Low visibility is a leading cause of automobile accidents. That’s why the condition of your windshield wipers is critical to your driving safety. Changing your wiper blades regularly ensures that you have the best possible visibility, but you also need to pick ones that deliver the performance you need. Keep reading to learn more about blade styles, recommended replacement intervals, and other tips to stay safe on the road.
Choosing the Right Wiper Blades
Not all wiper blades are created equal. For optimal visibility, it’s vital to select blades that best meet your needs. Because blade sizes vary by each type of vehicle, you need to pick the ones that fit your specific model. You can check your owner’s manual for sizing information or select your vehicle’s make, model, and year when shopping on our website. You can also use the VIN lookup tool to find the exact blades that fit.
Once you know your correct blade sizes, you’ll want to choose blades that best handle your typical road and weather conditions. Review each product’s specs and pay attention to its materials and features. Synthetic blades usually last longer than rubber ones, especially in rainy and snowy conditions. Some models also have a built-in alert system to let you know when it’s time to change them.
While shopping for wiper blades, don’t forget to evaluate their designs. You’ll usually find two styles on the market: convention and beam. Conventional wiper blades incorporate a metal frame and have six to eight contact points where they rest on the windshield. Beam wiper blades feature flexible plastic or rubber frames, a curved aerodynamic shape, and an infinite number of contact points with the windshield. Conventional blades are generally less expensive, but beam blades offer better wiping performance.
DIY Replacement & Maintenance Tips
Just as tire, headlight bulb, or side mirror replacement is vital to road safety, wiper blade maintenance and replacement are also key. Most car care experts recommend swapping out your wiper blades every six months. Depending on your driving frequency and local weather conditions. you may need to replace them sooner. Regardless of when you last changed your blades, you’ll want to install a new set if you notice any telltale symptoms:
- Squeaking sounds
- Vibration or chattering
- Excessive streaking
- Wet spots
While the need to change wiper blades is inevitable, you can make them last longer by following a few useful tips. Clean your blades regularly using a soft cloth with plain water, glass cleaner, or washer fluid. park your vehicle in a covered area whenever possible. This prevents precipitation and debris from settling on your windshield, which forces you to use your wipers more often and makes the blades work harder. You should also never operate your wipers on a dry or icy windshield, as this results in extra friction that wears out the blades faster.
Getting the Most From Your Blades
Choosing and caring for your wiper blades is easier than you may think. By selecting proper blades, replacing them periodically, and following regular maintenance practices, you can ensure great performance and extend their lifespan. Whether you need blades, alternators, or any other parts, be sure to choose them from a reputable aftermarket auto parts supplier.