Munich. In summer, drivers can quickly find their view of the road impaired by a carpet of dead insects on the windscreen – sometimes after driving less than 100 kilometres. They may find their windscreen wipers are unable to cope, often because the washer system still contains the winter’s anti-freeze, which is not suitable for removing dead insects. TÜV SÜD’s experts have tips that clear the view in summer.
Summer additive: As there are virtually no insects in winter, anti-freeze for windscreen washer systems does not need to contain any special additives to soften and loosen dead bugs. This is the task of the special summer concentrates, which drivers should use until the next winter comes along. Philip Puls, TÜV SÜD’s expert, recommends, “If the washer system still contains a lot of water with anti-freeze, a concentrated summer screen wash solution can help.”
Man the pumps! Don’t stint on the water – plenty is needed to clear away dead insects. Use the spray jet on at least the first three passes of the blades.
Cleaning, not wiping:Wiper blades suffer when used as insect removers. The chitin of insects’ shells is extremely hard – in fact, it is actually harder than ice, which careful drivers also do not expect their wipers to remove. If the windscreen is heavily soiled, the TÜV SÜD experts recommend using a special bug sponge. Tip: Activate the spray jet while the wipers are lifted away from the windscreen (unless the spray jets are located in the wiper arms) to apply the cleaning concentrate solution to the windscreen.
Better wiping: Low-cost wiper blades are often advertised as “natural rubber” by their manufacturers – yet synthetic rubber is a far better material for cleaning windscreens. Optimum products are made of dual-compound material, where part of the blade is synthetic and part of natural rubber. TÜV SÜD’s professionals recommend choosing products by well-known brands; they generally have a longer life span that makes up for their higher price.
Flat’s where it’s at: Modern cars are fitted with one-piece flat blade wipers. They clean more effectively than conventional wiper blades, particularly at high speeds, and are also more durable. The new designs can be retrofitted to many cars. Although flat blades are significantly more expensive than normal blades, the extended lifespan – up to two years according to TÜV SÜD – partly compensates for the higher cost.