Do the windscreen wipers on your car perform poorly at removing snow, rain drops or debris? Do they distort your visibility during driving? If yes, then you must know that low quality windshield wipers are actually a serious hazard for drivers, passengers other drivers and pedestrians. So, looking for very best windshield wipers is the most important factor to have a safe journey.
Good news! It’s affordable and simple to change your windscreen wipers, ensuring that all the time you have clear visibility during drive. A clean windshield is also important from safety point of view, especially when are going on a road trip. In order to save you from this trouble, here is a complete guide to know what, how and which wipers work in different situations. Before you buy a windshield wiper, here are 5 important factors to consider so that you can pick the best windshield wipers.
1. Construction Material Used in Wipers
Material plays an important role as it helps you understand if the selected product will be durable and functional. There are 3 main types of materials used in wiper blades, which are as follows:
I – Rubber
Rubber is the most common type of material used in wiper blades, because rubber is both pliable and cheap. Wiper blades made of rubber are strong and flexible, and they can efficiently clean elements off the windshield of your car. However, rubber gets dry soon, and when it’s exposed to sunlight, ice or snow, it will start to crack. If you have wiper blades made of rubber material, make sure to change them every 6 months, because performance will start to drop after 6 months of use, even it if is mild.
II – Silicone
Next is wiper blades made of silicone. Silicon is less common as compared to rubber, but it is gaining popularity because of its high-end quality. This material can withstand harsh weather condition much better than the wiper blades made of rubber, and they will not crack easily.
Silicone wiper blades also transfer oil to windscreen, so the water from rain can easily beaded up allowing it to slide off or get wiped off more efficiently. However, most impressive part of silicon wiper blades is their durability, which is usually double as long as other average wiper blades made of rubber material.
For reasons mentioned above, the silicone material is most probably suitable for higher-end and extreme performance vehicles that see lots of off-road action.
III – Coated
The third one is coated wiper blades. In coated wiper blades, the rubber section, which comes into contact to the windscreen glass, is coated with protective material such as Teflon or graphite. This protective layer boosts performance and durability of wiper blades, and reduces streaks, so that you get clear windscreen all the time.
2. Type of Frames in Windshield Wipers
There are 2 main types of frames. One is beam or bracket-less frame and the other is conventional wiper blades or framed blades.
Features of Conventional Windshield Wiper Blades
- Completely metal frame to give maximum durability and strength
- Contact points are evenly spaced to apply even pressure throughout wiping edge
- Natural high firmness rubber reduces squeaks and chattering sounds
Features of Designer Windshield Wiper Blades
- Graphite Coated rubber gives long-lasting life of wiper blade
- Unique OEM design
- Aerodynamic and sleek design
Features of Beam Type Wiper Blades
- More than 1500 pressure points to give consistent contact throughout the windshield
- OE-Style wiper clips and blades for perfect fit on most, if not all, vehicles
Advantages of Beam Type Wiper Blades
- Designed to meet various weather conditions
- Accurate wiping edges for cleaner wiping
- Aerodynamic design gives high-end surface pressure for smooth wiping
Conventional type wipers are manufactured with steel frames. Additionally, they have many arcs to place pressure on certain points of the wiper blades, allowing for tighter fit on your windscreen.
However, this pressure isn’t consistent throughout the wiper blade. Instead it is felt at many selected points. As of this, the streaks are usually left on glass of windscreen, and therefore cleaning isn’t up to the mark.
That is where the beam type wipers come in. This type has no frame, however, it includes beam which gives a consistent pressure across wiper blade.
Because of smart design of beam type wiper blade, they offer better wiping, while ice and snow buildup are also prevented. Not all beam type wiper blades are created equally. So, do not expect cheap beam blades to perform better than the expensive ones. Stick to popular brands and you will never regret.
Finally, there is less known hybrid wiper blade option that exploits the technology found in framed and bracket-less wiper blade designs. Hybrid type targets to maximize cleaning while guaranteeing consistent wiping.
3. Weather Conditions
There are various windshield wiper blades that aren’t capable of working in summer, as they can’t withstand sunlight and Ultraviolet rays. Similarly, there are many that are not capable to handle cold weather conditions because they can’t clear ice and snow effectively.
You must consider weather conditions before you decide which windshield wiper to buy.
If you need to purchase windshield wipers for winter, make sure that rubbers are soft and design is flexible. Moreover, check if that wiper blade has be designed to prevent ice and snow buildup.
It is better to go for all weather windshield wiper blades, because they can perform well in cold as well as hot weather conditions.
4. Sizes of Wiper Blade
When it is about windshield wiper blades, one size doesn’t fit all. This is the very reason why you should find out the size of your current wiper blades. For this you should check the owner’s manual to replace the exact same size.
If the size you select is wrong, wiper blade will never fit your windscreen, and it will perform poorly. Fortunately, wiper blade brands come in various size ranges, therefore, you can simply get the right size for your car make and model. Usually they range from 14 inches to 26 inches.
It is better to change rear window wiper blade at the time when you are changing your front windscreen wiper blades.
5. Ease of Installation
It might be difficult to install windshield wipers, particularly when you are new to this or when you have purchased some complicated set. That is why you have to choose windshield wiper blade which is simple and easy to install, and the option that has many mounting options which makes it easy to attach to your car.
Mounting options that is well known is hook mount wiper blade arms that is extremely intuitive. The other common options include side lock, top lock and pin application. You can also get adapter system especially offered by the manufacturers of wiper blades. These adapter systems make installation much easier, which include:
- KwikConnect System
- Multi-Clip/Quick Clips Adapters
- SWIFT adapters
- EZSNAP Connectors
- Universal Quick Lock
Buying a windshield wiper blade is a critical decision. A wrong or poor choice can cause serious damages to your vehicle, yourself and the passengers traveling with you.
These are the major factors you must follow when you are out on the market to buy a windshield wiper blade. These pointers will help surely you make an informed decision.
Recommended Windshield Wipers
Here I try my best to review the available models considering all possible aspects. So, you can find a number of reviews on this blog as well. In my research for reviews, I found the following brands and models worth a try:
- Bosch 26A ICON Windshield Wipers Review
- ANCO Series 31 Windscreen Wiper Blades
- AERO Premium All-Seasons Frameless Windshield Wipers
- Rain-X Latitude Windscreen Wiper Blade
- Valeo Frameless Windshield Wiper Blade
If you want to see the detailed reviews of these models, please click here.