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August 7, 2017

3 Things to Keep in Mind to Improve Rainy Day Visibility

It’s August and that means the height of rainy season. And while everyone can enjoy the cooler weather, the rainy season also brings with it unpredictable weather. One moment, it can be hot and sunny, the next, it could be dark with torrential rainfall. The heavy rains also bring with it one perennial problem for all motorists: limited visibility.

With 90 percent of driving decisions based solely on vision, adjusting to the changeable conditions is hard enough. With visibility largely dictated by the condition of your wipers and windshield, here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your vehicle is best equipped to handle the weather.

1. Treat a wiper change like an oil change

Drivers often wait several years to switch out a pair of wipers that went bad after only 6 to 12 months. In fact, some surveys say that as much as one out of every five vehicles on the road may have worn windshield wipers contributing to impaired driver vision.

It’s good practice to check the condition of your wiper blades once every 6 months, usually the change between the summer and rainy seasons. Evaluate the wiper—both the rubber squeegee and the metal frame for any visible cracks and corrosion.

2. Causes of wiper deterioration

Wipers blades deteriorate due to may environmental factors: sun (ultraviolet light, ozone deterioration), oil (car waxes), airborne debris (sand, mud, dust), and moisture (acid rain, salt water). Your wipers may need changing if it encounters one of these common problems: streaking (occurs when the rubber squeegee dries and hardens or cracks), skipping (occurs when the blade develops a curvature from the lack of use), wearing (occurs with extensive use), splitting (caused when UV rays breakdown the rubber material), and bent frames (mishandling).

And no, putting the wiper blades up when parking your car in the open will not prolong its life. What you’re doing is simply wearing out the wiper spring. This affects how firmly the wiper presses against the windshield. And while wiper blades are easily replaceable, the wiper springs themselves aren’t.

Whatever the reason for their deterioration, wipers are considered as “wear and tear” items and are not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Keep in mind that the casa can always replace worn wipers for you when you bring it in during a Periodic Maintenance Service or PMS. But for those who’re penny-pinching, it’s one of the easiest things to DIY (Do It Yourself). Just remember to get wiper blades that are right-sized for your car (check the Owner’s Manual) and of a reputable brand to ensure longevity.

One recommended brand is PIAA. Thanks to their silicon rubber, they last twice as long as traditional wiper blades. They even come with a silicon windshield treatment (it’s not sold separately) that when applied properly allows water to bead making for a streak-free wipe. Best of all? No need for fancy window cleaners afterward. Available in a variety of sizes and fitment for most makes and models, you can contact PIAA Philippines via their Facebook page.

 3. Bad vision isn’t just because of your wipers

Interestingly enough, worn wipers is just a part of the whole visibility equation. Often overlooked is the condition of the windshield itself. Over time, the windshield can get filled with scratches or water marks making it difficult to see out of. Even brand-new cars straight from the showroom may exhibit numerous water marks especially if it’s been left in the stockyard for some time.

It’s good practice to head over to a professional detailer and have your glass polished whenever you replace the windshield wipers. Doing so removes the light scratches, swirl marks, and water marks improving the wiper’s performance as a result. Not only does it maximize available visibility to you, it also makes your car look cleaner.

Sonax Professional Detailers offer services such as glass polishing. If you want to find a Sonax partner shop nearest you, you can contact Sonax Philippines via Facebook.

BONUS: Ready for a little DIY? How to polish the glass yourself

Since the glass polishing routine requires the use of an orbital polisher, Sonax Philippines recommends that it’s best left to the professionals. However, if you’re willing to do it yourself, then Sonax Philippines recommends the following steps that you should follow to remove water marks and scratches from your windshield:

1. Wash the car.

2. Inspect the glass surfaces to see if there are paint overspray or dirt that needs to be removed.

3. If yes, use a clay bar. To use the clay bar, use a glass cleaner on the glass surface to act as a lubricant. Then, gently rub the clay bar on the glass to remove dirt.

4. Dry the glass and put masking tape around the moldings to prevent damage to the rubber/chrome surfaces.

5. Begin polishing using a glass polish and an orbital polisher. While polishing the glass, consistently spray the glass with water to keep the glass at a safe temperature.

6. Once the water marks and wiper marks are removed, clean the glass using a glass cleaner. Apply it with a microfiber cloth to eliminate the haze and polishing marks on the glass.

1 comment:

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