As we approach the typically rainy months of spring, worn out windshield wiper blades are symptoms of neglected vehicle maintenance that put drivers and passengers at serious risk as visibility can be significantly reduced.
“Twenty percent of all vehicle accidents result from impaired vision caused by a dirty or damp windshield,” says Bryan Gregory, director of consumer education at Advance Auto Parts. “Incredibly, 50 percent of vehicles on the road today have windshield wipers that are beyond their functional lifespan, and 15 percent of the vehicles inspected during National Car Care Month failed because of worn windshield wiper blades.”
Automotive care experts recommend inspecting and replacing wiper blades every six months. Friction, ozone, UV rays, and other contaminants all take their toll on the rubber in wiper blades, resulting in decreased wiper performance and visibility over time.
“Start with a visual inspection of the wiper blade,” Gregory recommends. “Look for cracked or torn rubber, splits, gouges, or a discoloration in the blade surface. Next, run your finger along the blade surface and check for hard or brittle rubber or ragged edges. Finally, inspect the plastic or metal wiper body, looking for a bent or damaged frame that could affect wiper performance. If any of these conditions exist, or if the wiper blade has been on the vehicle for more than six months, replace the wiper blades or the entire assembly.”
Wiper noise or vibration, or water that isn’t wiped from the window when the wipers are in operation, are also indications that it may be time to replace the wiper blades.
It’s important to replace wiper blades with the same size recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, Gregory adds. “Some vehicles even have different sizes for driver and passenger side blades, as well as for the rear window wiper.”
In addition to carrying a broad assortment of windshield wiper blades to meet any specific driving need, Advance offers fast, free wiper blade installation year-round in all its stores. Also, through April 28, the company is offering 25 percent off all wiper blades.
“Drivers used to have the excuse that changing wiper blades was just too time-consuming, frustrating, and difficult to figure out, and they were right,” Gregory says. “Today’s wipers, however, are very simple to change. And for drivers who don’t feel like tackling the project themselves, they can go to any Advance Auto Parts store and have them installed for free in a matter of minutes.”
About Advance Auto Parts
Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts is the second-largest retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, based on store count and sales. As of December 30, 2006, the Company operated 3,082 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The Company serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets.
Advance Auto Parts supports a variety of non-profit organizations at the corporate and local levels and encourages its Team Members to become actively involved in various community-based charitable organizations. Nationally, Advance Auto Parts is a strong supporter of United Way and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Since 1994, Advance Auto Parts has raised more than $11 million for JDRF and is one of that organization’s largest corporate supporters.
Additional information about the Company, employment opportunities, customer services, and on-line shopping for parts and accessories can be found on the Company’s web site at www.AdvanceAutoParts.com.