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. If you're buying a new set, here are the things to consider:
Not all wiper blades will fit and work well with your vehicle; they come in a wide range of sizes and designs. So before you start looking for a new set, find the correct length and size first. The recommended blade specs are usually included in the owner's manual. Wiper blade lengths range from 12 to 24 inches, with the blade positioned on the driver's side a bit longer than the one on the passenger side.
Style and design
Wiper blades are available in different styles and designs. To help you make up your mind, go over the list to choose what's best for your budget and needs.
- Standard rubber - Conventional wiper blades are typically made of rubber. While they fit most kinds of windshield, common problems here are ice buildup on the frame and wind lift. They're not as durable as other types of wiper blades, but they're very affordable. For the budget-conscious, standard rubber wipers are recommended, especially if you're living in a place where it hardly rains or snows.
- Silicone - What's good about silicone wiper blades is that they create water beads that are easier to wipe off. They're a bit more expensive but definitely more durable than the rubber blades, which may easily crack or become stiff when exposed to harsh UV rays. Whether it's hot or cold, silicone wiper blades won't easily tear apart, making them a great option for all-season driving.
- Beam - Beam or flex wiper blades are more expensive, but if you want a sleeker design that looks good on virtually all types of vehicles, these are the best choice. They're great for curved windshields, as they easily conform to their shape. These wiper blades are designed for maximum cleaning. Streaking won't also be a big problem.
- Winter wiper blades - These are economical (they cost almost the same as regular blades), but they are great in keeping the windshield free from snow and ice. Only trouble is, these wiper blades don't easily match the windshield unlike flex or conventional wipers. They may also break when exposed to too much heat.
Type of windshield
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.
- Replace both wiper blades at the same time to guarantee optimum visibility.
- Get a new set every six months to prevent worn-out blades from streaking and damaging the windshield glass.
- Purchase a set that comes with appropriate mounting hardware for easier installation.