How To Replace Windshield Wiper Blades

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Windshield wiper blades are an important system that ensures drivers have a clear view of the road. If your blades are showing signs of wear, such as rubbing or scraping, it is time to replace them. Beam blades perform well in all weather conditions and have a curved frame that contours to the windshield for an optimal contact point. They are also less likely to experience wind lift than other blades.

Beam Blades

One of the newest innovations in Windshield wiper blades is a premium product known as beam blades. This style is more curved than conventional blades, which helps them hug today’s curved windshields for better visibility and a cleaner wipe. Their curvature also allows them to have infinite points of contact with the windshield, which provides a more thorough clean.

A steel frame covers a rubber wiper element to create this curved, gapless connection between your windshield and the blade. The design prevents wind drag, which can cause the blade to lift from your windshield and diminish performance.

Some manufacturers also offer an aerodynamic spoiler to reduce wind lift in higher winds. Plus, since the blades are all one piece, there’s less surface area to clog up with snow or ice and less to break down over time. ANCO’s beam blade is a great choice for those looking to improve performance all year-round. They feature a durable spoiler, high-strength metal frame and long-lasting rubber to stand up to the harshest weather conditions.

Soft Spatulas

Those who frequent the woods may encounter problems with sticky tree sap on their windshield. The fluid mixture quickly hardens on surfaces and, if not removed with a plastic scraper or rubber squeegee, can be difficult to remove with automotive washer fluid. The fluid often just smears the residue and makes it harder to wipe away.

The PIAA Super Silicone blades scored well in our testing and boast a frameless design that creates multiple pressure points along the length of the blade to eliminate streaky wiping. They also feature a silicone impregnated rubber that is UV and heat resistant. They fit 98 percent of vehicles and include a windshield pre-treatment package to help the blades adhere better during rainy weather. The frame style, however, left the blades riding too high on the wiper arm. Over time, this could result in deflection that leads to chatter and squeaks. The lack of a bayonet-style wiper arm connector also bumped this contender out of the top spot in our review.

Hybrid Blades

The hybrid blade is the middle ground between conventional and beam-type windshield wipers. It combines the metal frame of conventional blades with the aerodynamic rubber shell of the beam blade. It also incorporates a spoiler on the drivers side of the blade to improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce wind lift while driving at high speeds.

Conventional windshield wiper blades are straighter and have intermittent pressure points, making them better suited for flat or slightly sloped windshields. The beam-style blade, on the other hand, has a stronger curve and a continuous pressure point across the entire length of the wiper.

Both styles have advantages and drawbacks depending on the weather conditions and preferences of your customers. Explaining the differences between the three types of windshield wiper blades will help you guide them to find the best option for their vehicle and driving habits. A hybrid windshield wiper blade like the Bosch ICON has a rugged frame covered in a durable rubber to resist snow and ice build up. This makes it a good choice for winter weather visibility.

Replacement Blades

Driving without resilient, long-lasting windshield wiper blades is not safe. Wiper blades are subject to a lot of pressure and over time they can become brittle, lose their snug fit against the glass and leave streaks. Wiper blades come in a variety of sizes and it’s important to measure your old ones or look at your vehicle’s owner manual to find the correct blade size. You can also look online at a manufacturer’s website or ask at an auto parts store to find the right blades for your car.

To replace a windshield wiper blade, first lift the arm and blade up to a perpendicular position. This will give you better access to the connector tab. Depending on the design, depress the tab and pull toward the base of the wiper arm to remove the blade. This step may require a screwdriver to lift and release the locking nub. After removing the existing blade, follow the installation steps for your replacements.

Conclusion

Windshield wiper blades are one of the most vulnerable parts of your car. Exposure to UV rays and frequent use in snowy or icy weather can cause them to wear out. Look for telltale signs of worn out wipers like chattering, rubbing and gaps across your windshield. Measure your old blades or bring them to the parts counter at your favorite auto store for assistance.

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