The Best Wiper Blade Buying Guide-Consumer Reports

2021-12-10 10:39:54 By : Ms. Yvonne Huang

Consumer Reports no longer updates this product category and maintains it only for archival purposes.

It's easy to forget that the wiper is a safety feature-until you end up driving in heavy rain or snow, or blinded by the glare of dirty glass. Dirty or obstructed windshields are a real danger. Just as you usually don't know that the washer fluid tank is empty until it no longer sprays detergent, the driver may not realize that the wiper has been hit until there is a direct visibility problem. By then, it may be too late, because many accidents are caused by poor visibility.

Wiper blades have a limited service life because they perform dangerous tasks under harsh conditions. Dirt, debris, and road dirt can wear wipers, and sunlight can damage their rubber edges. In addition to visibility, it is important not to wait too long to replace the blade, because a torn wiper blade will cause the wiper arm to rub against the glass, which may scratch and damage the windshield. 

The good news is that according to our tests, you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good-performance windshield wiper, but you may need to replace it every six months or so.

In order to make the most of your existing wipers, please check them regularly. Lift each wiper arm from the glass, and then slide your finger along the rubber edge. If the rubber is hard or chipped, or produces uninterrupted streaks, you need a new wiper.

If the wipers are in good condition but cannot effectively clean the windshield, clean them. Just put windshield washer fluid or glass cleaner on a damp sponge or cloth, and then wipe off the debris on the windshield where the rubber and wiper are located. You might be rewarded with months of cleaning the windshield without having to spend money to replace it. In addition, in winter, you must remove the snow and ice on the windshield, and then drag the wiper across the uneven surface.

When you need to replace a new blade, remember to replace it in pairs. If one is worn out, its partner will not lag far behind.

If your vehicle has a rear wiper, please don't forget to check the rear wiper. Although it may not be as useful as the front wiper, it is exposed to various elements and may fail over time.

How to choose windshield wiper blades There are many sizes, even in the same car. Check your car's user manual, measure the blade, or ask for the right blade at an auto parts store. The main brands you may see include Anco, ACDelco, Bosch, Goodyear, Michelin, PIAA, Rain-X and Trico. Prices vary by brand, type and size. For smaller wiper blades, you only need to pay $10 or less, while for larger wiper blades of 24 or 26 inches, you only need to pay $25 or more.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find replacement inserts that only replace rubber into the existing frame. Although inserts can save money, installing them requires clever use of needle-nose pliers. Experience has shown that changing blades can be a frustrating task, and the pain is not worth saving money at all. It is usually more convenient to replace the entire blade assembly-just pull the old wiper off the metal arm and push on the new wiper until it is tightened. (You may need a small screwdriver or hammer to knock off the old blade.) Our research shows that most car owners replace components, not just the blade.

The sales prospects of all wiper blades are very good, and it is difficult to classify these claims and exaggerations. In our tests, we found that some of the best blades are the cheapest. The lesson here: don't equate high prices with high quality.

When it was new, we saw that all tested windshield wipers initially provided very good or outstanding performance, but their performance dropped the fastest after a few months of regular use. Depending on the model, the deterioration on the windshield is manifested as streaks (leaving water lines), dirty water (rather than removing water), or missing wiped areas. Because we found that wiper blades usually provide very good or better performance when they are new, and the performance drops rapidly, most wiper blades should provide adequate performance when replaced after about six months. Therefore, we no longer test them.

When we last tested wipers, we conducted a detailed evaluation of more than a dozen windshield wiper models on cars with 185 employees. At the beginning of the project, about half of the cars needed to be replaced with wipers, indicating that drivers usually did not notice the slow degradation of the wipers and allowed the wipers to work too long. Therefore, our experience shows that in addition to a quick check once a month, it is wise to plan to replace the wipers twice a year. Consider changing with the seasons, changing blades in early winter and summer-these two seasons are particularly challenging for wipers.

The most common design of the traditional wiper blade is that the traditional wiper blade has a replaceable rubber sheet that can be installed in a spring-tensioned frame assembly or bridge. Most blades have a metal spline that supports the rubber element and passes through the ribs at the point of contact. Buy wiper blades on Amazon

Unlike traditional windshield wipers, beam blades do not have an external frame. Instead, they add spring steel to the rubber. Therefore, beam blades have been promoted to provide more uniform pressure on today's curved windshields, thereby providing better wiping performance. Also known as bracketless, beam blades are becoming more and more popular. Generally speaking, the performance of more expensive beam blade wipers tends to be as good or better than traditional blades, but cheaper beam blade models tend to perform worse than traditional blades.

When buying blades, please consider buying from major auto parts chain stores. Usually, the price of the famous brand store will be very favorable, and they are willing to install the wiper for you.

Buy Beam Blades on Amazon

Many car owners replace the wiper blades themselves. Although some car owners may plan very carefully to replace wipers in their garages on a pleasant and leisurely day, there are likely to be many wipers replaced outside, perhaps in the rain or in the dark, and the worn wipers are replaced by the driver. Coupled with the possibility that they have no tools, the embarrassment of leaning over the car to reach at least one wiper arm, and the fear of working on a fragile windshield or easily scratched paint, it is obvious that easy installation and Deletion is important.

There are several different installation methods for wiper blades, and the most popular one is hook installation. The hook-mounted wiper arm is usually easy to remove and install. Insert the arm into the slot on the wiper blade bridge, align the adapter with the hook, and press it into place. Some blades make an inspiring "click" when locked into place.

Most wiper designs allow you to install and remove the blades without using tools, but to remove some blades, you may need to press or pry the tabs or levers with a screwdriver. In these cases, it is best to use a hammer (be careful not to touch the windshield of course) to hit the wiper blades. We found that a hammer is easier and safer to pry with a screwdriver; it eliminates the risk of a stabbed hand, and the wiper will fall off with a single tap.

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