To find the right wiper blades for your car, you need to understand what works best for your windshield. here are some helpful pointers.
Types of wiper blades
Wiper blades come in two types: traditional and beam-style.
Use a metal and plastic ribbed frame that puts intermittent pressure on the rubber blade to remove road dirt, water and snow. They’re widely available and affordable.
Have a very minimal frame and a spring to make them conform to the shape of your windshield. Beam wipers are designed to shed snow and ice in the winter.
Wiper blade features
Wiper blades often have extra features to help them perform more efficiently in certain conditions. Here are some common extras to look for.
Traditional wiper blades can collect snow and ice because of their design, but winter wiper blades are specially designed to reduce buildup.
Heated wiper blades cut through snow and ice more effectively. They come in both traditional and beam styles. They’re either wired into your car’s electrical system or connected through the cigarette lighter.
Most wiper blades use rubber or halogen-hardened rubber for the actual blade, but don’t last forever.
- Sunlight breaks down the rubber edges and they can chip or break down over time. Broken or loose blades can cause the frames to scratch the windshield.
- Silicone wiper blades are also available and leave a fine, water-resistant layer that sheds water more effectively.
- Rubber and silicone are waterproof and gentle on your windshield when in good shape.
Factors to consider
Wipers are available in many different sizes. Most auto shops can help you find wipers that fit your vehicle, but you can also check your vehicle’s manual or refer to a wiper blade chart if you want to shop online.
- If you go online for wiper blades, double check that you’re purchasing the right size and measure them when they arrive.
Tips to getting more from your wiper blades
- Change your wiper blades every six months or immediately if you notice skipping, streaking or squeaking.
- Salt and sand deteriorate blades more quickly.
- Regularly cleaning your windshield can extend the life of your wiper blades.
- When parked, pull up your wiper blades in the winter to avoid ice buildup.
- Custom-fit wiper blades are available, especially for imported cars with unique, curved windshields.
While many people don’t recognize the importance of wiper blades, choosing the right pair can keep you safer in wet and snowy conditions. Pick blades designed for your car, and you’ll have increased visibility when you need it most.