Wheels and Water - 2022

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wheels &water Mother Nature’s models: Find out which models are the‘Greenest’ cars for 2022

In the market to trade your vehicle?

Is your boat ready for summer activities?

Which SUVs are the safest?

If so, what’s the best way to go — buy used or new?

These tips will help with your boat and trailer maintenance

Discover the models that ace industry crash tests

Hutchinson Leader and Litchfield Independent Review | May, 2022

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Hutchinson Leader/Litchfield Independent Review

Cover photo: The 2022 Toyote Prius Prime took first-place honors on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s list of the most environmentally friendly cars and SUVs for 2022. It offers around 50 miles per gallon in combined driving. Photo courtesy of toyota.com

Mother Nature’s models: The ‘Greenest’ cars for 2022 They’re all electrified, but not necessarily electric BY JIM GORZELANY Content That Works


side from the desire to drive a car, truck, or SUV that’s inherently friendlier to the environment, sky-high gas prices are giving new-vehicle shoppers an added impe-

tus to choose a more energy-efficient ride. One might think the cleanest cars on the road would be full electric powered vehicles (EVs), but that would only be partially accurate. While all 12 of the “Greenest” vehicles in the U.S. for 2022 cited by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in Washington, D.C., are electrified to some extent, only four run solely on battery power. The rest — including the top two models — are either gas/

electric-powered hybrids (HEVs) or plug-in, hybrids (PHEVs) that pack a larger battery that enables them to run for an extended period solely on power from the grid. That’s down from seven full-electric models claiming top honors in last year’s study. The organization attributes that to a recent market shift toward larger and heavier EVs, like the Ford Mustang MACH-e and the Lucid Air, that are inherently less environmentally benign than

some of the smaller and lighter models that made previous lists but are no longer being sold in the U.S. “Automakers are pledging more all- electric models, but they’re discontinuing some of the most efficient ones, leaving consumers with fewer compact, ultra-green choices,” says Peter Huether, senior transportation research analyst at the American Council for an Greenest to 4

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Energy-Efficient Economy. “Automakers shouldn’t produce only huge EVs. Such EVs, though more energy-efficient than similarly sized gasoline counterparts, mean higher consumer costs and planet-warming emissions than small electric cars.” The GreenerCars rankings are based on a study of more than 1,000 models, including conventional gas or diesel-powered vehicles, HEVs, PHEVs, and EVs, including those that leverage a hydrogen fuel cell for power. Topping this year’s list is the Toyota Prius Prime, which earned a Green Score of 69. Also making the grade for the most environmentally friendly cars and SUVs for 2022 were the following: 1. Toyota Prius Prime PHEV: 69 2. Hyundai Ioniq PHEV: 68 3. MINI Cooper SE EV: 67 4. Nissan Leaf EV: 67 5. Kia Niro PHEV: 65 6. Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Blue: 65 7. Mazda MX-30 EV: 65 8. Toyota Corolla Hybrid: Green Score 64 9. Honda Insight Hybrid: Green

Score 64 10. Toyota Camry Hybrid LE: Green Score 63 11. Tesla Model Y Rear-Drive EV: Green Score 63 12. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue: Green Score 63 Be aware that there’s more to evaluating a given model’s full environmental impact than its localized carbon discharge. Rather, the ACEEE’s ratings take into consideration the “cradle to grave” impact a given model will have on the environment. This includes manufacturing disposal impact, a model’s energy source, emissions from manufacturing, the impact of disposal and recycling, plus emissions associated with electricity production (if applicable). This year’s evaluations also consider emissions created by producing a vehicle’s materials, including those associated with mining lithium, which is a critical component in electric-car batteries. Each vehicle is given an overall Green Score t hat c a n be used to compare the relative environmental friendliness – or unfriendliness as the case may be — from one model to another. Those are expressed on

May 2022 WHEELS & WATER | 5

Hutchinson Leader/Litchfield Independent Review a 100-point scale, with higher numbers better. The top model in the 2022 GreenerCars report is the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid with a Green Score of 69/100. The ACEEE also wags a finger at the environmentally “meanest” models on the market, which is largely

populated by over-powered pickup trucks like the Ram 1500 TRX (with a Green Score of just 22) and Ford F-150 Raptor, and large gas-guzzling SUVs including the Toyota Sequoia and Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Full evaluations and methodology can be found at greenercars.org.

