Wiper Blade Buyer’s Guide
- Wiper blades keep your vehicle’s windshield clear of water, snow, sand, and other debris that may block your view of the road.
- A small electric motor and an attached worm gear produce the power that operates the linkage that moves the wiper arms and blades back and forth.
- There are three types of wiper blades based on design: frame-style, beam-style, and hybrid wiper blades.
- There are several types of mounting wiper mounting mechanisms. These are hook, side-lock, top lock pinch-tab, bayonet, and slim-top wiper blades.
- The cost of a wiper blade replacement will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement parts will generally cost you anywhere between $5 and $220. These are sold individually or in sets of two.
- Since wiper blades typically have rubber components, they are prone to heat damage such as warping, cracking, and melting. Most manufacturers recommend replacing them every six months or with every oil change.
- Common signs of a bad wiper blade include streaking on the windshield, squeaking noises, and bouncing movements.
- As seasons change, your vehicle’s routine maintenance should involve checking on your wiper blades and switching them out for new ones as needed.
Wiper blades play a crucial role in road safety. As rain and snow cloud up the windshield glass and obstruct your view, properly working wiper blades clean and clear your windshield quickly, giving you sharper road vision and steering you away from possible accidents.
It'll be a great inconvenience if your wiper blades are already cracked or worn out just when you need to wipe off water and dirt on your windshield. This buyer's guide will help you select the most suitable replacement blades for your car.
What are windshield wiper blades?
Windshield wipers are essential external automotive components that are designed for driving safety. Wiper blades keep your vehicle’s windshield clear of water, snow, sand, and other debris that may block your view of the road.
How do wiper blades work?
The windshield wiper assembly is made up of several parts. A conventional wiper is made up of rubber blades, the wiper arm, spring linkage, and wiper pivots. There are also six claws or pressure points underneath the wiper. A small electric motor and an attached worm gear produce the power that operates the linkage which moves the wiper arms and blades back and forth.
What are the types of windshield wiper blades?
Wiper blades can be categorized based on design or mount-type. You may choose from a variety of windshield wiper blade sizes and styles according to your needs.
Types based on design
Frame-style or flat wiper blades
Frame-style wiper blades are considered the traditional style of windshield wipers. It features a metal mount that is connected to the metal-backed strip of ordinary rubber or halogen-hardened rubber. This assembly applies pressure on the windshield with the help of springs. Most modern vehicles carry this design of wiper blades, making them widely available and affordable.
Winter wiper blades
Winter wiper blades have a similar construction to frame-style wipers. However, they feature a traditional blade that is encased in a protective rubber shell. This design provides added strength to the assembly, allowing it to withstand snow and ice. It is strongly recommended to switch to winter wiper blades as soon as temperatures drop if you drive in areas known for their harsh winters.
Beam-style wiper blades
Beam-style wipers are known for their sleek construction that easily conforms to the curvature of the windshield. These wipers are not attached to a metal frame. Instead, they feature a one-piece design that is made up of an encased rubber and spring-steel band with a connection block in the middle. Some beam-style wipers even use silicone and double-rubber technology.
Hybrid wiper blades
Hybrid wipers are a cross between conventional and beam-style wipers. They are generally lighter, smaller, and more durable than other types of wiper blades. The frame where the blade is attached acts as an aerodynamic spoiler that keeps the blade on the windshield as the vehicle moves at a high speed. This makes them an excellent choice for drivers looking for precise and efficient wiping performance.
Types based on mounting mechanisms
Wiper blades also vary in terms of attachment mechanisms. The type of mounting mechanism will depend on your vehicle’s model year. Most wiper blades are typically released by squeezing a tab or sliding and unclipping a latch. Most universal wiper kits will have mounting attachments that will allow you to use these replacement wiper blades on your car.
Here are some types of wiper mounting systems that your car might have:
- Top lock
How much does a wiper blade replacement cost?
The cost of a wiper blade replacement will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement parts will generally cost you anywhere between $5 and $220. These are sold individually or in sets of two. Replacing a wiper blade is an easy fix that you can do by yourself at home or with the help of a licensed mechanic.
Signs of a bad windshield wiper blade
Since wiper blades typically have rubber components, they are prone to heat damage such as warping, cracking, and melting. Most manufacturers recommend replacing them every six months or with every oil change. It is also critical to have these parts replaced as soon as you notice one or more of the following symptoms:
Streaking on the windshield
Wiper blades are designed to apply even pressure across your windshield to clear water and debris on the glass. As they wear out, the blades may not be as precise as before which results in spots and streaks being left behind after the wipers have been used.
Squeaking or shrieking noises
A common sign that the wiper blade has reached the end of its life span is when there are squeaking noises during operation. A functioning wiper should be able to clear your windshield quickly and precisely without making any noise. Worn and cracked rubber due to heat damage may be causing the screeching noises as it is dragged across the glass surface.
‘Skipping’ wiper movements
If you notice that your wipers are ‘bouncing’ on the windshield after switching them on, this is a sign that your wiper blades need to be replaced. This could either be a result of worn blades or a bent wiper arm. In any case, it is best to consult a licensed mechanic as soon as you notice this symptom.
Why should you replace a faulty wiper blade?
Replacing your windshield wiper blade is one of the best things that you can do to improve the safety of your vehicle. This component helps improve road visibility, whether you’re driving through heavy rain, hail, snow, or sand. As seasons change, your vehicle’s routine maintenance should always involve checking on your wiper blades and switching them out for new ones as needed.
Finding the right wiper blades for your vehicle is easier with our website’s search filter. Simply type in your vehicle’s year, make, and model to browse through our selection of wiper blade refills and replacements.
Choose wiper blades that conform to the shape of your windshield to ensure the entire glass is cleaned evenly and properly. The best kind should be able to stick to the glass surface even if you're driving at high speed.