Windshield wiper care

by Lynn

When cleaning your windshield, don't forget to clean your windshield wipers. Some folks use denatured alcohol to keep their blades clean; others use white distilled vinegar. I don't carry either in a truck. I've always just brushed the edges of the wipers with the wet spongy side of a windshield cleaning squeegee when I clean my windshield.

Never run wipers over a dry windshield.

Modern trucks have better defrosters than the one I remember having one winter as I trekked across Nebraska in the winter. The snow came down thick and heavy. The defroster simply could not keep the windshield warm enough to keep the snow from accumulating. I literally had to pull over on a ramp to clear the windshield wipers.

Instead of opening the hood and getting up on the truck in the dead of night, I used the king pin popper (long aluminum rod with a bend on the end) to lift and release the blades until the snow was dislodged.

Response from Vicki:

Thanks, Lynn, for your big truck preventive maintenance money saving tip on windshield wiper care.

We have found that not only does cleaning one's windshield wipers give a better wipe but it increases the life of the wipers themselves. Plus, keeping the windshield as clean as possible makes the wipers last longer, too.

We have also found that worse than driving in rain is driving in snow, where the road dirt literally gets splattered up on the windshield from vehicles in front of you. It's even worse when the roads have been salted. Frequent spraying of windshield washer fluid on the windshield and wiping may be necessary just to be able to see! We learned to keep a gallon of windshield washer fluid in the driver-side side box to refill the reservoir when needed. Usually, we could get refill washer fluid at the company terminal (which saved us from having to buy it on the road).

There are many different brands of windshield wipers on the market today. We ask professional truck drivers for their product reviews of specific brands available in truck stops.

We'd also appreciate feedback from drivers about the benefit of using windshield washer fluid additives and windshield treatments (such as those that repel water). Do they work as advertised? Do they help you save money? Does the less frequent need to wipe windshields free of rain help keep the windshield from getting scratched and needing to be replaced as often?

Thanks again for sharing. We wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.

Best regards,
Vicki Simons

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