Tips to know before buying an electric vehicle Electric vehicles are increasing in popularity as drivers consider the operating cost of owning an automobile as well as the environmental impact of their commutes. The number of electric vehicle models available has nearly doubled in the last few years and the market is getting charged up. The rising demand for electric vehicles has led to a larger inventory of new and used plug-ins in the auto market.

power outlet or hardwired charging station to their home should speak with a trusted electrician who is trained, licensed and insured to install NEMA 14-50 outlets. These outlets are similar to what an electric dryer or oven is plugged into. Once installed, the charger would be considered part of the home and will need to be covered by supplemental insurance in the event of any type of loss.

With more than 2 million electric cars on the road in the U.S., EV owners know that home charging is one of the most important aspects to owning an electric vehicle. Other than driving, cold weather zaps the batteries of energy quickly. Using the air conditioning or heater, as well as uphill drives, also reduce range. Knowing that there might be more frequent charges under these demands makes home charging more appealing.

“A standard homeowners’ policy excludes coverage related to motor vehicles and their equipment, accessories and parts,” said Bonnie Lee, vice president of property claims at Mercury Insurance. “It’s important that EV owners who install a Level 2 charger protect their homes as well as their vehicles. We had a policyholder put 300 battery packs together to charge his car and it didn’t end well. The battery packs overheated and burned down the garage. Fortunately, his homeowners’ insurance claim was covered, but it’s best to have an electrician handle any EV charging station installations.”

According to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience Home Charging Study, 84% of EV owners regularly charge their vehicle at home. It costs about half as much to charge an EV at home as it does to charge at a public station. Home chargers also offer the convenience of being programmed, so they draw power during off-peak hours, saving EV owners money. Most EVs come with a Level 1 charger allowing drivers to charge at their residence from a standard 120-volt household outlet. This method can take several hours, typically overnight, to get back most of the car’s range. For this reason, many EV owners purchase Level 2 charging stations to be installed in their home. Level 2 charging allows for a quicker charge using a 240-volt outlet. EV owners looking to install a 240-volt

EV owners can also charge their vehicles with portable chargers, but how owners obtained those chargers could make a difference on which type of insurance would be needed. If the portable charger came from the dealership with the vehicle, it would be covered by their auto collision or comprehensive insurance. However, if EV owners purchase a portable charger after buying their vehicle, they may need special equipment coverage.

Photo courtesy of hondanews.com

The 2022 Honda Insight offers impressive fuel economy. According to EPA Estimates, the Insight’s combined fuel economy is as high as 52 miles per gallon.


While reports of fires happening while EVs are parked and charging are rare, owners should always be mindful when charging their vehicles. Source: Brandpoint

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Basic yearly boat and trailer maintenance and inspection BY RANDY PATZNER


t was Benjamin Franklin who said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It’s as true today as it was in 1736, and it’s definitely true when it comes to boat and trailer maintenance. It’s no fun to plan a day on the water only to have your trailer or boat breakdown. While things can always happen, ongoing trailer and boat maintenance and inspection will help. The following is a list of items to check:  Check the coupler on the trailer. Make sure all parts move freely and are rust and crack free. Lube as directed in owners manual.  Inspect trailer jack and wheel. Lube pivot shaft and wheel if necessary.  Check all running lights.  With the boat off the trailer, inspect either bunks or rollers for excessive wearing, broken boards, torn carpet, or loose or missing bolts.  Both bearing and brakes if applicable should be serviced by a certified mechanic yearly.  A good coat of wax once or more a year will help in both looks and longevity of your trailer.  Check the level of electrolytes in all batteries. Add only distilled water and fully charge after every use. Check battery post for corrosion.  Inspect fuel systems for any odors, leaks, or deteriorations.  Do steering systems work smoothly both ways? Grease the steering cable

File photo

For fun on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes and waterways, make sure to inspect and maintain your boat and trailer. if needed. Look for any loose bolts and signs of deteriorations.  Inspect navigation lights for corrosion and make sure they work properly.  Inspect bilge and aerator pumps to make sure they are also working properly. Do live wells drain properly? Check intake screen for obstructions.  Check the horn.  Are drain plugs installed and tight?  Check trolling motor pull cord if applicable. Look for fraying or cuts.

