Can Worn Out Wipers Damage My Windshield?

Dirty scratched car windshield view from inside car

Those of you who spend a decent amount of time driving are probably aware of the various road hazards that can cause damage to a vehicle and windshield. You may have even experienced such a situation. Although many of these potential hazards are unavoidable, like debris dislodged or kicked up by a passing vehicle, there is one situation where damage to your windshield can be avoided and even prevented with some timely maintenance. In this article we’ll explain how a little maintenance can go a long way towards preventing permanent damage to your windshield.

If you’re like most people you probably don’t spend much time thinking about how often you rely on your windshield wipers to provide a clear, unobstructed view of the road. And why should you? Windshield wipers are like an electrical outlet, out of sight and out of mind until they are needed. But when you do turn on your wipers, just like plugging into an outlet, you expect them to work properly. When they don’t, it not only creates a problem at the time, but it could lead to a bigger problem down the road.


How Wipers Cause Scratches

Depending on where you live and the time of year, your windshield wipers can get quite a lot of use in a relatively short period of time. When you combine this with the fact that your wipers are constantly exposed to elements like sun and moisture, well you can understand how your wipers can quickly become worn and damaged. But a worn or damaged wiper can do more than just make driving in bad weather difficult. Damaged wiper blades can also leave scratches that can’t be repaired.       

Through normal use and over time the rubber on your wiper blades will begin to wear and breakdown. When this happens some of the metal that holds the wiper frame together can be exposed. If the exposed metal comes in contact with your windshield, it can scratch the glass surface and begin to leave marks. If you don’t replace the worn wiper blades the exposed metal will eventually cause permanent damage in the form of scratches. Once these scratches become obvious, it’s too late.

Wiper Scratches Versus Other Scratches

Your windshield is designed to withstand some abuse. A stray rock, some branches and a little flying debris are just some of the things that can impact your windshield while you’re driving. While most of these situations are unavoidable and cause minor or no damage, scratches to your windshield caused by damaged wiper blades can cause permanent damage. However, you can prevent any permanent damage if you know what to look for and how to correct it. 

The first sign that your wipers may be causing damage to your windshield is the appearance of streaking across your windshield. Inspect the windshield to determine if the marks are scratches caused by your wipers or the result of something else, like debris that may have gotten stuck to your wipers. If the marks are in the shape of an arch that match the pattern of your wiper blades, it’s most likely caused by worn wiper blades. Before the damage gets any worse do a visual inspection of your wipers and your windshield. See if the rubber on the wiper blades is worn down or missing. Is so, it’s time to replace the blades before they do any more damage. If the blades have scratched your windshield, you should have it inspected by an auto glass professional who will recommend what needs to be done.

Related Topic: Should I Use Insurance to Replace My Windshield?

Replacing Blades is Only Part of the Solution

If your windshield has been damaged by worn wiper blades the first thing you need to do is replace the blades to avoid any further damage. But replacing worn out wiper blades is only the first step to a solution. Once you replace the blades you will have to get the damaged windshield assessed. We recommend taking your vehicle to an auto glass professional like, Glass Doctor. The pros at Glass Doctor are trained and experienced to assess this type of damage. They will also provide a recommendation on the best way to address the problem to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. Call today to schedule an appointment.