Are Your Wipers Faulty?

Tue 15th Oct 2019

More than six million UK drivers may be risking a £5,000 without realising that their windscreen wipers aren’t up to scratch.

A poll of 2,000 drivers by Halfords found that 17 per cent of those questioned revealed that they have driven with sub-standard wipers, with 38 million cars currently on the UK roads, that could mean that 6.5 million cars are driving with wipers that will see them fail an MOT test.

While faulty wipers are one of the most common fails in an MOT test centre, as many as 20 per cent of drivers admitted that they didn’t even know their blades needed changing. 

“As soon as a wiper begins to smear rather than clear your windscreen, it is past its best and should be changed,” said Faye Doolittle, wet weather expert at Halfords. 

“Modern flat wiper blades don’t screech on the windscreen, so drivers listening for this audible warning are likely to miss the signs that their blades aren’t cutting it anymore.

“Strong wind and torrential rain could cause trouble for those with dodgy wiper blades,” continued Doolittle. 

“Our research shows that there are likely to be many motorists out there struggling to see as their wiper blades fail to cope with the elements. Poor visibility doesn’t just make driving in the rain unpleasant and more tiring but failing to see a hazard quickly slows your reaction time. This can add several car lengths to your stopping distance and make the difference between avoiding a collision and not.”

Signs to look out for include a cracked or damaged blade or if your windscreen is not clearing your windscreen properly. As well as a failed MOT, faulty windscreen wipers could lead to an on-the-spot fine from the police which is an automatic £100 fine which could increase to £5,000.