Visible Solutions to Invisible Problems
by Pat Goss
Few things are as important to safe driving as good visibility, so let’s start with the windshield wipers. The blades themselves have to be maintained in good condition, so you should look at them periodically to make sure that the edge of the blade isn’t torn, it isn’t gouged or anything like that. You can also make your blades last longer if you clean them every couple months or so using an alcohol swab. Simply take the swab out of the package and run it along the edge of the blade. You’ll be amazed at what comes off!
That helps keep them cleaning properly and does make them last longer, but sooner or later you’re going to have to replace the blades, and when that time comes you might want to step up to something that I’ve been using for a while now, and that’s Teflon blades. I’ve been very impressed with them. They do an exceptional job of cleaning and they wear a long time.
But the best blades in the world can’t help if the windshield is all coated with grime. That grime comes from oils and greases and so on that build up on the roads, and during the first few minutes of a rain they get splattered onto a windshield. It doesn’t come off easily so you may have to use a special automotive cleaner, like this Stoner product or these two polishes from Griot’s Garage. That will get the film off, but then if you want to keep the windshield cleaner longer you might want to use a product like Rain-X. Rain-X fills in the little pores in the glass and helps to keep the dirt from building up. Does a good job!
But then comes the issue of being able to see: how good are the lights on your car? Well, there are improvements available. These are Phillips Night Guide Bulbs, and they use three different colors: they have white to see down the road, they have a yellowish tint that is comforting as far as the visibility to the left, and they have a blue color that’s off to the right so you can see signs and things better. Interesting technology! Oh, and by the way, when you put those new bulbs in, here again it’s time for your alcohol swab. If you ever touch one these bulbs with your hand it will leave oil on there and when it’s lit it will cause the bulb to fail. So, the last thing you do is you make sure that you wipe all of the fingerprints off of the glass on the bulb to make it last longer. Do that with the alcohol swab. Makes them last like they should.
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.