THOSE THINGS THAT ANNOY YOU, but you put up with because you can’t fix them yourself…? You have them. You know you do. The hockey stick that lives in the Subaru so the hatchback stays open long enough to fetch the groceries (and isn’t it incredible how much a lift-gate weighs?); headlight bulbs (always one burned out); door gaskets that whistle because they’re hanging out like a loose bra strap . You know who you are.

THERE IS SOMETHING YOU CAN FIX though that will make little emoji hearts flutter from the heater vents and angel music play each time you get in the car: Change your wiper blades! But how? And when? One only knows they are bad when we can’t make out a mailbox from a moose because the wiper on your side drags across the windshield like Jason Bourne after taking a bullet in the knee.

GET EM ON A SCHEDULE. You visit the dentist, change your oil, maintain the water softener, all on a schedule. Do this with wipers and you will take significant teeth-gritting out of winter. For Interior Alaska, every two years, not a minute more. Now, here’s the secret: Get the magic handshake for your wiper blade installation and become empowered!

GET FRIENDLY WITH A MECHANIC Every car has a different system for hanging onto its wipers and pretty much a one-step Rubik’s cube, but so simple. Go to your shop and ask for a tutorial! Take things into your own hands. Buy a set of wipers and have them installed with you. (That scary sign that says “No one beyond this point due to Insurance” That’s actually a management tool for customers at best, and a lie in reality).

GO BACK THERE to the forbidden land of loud noises and the smell of grease. It’s OK! Don’t be afraid to ask! Takes 2.7 minutes for most blades (4.6 if you own a Saab–plus the day and a half to find them). But do it. Better than a massage or mani [email protected]