Picking the best type of windshield wiper blades for a specific vehicle and weather conditions is vitally important. Clear visibility is crucial for safe driving, and the right set of windshield wiper blades can help prevent accidents, injury, and death. That’s why it’s essential to examine wiper blades regularly and replace them every six months. Sometimes it’s necessary to change them sooner if they are damaged. Many new technologically advanced wiper blades can better clear a windshield of rain, snow, ice, and environmental pollution. This can make driving safer by improving visibility.
Check the Owner Manual
The first step in choosing new wiper blades is to check the vehicle-in-question’s owner manual. These manuals should list what size and type of wiper blades the vehicle’s manufacturer requires or recommends. Often a vehicle may be able to use several different sizes and types. The manufacturer will list the type they installed at the factory and may provide information on the specifications of recommended alternatives. This is the basic information needed before heading out to purchase replacement wipers.
Ask the Professionals
Doing a little research on the best type of wiper blades for a certain vehicle and geographic area can also help. Windshield wiper technology may have improved since the manufacturer made their recommendation, and there may be wiper blades that are better suited for local weather conditions. Two good sources of expert information about windshield wipers are automobile dealerships and auto parts stores. Both places should be able to provide a short list of the best types and brands of wiper blades and tell why one is better than others.
Three common types of wiper blades are conventional rubber, aerodynamic frame-less beam, and extremely durable silicone, graphite, or Teflon-infused varieties. One way to choose between these options is to compare features, effectiveness, and prices to see which one best suits a driver’s needs and budget. Prospective buyers should understand that newer, more technologically advanced wiper blades may cost significantly more. However, these blades also help to eliminate streaking, smearing, and chattering and improve visibility in inclement weather or darkness. Improved visibility can be the difference between seeing clearly what’s up ahead and getting to a destination safely, or skidding on an icy road and being involved in a collision.
Conventional Wiper Blades
The conventional frame-type wiper has a steel superstructure with “claws” holding the blade. It has pivots and joints that allow the framework to be flexible enough to conform to the windshield’s shape. This setup works well when it’s warm, but tends to freeze and lift in windy, snowy, icy, and otherwise cold weather. Those who are satisfied with the performance of conventional blades on their vehicles might want to just stick with those. Simply purchase a new pair and have them installed. All this requires is: 1) telling the seller or clerk the year, make, and model of the vehicle, 2) explaining the measurements, and 3) showing them pictures of current wipers.
Beam Wiper Blades
Many drivers choose more expensive beam wiper blades because they do a better job of eliminating streaking and residue than conventional ones. This pricier variety is made of a combination rubber and spring steel with no external frame. This lets the blades put even pressure all across the entire windshield with every swipe. They are also more flexible, making them the best choice for curved windshields. These blades do a great job of removing snow, ice, and other types of heavy residue.
The lower, more aerodynamic profile of these wipers enable them to resist wind lift and work well in the toughest weather. Used on many new vehicles, beam wiper blades may cost double what conventional ones do, but their performance makes them worth it.
Silicone, Graphite, or Teflon-Infused Wiper Blades
When it comes to durability and effectiveness, windshield wipers made with silicone, Teflon, graphite, or similar materials are truly top of the line. They whisk away water, snow, and ice faster and more effectively than other varieties. Plus, they last twice as long as conventional rubber blades. Plus, many of them come with warranties. Silicone varieties are much quieter and sturdier, so they can better handle snow, ice, high winds, and freezing temperatures. There’s a reason people call them winter-resistant wiper blades! They also take some stress off of the windshield wiper motor. These winter blades usually cost a lot more than conventional rubber ones.