Q: My windshield wipers are starting to make a chattering noise. Do I need to replace them and how much do they normally cost?
A: If your wipers are chattering, smearing, streaking, or skipping, it is a sign to replace them. The rubber on wiper blades gets worn and dried out over time with exposure to the elements such as tree sap, dirt, sunlight, and changes in temperature. Do not take a chance having poor visibility. Wiper blade refill sets usually run between $5-$10, while whole wiper blades usually cost around $20-$25 a set. Always replace wiper blades in pairs. I recommend replacing the whole blade, not just the rubber “refill” component. This is because the metal pivoting points can also wear out or become damaged, which can cause the blade to apply uneven pressure across the windshield. Also, do not forget that many SUVs and minivans have rear wipers on the back window that need periodic replacement.