you replace them?

How Long Do Wiper Blades Last?

Obviously, the life of wiper blades is a generalization depending on use and climate, but most cars and trucks will need new wiper blades every two to three years. You may, of course, need to change them more frequently than that if you tend to drive in a lot of really hazardous weather conditions.

How Can I Tell When My Wiper Blades Are Ready To Be Changed?

If you see streaks across your windshield, that means the wipers are falling apart and it’s time to replace them. If your wipers leave paste on the windshield, that means it is definitely time to invest in new blades!

Preserving the Life of Your Wiper Blades

Believe it or not, you can actually extend the lifespan of your wiper blades with a little bit of routine maintenance.

  • Wash your windshield regularly, especially removing things like bird droppings or caked-on dirt and grime.
  • If your car ends up with snow and ice on it, take a minute to scrape away the build-up around your blades. Forcing your blades to try to cut through layers of ice can cause them to become dulled or corroded well before their time.
  • Finally, take a few minutes to rub your blades with a clean cloth dipped in just a bit of rubbing alcohol. This is a small and easy way in which you can care for them and keep them running a bit longer than they might otherwise.

Of course, you will have to replace your wiper blades sooner or later. The good news is that blades are fairly inexpensive and installation is often pretty easy. If you have any questions or uncertainties about your vehicle’s wiper blades you can always consult your local auto professional.