WINDSCREEN wipers are a key feature on modern cars and vans, ensuring the way ahead remains clear when the heavens open or mud and dirt sticks to the front screen.
But what many drivers are not aware of is the fact there's some state-of-the-art technology now found in most models that takes the guesswork, and risk, out of when to use your wipers.
Graham Conway, managing director of Select Car Leasing, explained: “This has to be one of the best advancements in motoring over the past 20 years.
“Modern vehicles are fitted with sensors that detect the amount of moisture present on the windscreen and adjust the speed of the wipers automatically.
“That means you can put them on low sensitivity, which will start the wipers when there is a lot of water on the windscreen, or a high sensitivity which will kick in more frequently.
“Using this feature will ensure you always have a good view out of the windscreen, whatever the elements throw at you.
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“And with the British spring notorious for ‘April showers’, it’s something that will be needed more than ever over the next few months.”
Drivers with cars over three-years old will hopefully be aware that faulty windscreen wipers will fail an MOT test, but all drivers should know that to have defective wipers is also illegal.
Broken wiper arms or worn blades that smear the glass instead of clearing it could earn you an on-the-spot fine of £50.
You could also be charged with careless driving, with a £100 fixed penalty notice fine that can increase up to £5,000 if the case goes to court.
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While repairing any broken controls or electrics will generally mean a trip to the garage and a bill possibly running into the hundreds of pounds, it’;s a much easier job if your blades need replacing.
Mr Conway added: “Any sign of smearing on your windscreen is the signal to get some new blades.
“A new pair of front wiper blades cost less than £20 and are easy to fit yourself.
“Modern blades don’t squeak if they are worn, so older motorists waiting for this telltale sign need to be more vigilant.
“Instead watch out for juddering, smearing and streaking – all clues that the rubber is near the end of its life.
“Many people wait until they are booked in for a service or MOT to get their wiper blades replaced by a professional.
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