Visibility is one of the most important aspects of driving safely, and if you have a dirty windshield you're putting yourself at risk every time you drive. This is why cars are equipped with windshield wipers and a system that sprays the glass with cleaning solution. However, these helpful parts won't do you much good if they're not working properly.

Windshield wipers

You should change your wipers roughly once a year to ensure they will keep your windshield clear of rain, dirt, bugs and anything else that can affect your visibility behind the wheel. Throughout the year, you should inspect your wipers to make sure the rubber blades are in good condition and the joints are functioning smoothly. If you notice anything is out of sync, replace the wipers. They are inexpensive and usually easy to install. A professional at an auto parts store can help you determine which wipers are right for your vehicle, as requirements for each make and model can vary.

Don't let your car go thirsty

Keep an eye on windshield washer fluid. If you notice you're running low, top off the reservoir. You never know when you'll wind up with bird poop, pollen or anything else that can obstruct your view. If you do have enough fluid, but the sprayers are not working when you want them to, you might have a problem with the system.

Check the washer fluid delivery system

It is possible the spray nozzles themselves are clogged. You can use a pin or a needle to unclog the system. Simply insert the needle into the hole to clear a path for the fluid to come through. If this does the trick, but you notice the fluid is being sprayed in all the wrong places, you have more work to do. Some spray nozzles can be rotated by hand, while others may require you to use a pair of pliers or a wrench to adjust them.

If this does not correct the problem, you may have a leak. Check the hoses that run from the washer nozzles to the pump for signs of damage. Replace them if necessary. Otherwise, the pump itself could be busted. Can you hear a motor running when you try to use the washer fluid? If not, you'll probably have to replace a component of the washer delivery system.