Wiper blades may be the biggest afterthought on your car. No one buys a car because it has a great set of windshield wipers; indeed, you may not think about them for months or years...until that freak monsoon makes them your car’s most crucial piece of safety tech.
And while you typically don’t think about replacing them until you see a telltale piece of rubber hanging off or hear the horrific sound of them scoring your windshield, wiper manufacturers sometimes tell you to replace them every few months. And it happens to be the easiest bit of car maintenance you can do yourself. You don’t need any tools; opposable thumbs will suffice. You pop the old ones off; you pop the new ones on. At worst, you may need to attach an adapter, which should come with the new wipers.
Wiper blades are also an item you can source for yourself without going to a specialist auto parts store; you can grab them on Amazon with ease. That said, there are a few factors that you should consider when buying a new set:
Types of Wipers
Conventional wipers, most often found on older cars, have a metal frame attached to a rubber blade. They tend to be the cheapest option. Beam-style wipers, made from a solid piece of rubber, tend to be the most expensive; on the flip side, they are more flexible, better performing, better for snow and ice, and more durable. Hybrid wipers are, just as they sound, a hybrid option between the two — typically with rubber covering the metal frame.
Consider where you live. If you reside in Palm Springs, having the optimal set of wiper blades probably won’t matter so much. If you live somewhere rainy like Louisiana, you may want better ones. If you’re up in Minnesota, you’ll probably want wipers that are optimized for cold weather — at least come fall.
Different cars have different sizes of blades; indeed, the two wipers on your windshield can be different sizes, as well. Luckily, you can find that information easily enough in your car's owner’s manual or on the Internet. You can also input your car model on sites like Amazon and view a list of all compatible wipers.
The Best Windshield Wiper Blades You Can Buy
Best All-Around Windshield Wiper
The Rain-X Latitude is a beam wiper blade that uses a synthetic rubber designed for durability in extreme weather. It also leaves a water-repelling coating on the windshield that lasts for months.
Best Upgrade Windshield Wiper
Bosch's Icon is the German performance car of wiper blades. The company says its patented rubber compound is 40 percent more durable than other premium wipers. Tension spring-arcing technology offers a customized windshield fit. It also uses an aerodynamic spoiler to distribute uniform downforce across the blade.
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Best Affordable Wiper Blade
The ANCO 31-Series wiper blade is a solid, conventional replacement blade. It uses a "KwikConnect" system for easy installation and a "DuraKlear" rubber compound to provide a clear, consistent wipe.
Best Windshield Wiper for Winter
These Michelin hybrid wiper blades feature a segmented hard cover that protect the blade from ice and snow while still offering maximum flexibility. A smart hinge and independent suspension help the blade adjust to the windshield and maintain maximum contact.
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