Replace wiper blades yearly

How about those windshield-wiper blades? Can you see the road when it rains?

In a spot check, windshield wipers on 56 percent of the cars checked were so badly worn that their performance was seriously impaired. In the same survey, 1 in 4 wiper blades was rated poor, to be replaced immediately, while wipers on one-third of the cars were in only fair condition.

Take a minute to check out how well the wipers and the windshield-washer system are working on your car.

Squirt some washer fluid on the windshield. If the wipers are streaking or chattering across the wet windshield, it's probably time to replace them.

Because the wipers and washers are not used every day, it's easy to overlook them. Washer fluid, for example, gets used up or evaporates and ozone -- a major component of air pollution -- eats away at the rubber blades, causing them to become dry, brittle, and prone to wear.

Replacement, at least once a year, is advised.

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