Replace if you see any visible wear. Is prop secure and void of cracks or deep nicks? Replace if necessary.  Is the fire extinguisher in good working shape and secured? Replace if there is any doubt!  Are life jackets and throw cushions in good shape? Check each one for tears, and replace as needed.  Clean and wax all parts of the boat. It not only makes your rig look better but will help in its resale if done on a regular basis.

 Check anchor rope for wear or aging. Replace as needed.  Do you have a basic tool kit onboard? Make sure all tools, fuses, and bulbs are accounted for and in good working order. — Randy Patzner is a certified Mercury mechanic who has worked since 1985 at Starks Sport Shop in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. He also owns and operates his own B&B Trickling Waters Retreat in Marquette, Iowa.


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Which SUVs are the safest? These are the models that not only ace industry crash tests but can best help drivers prevent getting into accidents BY JIM GORZELANY Content That Works


he last few decades have seen some seismic shifts in the American family’s vehicular preferences. Station wagons drove the great suburban migration in the post-war era with minivans replacing them in the 1980s, followed by truckbased SUVs in the 1990s, and car-based crossover models in the 2010s. Today, SU Vs in al l shapes and sizes are the rides of choice — not only among growing families but among singles and empty nesters alike — with annual sales far outpacing passenger cars. Fortunately for parents and partners looking to protect their most precious cargo, it’s never been easier to choose a safer SUV. That’s according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which just issued its list of the safest rides on the road for the 2022 model year based upon its extensive crash-testing program. This year’s crop of SUVs is the best ever with regards to safety. 34 small, midsize, and luxury crossovers have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick+” honors and another 20 came close by earning “Top Safety Pick” (without the Plus) status. And that’s despite the Institute upping the proverbial ante in recent years by requiring stricter criteria for a given model to achieve either status. To achieve Top Safety Pick status, a given model must receive top marks in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crashworthiness tests, and the ability for its standard

Jim Frenak-FPI Studios for mediachevrolet.com

The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer is among the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s 2022 Top Safety Pick+ award winners among small SUVs. Pictured is the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer Rs.

Photo courtesy of ford.com

Looking for a safe ride? You can’t go wrong with the Ford Explorer. or optional forward emergency automatic braking system to avoid a crash or reduce speeds by at least 5 mph in either or both of two tests conducted at 12 and 25 mph. To get the coveted “Plus” designation, a vehicle must further offer good or acceptable-rated headlights as standard equipment. Illuminating the road ahead is an often overlooked, but critical element of vehicle safety, as about half of traffic deaths occur in the dark and a quarter of them on unlit roads. Many poor-rated systems don’t provide enough illumination to enable a driver

going 55 mph on a straight road to stop in time after spotting an obstacle in the vehicle’s path. Take note that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tends to concentrate its testing efforts on the industry’s best-selling vehicles, which often leaves out low-volume luxury vehicles and sports cars at the upper end of the price spectrum. What’s more, some new or fully redesigned vehicles may not have been put through their paces yet; ratings are updated on an ongoing basis. Also, given the laws of physics,

frontal crash-test results can only be accurately compared among same-size vehicles. This means a top-rated compact car will not necessarily offer the same level of occupant protection as a larger sedan or SUV in a given collision. Side-impact tests, on the other hand, can be readily compared across vehicle size and weight classifications due to how they are conducted. After all that, I bet you want to know which SUVs made the Insurance institute for Highway Safety’s 2022 Top Safety Pick+ award winners among SUVs? Here they are: Small SUVs:  Chevrolet Trailblazer  Ford Bronco Sport  Hyundai Tucson  Mazda CX-5  Mazda CX-30  Mitsubishi Outlander  Nissan Rogue  Volvo C40 Recharge  Volvo XC40  Volvo XC40 Recharge Midsize SUVs:  Ford Explorer  Hyundai Palisade  Hyundai Santa Fe  Mazda CX-9  Nissan Murano  Subaru Ascent  Toyota Highlander  Volkswagen ID.4 Midsize Luxury SUVs:  Acura MDX  Acura RDX  Audi Q5  Audi Q5 Sportback  Cadillac XT6  Genesis GV70  Genesis GV80  Hyundai Nexo  Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class  Tesla Model Y  Volvo XC60  Volvo XC 60 Recharge  Volvo XC90  Volvo XC90 Recharge Large SUVs:  Audi e-tron  Audi e-tron Sportback

