I have to admit, before meeting my husband, I never gave my windshield wipers a second thought. And the reservoir for windshield fluid was something that got filled when I took my car in for an oil change.
On our first extended road trip together, I was snoozing in the passenger seat when he decided to pull off the road, making a pit stop at an auto parts store.
“Wait here,” was all he said as he jumped out of the car and entered the store.
Now, when I’m on the road, with somewhere to be, I’m one of those people who only stops when necessary and all required tasks (gas, bathroom breaks, food, etc.) are completed during the stop. The next stop is not scheduled until the fuel tank requires it.
Needless to say, I was annoyed by this unscheduled delay.
When he came out, he had new windshield wipers in his hand. He promptly installed them, leaving the old ones in the trash can by the door.
The next several miles consisted of him giving me a lecture on the importance of good windshield wipers and pointing out how much better the new ones worked.
Blah, blah, blah.
Of course, he was right. The new ones immediately cleared the arched streak of dirt to which I had grown quite accustomed. Almost attached. But even I had to admit it was almost like putting on a new pair of glasses/contacts after a trip to the eye doctor. Suddenly everything was clear again.
I remember preparing myself for a lecture on wiper fluid to be next on his agenda. To his credit, he waited almost a year before going into that. Perhaps it was because he was waiting for the perfect opportunity to extol the virtues of his brand over my year-old (at least), cheapest-I-could-find, half gallon of fluid that sat on a shelf somewhere in the garage.
(By the way, he was right about that too, much to my chagrin.)
If I had to guess, you’re like the old me – replace the windshield wipers when the guys at the oil change place said it was time (or when an upcoming safety inspection deemed it necessary) and let those same guys ensure there was adequate fluid.
Why is this the wrong plan for your vehicle?
Because ensuring you can see clearly is one of the most basic and essential components of operating a motor vehicle. Even if you start your journey with clean windows, there is a strong likelihood of weather conditions and other vehicles on the road impacting the cleanliness. Especially during the winter months or whenever inclement weather is looming.
These days, all of our vehicles get windshield wiper fluid checked regularly and extra care is taken to ensure we get the most life out of our windshield wipers. It doesn’t take much time and the small amount of extra effort is worth it in the long run.