How Do I Know When My Wiper Blades Need Changing?

Windscreen wipers are a vital but often overlooked safety feature of your car. Specifically, the wiper blade which contacts your windscreen removes dirt, ice, rain, snow, ice, and road grime from your view. It’s imperative this humble device is operating at its best to ensure you have a clear and unimpeded view when driving. 

But like many consumable parts, windscreen wiper blades have a limited life. They are constantly exposed to the environment and can be degraded over time by cold, dirt, frost, heat, ice, insects, and road grime to a point where they lose their effectiveness.

As most of the decisions you make as a driver are formed by what you see through the windscreen, it’s important your wiper blades are operating correctly. Poor vision is responsible for many of the accidents that occur in adverse weather condition, and it’s understood that many of these accidents could have been prevented if the driver had a clear view ahead.

What are the signs my wiper blades need replacing?

If you’re having trouble seeing out of your windscreen when it rains, chances are your wiper blades need replacing. A wiper blade can only do its job properly when it makes contact with its entire swept area, and if your wipers exhibit any of the signs below, we strongly recommend replacing them as soon as you can.


The crossbeam effect is usually the result of wear or damage to the wiper blade frame. In this instance, replacing the wiper blade alone won’t solve the issue. You will need to replace the frame assembly as well. Fortunately, this process is quick, easy, and very cost effective. 

Fluttering & Skipping

Noisy fluttering or skipping wiper blades are dangerously ineffective. The issue is caused by environment degradation over time where elements, including ozone and UV rays, can breakdown the wiper blade’s chemical structure and result in cracks and tears. Wiper blade refills can fix this problem quickly and cheaply.


A streaking wiper blade is an ineffective wiper blade. Streaks are usually the result of contamination build-up on the wiper blade rubber because of dirt and grit, insects, pollution, and road grime. While it’s important to clean your wiper blades when washing your car, often, streaking wiper blades can only be remedied by installing a wiper blade refill.

Unwiped Sectioning

High summertime temperatures can cause the windscreen wiper tension strip or wiper blade frame to bend or deform. As many of our cars spent many months of the year with their wipers in the parked position, this problem is a common one, and often results in unwiped sectioning of the windscreen. Having swept and unswept portions of the windscreen is annoying and potentially dangerous, and is best remedied by replacing the wiper tension strip or wiper frame.

How long do wiper blades last?

A quality set of wiper blades will generally last between six and 12 months, depending on the frequency your vehicle is used and exposed to adverse conditions. To get the best and safest performance from your wipers blades it’s recommended you change them as soon as you notice a change to the clarity of your windscreen when using your windshield wipers.

Why Trico?

Trico wiper blades have set the benchmark in quality and performance for over 105 years. Fitted as Original Equipment to a variety of manufacturers, Trico products are designed specifically for local conditions. 

Made from the highest quality 100 per cent natural rubber and treated with UV stabilisers, Trico premium refills provide long service life and outstanding performance resulting in smooth operation, quiet action, low drag, and minimal noise. 

The Trico range includes metal back, twin rail, and polycarbonate refills. Discover the full Trico range at:

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Published on: January 22, 2022

Filled Under: Technical Articles

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