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No more mistakes when replacing windshield wipers

Posted by Scott Stueber, CPCU, CISR, AAI on Apr 26, 2016 10:29:41 AM

wiperblades.jpgSometimes you have to buy things that aren’t very exciting or enjoyable. Gas, car repairs, and, of course, insurance all make the lackluster purchase list.

Windshield wipers are another item on the list that’s critical to staying safe in our cars. Windshield wipers take a beating from the elements. Dirt, debris, and sunlight contribute to the breakdown of the wiper’s rubber blade. And if you’re like me and tend to forget about replacing them regularly, you can add neglect to that list.

Once, I replaced my driver’s side wiper with an inexpensive one. I figured, why spend the money on something that doesn’t last long anyway? Unfortunately, I experienced two hours of constant annoying wiper blade noise every time it scraped across my windshield. 

Because of my recent experience, I did some research on wiper blades. Here is some information and additional resources to help you keep your windshield clean and your family happy and safe.

Types of wiper blades

Conventional wiper blades

These blades have been on our cars for decades. They’re attached to a metal frame and apply pressure to the windshield via springs. These are the type of wipers I always bought for my cars.

Beam blades

Beam blades were introduced on luxury cars in the early 2000s. Beam blades aren’t attached to a metal frame, so they’re more flexible and adhere to the curve of your windshield more efficiently, creating a better wipe. Because there’s no frame, snow and ice buildup are reduced.

For a side-by-side comparison of these two wiper blades, check out Beam Blades Vs. Conventional Windshield Wipers.

Hybrid blades

Hybrid blades are a combination of conventional and beam blades. These blades:

  • Are more aerodynamic;
  • Have the all-weather wiping efficiency of a beam blade; and
  • Have precise pressure points for exceptional wiping performance.

Installation

For the most part, windshield wipers can be replaced without any tools; however, not all wipers attach the same way. There are many different mounting systems. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Hook-style;
  • Side lock;
  • Bayonet; or
  • Pinch tabs.

Remember the old saying, “You get what you pay for?” The cheap blade I bought a few weeks ago was so difficult to remove, that I had to bust it off by cutting the metal with a pliers. I couldn’t disengage the blade from the arm.

If you experience difficulty replacing your wiper blades, stop at your local auto parts store for help.

Set a schedule

Set a schedule for replacing your wiper blades. Depending on where you live, wiper blades may last 6-12 months. Replacing wiper blades in your garage or driveway on a nice day is critical. Unfortunately, many motorists replace them when under duress (i.e., caught in a downpour or snowstorm).

Do you have any suggestions or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Please share them in the box below.

Sources:
http://www.consumersearch.com/wiper-blades/how-to-buy-wiper-blades
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/wiper-blades/buying-guide.htm

Topics: Auto Safety

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