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Which Is Best: Buy new or used? Supply and demand issues have tested the conventional wisdom when it comes to buying a car, truck, or SUV BY JIM GORZELANY Content That Works


o paraphrase Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” these have been the best of times and the worst of times in the automotive industry. Early pandemic-fueled factory and dealership closures, manufacturing slowdowns due to the ongoing microprocessor shortage, and remarkably strong consumer demand have winnowed new-vehicle dealers’ inventories considerably. With consumer demand remaining strong, prices have surged to neverseen levels. The average new-vehicle transaction price broke the $47,000 mark at the end of 2021, which is around 14% more than it was a year earlier, year earlier, and is several hundred dollars above the industry average manufacturer’s suggested retail price. The current state of affairs has been driving more buyers than ever to the pre-owned side of the lot. This, combined with the used car business inventory issues has likewise caused prices to skyrocket.

Staff photo by Kay Johnson

Whether to buy new or used can be a tough decision. The best advice is to evaluate your own situation and see what you can afford. T he average u sed vehicle cost around $28,000 at year’s end, which is 28% more than at the same point a year earlier and a staggering 42% higher than just before the pandemic took hold. So, given the uncertainty of times, which is best, buying a new car or crossing over to the pre-owned side of the lot? As always, driving home in a new car has an indelible allure for many consumers that outweighs the added up-front cost. Factory fresh cars and trucks often come with what are now key safety and connectivity features that may not be available on older models. Though they’ve dried up con-

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siderably in recent months, some new vehicles may still be offered with cash rebates and/or other incentives. New vehicles come with full factory warranties with “bumper to bumper” coverage for three to five years, and powertrain protection for as long as 10 years. They often include value-added programs such as roadside assistance a nd f ree schedu led mai ntena nce plans. Some buyers are finding it prudent to put immediate gratification aside and order a new car, truck, or SUV from the factory. Wait time for delivery can be several weeks or more (longer production delays are an issue), but it remains the best way to obtain a

brand-new vehicle that’s equipped exactly the way a buyer wants. On the other hand, even at their inflated prices, used cars are still more affordable than new ones. Plus, many shoppers are having more luck these days finding more or less exactly what they want in the pre-owned market. On the downside, used-vehicle financing rates tend to be higher and can be for shorter periods than with new-car loans. W hat’s more, buying a pre-owned vehicle, especially one that’s several years old, always involves an element of risk, with the vast majority sold on an “as is“ basis. For those who can afford the higher prices, one way to help skirt both issues is to look for a late-model “factory certified” used vehicle that has been fully inspected and is covered under an extended warranty. What’s more, some certified used cars are also eligible for an automaker’s discounted financing program. One bright spot for confounded consumers is that resale values have never been higher, which could mean getting enough cash on a trade-in to help offset higher market-driven prices. The bottom line here is to do some research, work the numbers and examine a vehicular transaction from every angle to assure you’re getting the best deal on a car or truck that best meets your needs and budget, whether it’s new or used.



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Going the distance — 200,000 miles or more If you’re looking for a model that can be expected to deliver years of dependable service, check out this list of the longest-lasting cars, trucks and SUVs BY JIM GORZELANY Content That Works


on su mer s h ave t o work hard to get the most for their money on a good day, but these have not been normal days, especially for the new-vehicle business. Demand has been especially strong with dealer inventories becoming razor-thin thanks primarily to the ongoing supply chain crisis. That’s driven transaction prices to unprecedented levels with buyers increasingly turning to extended financing periods of six and even seven years to keep their monthly payments affordable. Whether shopping for a new or used car, truck, or SUV, it’s more important than ever to choose a model that can be expected to deliver years of dependable service to wring the most out of evercostly vehicular investments. Fortunately, with the proper maintenance and timely repairs, today’s vehicles can be expected to run for 150,000 or even 200,000 miles or more — though some tend to live longer and age more gracefully than others. To that end, the automotive search engine iSeeCars.com in Woburn, Massachusetts, studied more than 14.9 million used vehicle transactions that took place during the 2021 calendar year to determine which mainstream models are not only most likely to surpass 200,000 miles but still have life left in them for a new owner. As it turns out, the longest-lasting cars on the road aren’t cars at all — with nine of the 15 longest-lasting models being large truck-based SUVs, three pickup trucks, and two

Photo courtesy of media.chevrolet.com

Two of the longest-running vehicles to make the list are the Chevrolet Suburban and the Chevrolet Tahoe, pictured. “There are no vehicles like the Tahoe and Suburban, which have starred in Hollywood movies, carried military heroes and world leaders, and helped create countless family memories,” said Barry Engle, executive vice president and president, General Motors North America.

