You never want to feel vulnerable in your car. We feel quite secure with our seat belts, airbags, anti-lock brakes, and the remaining technological advancements that have become standard in automotive safety. Yet, for all of its simplicity, the windshield cleaning system rarely begets a mention.
Do You Need New Windshield Wipers?
It should be obvious when you use them if they require replacement. What you will not know is if they will require replacement sooner rather than later. What you want to do first is rub your finger along the blade of the wiper, looking for any blemishes or abnormalities. If there is a tear, you will want to inspect it to see how serious it is and note the location for when you use it next.
Which Wipers Do I Buy?
In order to determine this, you will first be required to measure your wiper blade and then refer to the owner's manual or find it online. Alternatively, there is typically someone at the store where you purchase them that knows more than you, and they can direct you to the correct blades. You will also need to know the year, make, and model of your vehicle.
Conventional rubber wipers are very cost-effective and do a good job, but need to be replaced more regularly. In some places, you are still able to purchase the rubber strip so you would not have to replace the entire blade, but stores that sell the strip alone are becoming more scarce.
The gold standard in wipers, however, are silicone wipers; quieter, smoother but at a considerably higher cost. Over time, the wiper leaves a water-repellent hydrophobic layer on the windshield. Call it science's contribution to the wiper blade.
These blades are usually made from rubber and springs and are best used with a curved windshield, due to its flexibility.
These blades are typically made from graphite and Teflon for structural support, while also using a streamlined construction resulting in fewer parts to freeze and crack.
A consumerreports.org report states that there is a large disparity among the selection of wiper brands and models and recommends not to simply choose the most cost-effective option.
Windshield Fluid, Does it Really Matter Which One to Buy?
Standard Windshield Washer Fluid
This is the conventional fluid that you see, often on sale at the gas station, grocery and hardware stores. It is low-end and usually costs less than five dollars. This is meant for relatively normal driving conditions and is often sold as 'summer' and 'winter'.
Windshield Fluid for Bugs and Grime
This specially-formulated wash is supposed to have a higher strength and is meant to break through grease and grime.
De-Icing Windshield Fluid
One of the more popular washers, it is often purported to have 'streak-free' cleaning power and 'water beading' technology. The real reason it actually works is that there is often a higher concentration of methyl alcohol.
Remember these important tips when purchasing your next blades; research the best brand, don't settle for the cheapest blade, and the best value for the money will always be silicone as they do not break down nearly as often.
If you still haven't prepared your automobile for winter or require winter tires, let us know and our friendly team will be sure to set you up.