Photo courtesy of Global Toyota

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser tops the list of vehicles that will go 200,000 miles or more. minivans. For those who are keeping score, that leaves only two passenger cars among the dozen long-distance runners. All of the models on iSeeCars.com’s 200K-plus list were found to have at least 3% of their original production still on the road — racking up maximum mileage. The industry average in this regard is 1.2%. We’re featuring the full top-15 list with the percentage of each model’s original production projected to remain on the road after hitting the 200,000-mile mark.

According to iSeeCars.com, vehicles most likely to run for more than 200,000 miles are the following: 1. Toyota Land Cruiser (18.2%) 2. Toyota Sequoia (14.2%) 3. Chevrolet Suburban (6.6%) 4. GMC Yukon XL (5.2%) 5. Toyota 4Runner (4.6%) 6. Ford Expedition (4.5%) 7. Chevrolet Tahoe (4.4%) 8. Toyota Tundra (4.0%) 9. Toyota Avalon (3.9%) 10. Toyota Prius (3.9%) 11. Toyota Highlander Hybrid (3.8%) 12. GMC Yukon (3.7%)

13. Honda Ridgeline (3.7%) 14. Honda Odyssey (3.2%) 15. Toyota Sienna (3.2%) It’s interesting that eight out of the highest-mileage models come from Toyota — with the largest Land Cruiser SUV topping the pack. Likewise, the only two four-door cars on the list come from Toyota, namely the Avalon and Prius. Of note, a third of the top 15 models are domestic-brand full-size SUVs from Chevrolet, Ford and GMC. “With new and used car prices at record highs, many consumers are likely keeping their vehicles on the road for an extended time or are looking to buy a reliable vehicle to get the most return on their investment,” says Karl Brauer, iSeeCars executive analyst. “Toyotas account for the majority of the top 10 longest-lasting vehicles, which validates the brand’s reputation for building enduring and reliable vehicles.” Among individual brands, Toyota leads the pack in terms of the largest percentage of its models expected to break the 200,000-mile barrier (2.3%), followed by Honda (1.9%), GMC (1.8%), Chevrolet (1.6%), and Ford (1.5%). “The majority of the longest-lasting SUVs and pickups are American vehicles from these brands, which helps contribute to their above-average ranking on this list,” Brauer says.

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Got vehicle questions? We’ve got answers


f you’ve got questions about driving after a hip replacement, when to replace your brakes and wiper blades or if buying parts from a junkyard is worth it, check out these answers. Q: My sister had hip replacement surgery three months ago and is cleared to do just about anything. She’s afraid to drive again because she doesn’t have confidence that everything will work like it used to. Do you have suggestions? A: Two words: occupational therapist. Their job is to assess situations, assess capabilities, and come up with workarounds when necessary. The best ones are skilled at helping post-surgery folks understand the realities of any limitations they might have and figure out strategies. It’s not terribly uncommon for hip replacement folks to have a driving concern, I’m told. And part of overcoming that anxiety is having an expert occupational therapist spend time with them in a car (in a safe environment). Finally, the therapist gives the person a written report and sends one to the primary care doctor. Some people will need more driving sessions with the occupational therapist. Sometimes the OT person will conclude the individual requires some physical therapy to become strong enough or flexible enough to drive safely. To learn more about occupational therapy services, contact:  Hutchinson Health Clinic: 320-2343290; hutchinsonhealth.com;  Glencoe Regional Health Clinic: 320-864-3121; grhsonline.org;  Meeker Memorial and Clinics: 320693-3233; meekermemorial. — Sharon Peters, Content That Works Q: How do I know when it’s time for new brakes? A: Many drivers like to hit the pedal to the metal. But they should also be prepared to put on the brakes quickly. Having reliable stopping power requires reliable brake components, of

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Are junkyard parts worth buying? Find out in this Q&A. course. But that begs the question: How do you know when it’s time for brake work? The importance of checking and inspecting your car’s brakes regularly cannot be overemphasized. The brakes on your vehicle represent its most important safety feature, but it can be a difficult decision to know when it’s time for new brakes on your car. Keep in mind that brakes that malfunction or are worn down can cause your vehicle to skid or stop suddenly — leading to a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian. Additionally, if brake components like pads and rotors are not replaced when needed, they can wear down and lead to extensive damage to other parts of the vehicle. Warning signs that it’s time to get your brakes checked and possibly replaced include abnormal noises.  Worn brake pads can often result

in a high-pitched scraping or squealing noise while braking. If the brake pads are worn down to the wear indicators, you might also hear a cyclical scraping or squealing noise while driving.  Uneven pad and rotor surfaces can also cause a clunking or chattering noise during braking. And, when the brake rotors experience a certain type of uneven wear, referred to as warpage, you might feel a pulsation in the brake pedal — and possibly the steering wheel — while braking. Also, as a set of brake pads begins to wear, the corresponding caliper piston moves outward towards the rotor, causing the brake fluid level to drop. Additionally, if your brake pedal feels spongy or squishy, it’s a red flag that your brakes need to be inspected. Count on having your brakes inspected and if necessary, repaired at least once a year — more often depending on how frequently you drive

your car. The typical lifespan of brake components is anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 miles. A complete brake repair, which involves replacing the pads, rotors, and calipers, can cost an average of $300-$800. — Erik J. Martin, Content That Works Q: Is visiting an auto junkyard worth it? A: If you’ve ever been quoted an astronomical price to replace a part on your used car, you know how frustrating that can be. But you don’t have to settle for what a repair shop, dealership, or auto parts store offers. Instead, visit an auto junkyard and find that part yourself on a junked vehicle, which could save big bucks. Visiting an auto junkyard is a bit like a treasure hunt. A person at the front desk may need to point you in the right direction so that you can locate

May 2022 WHEELS & WATER | 11

Hutchinson Leader/Litchfield Independent Review a junked vehicle that matches your make, model, and year. Good junkyards keep an updated inventory of what usable parts remain on their junked cars. Once you find the vehicle on their lot, it’s usually your responsibility to find and remove the part. The writer of this story had to visit three area junkyards before he could find his needed part: a passenger-side taillight housing. The cost was $30 — much less than the roughly $300 quoted by a car dealership. (Note: Yes, I saved money, but I invested a fair amount of time in finding the part, so it’s up to you, which way is best.) — Erik J. Martin, Content That Works Q: How often should I replace my wiper blades? A: Clear visibility is crucial when driving. That’s why it’s important not only to make sure your windshield wiper fluid reservoir is sufficiently filled but that your wiper blades are up to the task. Truth is, many motorists overlook the fact that their blades

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Are your windshield wipers in good repair? If not, it could impact your driving. have outlived their usefulness. Which sparks the logical question: How often should I replace my wiper blades? At least every six months, the pros suggest. Over time, wiper blades can tear, crack, and lose their flexibility and functionality. Extreme tempera-

tures, ultraviolet rays, road debris, bird droppings, and other factors contribute to their breakdown. Even if they are rarely used, these blades need to be replaced at regular intervals. Left unchanged, the rubber can deteriorate and come loose from the

wiper blade. This can cause damage to the windshield, as the metal or hard plastic of the wiper blade scrapes across the glass. The service industry advises replacing wiper blades as part of a regular maintenance routine — every six months to a year, depending on weather conditions and the material of the blades. But it’s possible your wiper blades will wear prematurely and need to be swapped out sooner than that, especially if you hear chattering or squeaking sounds when the wipers are in use, notice a skipping motion from the wipers, observe smears, moisture, or streaking that remain on your windshield, and can see cracks, tears, or missing pieces on the blade. If in doubt or lack time, most oil change providers offer wiper blade parts and replacement services. Wiper blade replacement typically starts at approximately $25 per pair for conventional blades and can range up to $75 per pair for higher-end hybrid wiper blades. — Erik J. Martin, Content That Works


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