The wiper blade is an important part of your car, and it is often overlooked before the MoT test. In any weather, they must be dragged through the glass in front of your eyes thousands of times every year to remove bugs in summer and snow in winter. However, they degrade so slowly that when they become noisy and start smearing, we usually don't notice.
Changing them can be a revelation to make your vision clearer and reduce irritating tremors. Most modern cars use "aviation" blades, which are better fixed to the screen in speed and should provide a more even wipe. If you are not sure how they work in your car, they can easily adapt to you with the help of YouTube videos. But, which alternative should you choose from the dizzying array of offerings? We tested some of the most popular brands to find out.
We installed a 22-inch (550 mm) pneumatic blade wiper on the Land Rover Discovery 4, which uses a common U-shaped hook accessory. We looked for blades that wiped most efficiently under all conditions, so we tried them with a cleaning nozzle under dry conditions, and then simulated different rain rates using hoses.
We also checked for any tremors or other noises, and tested the increase in highway speed. Finally, we considered the convenience and value of installation. Unless otherwise stated, all prices are from online sources and apply to a pair of blades.
Bosch Aerotwins is still our favorite wiper. The quality and performance are very good, and the price is now lower. They may be several pounds more expensive than the other products here, but you will never regret spending some extra money because they are well made, easy to install, quiet to use, and have excellent wiping performance. Aerowipers and innovative Michelin compete for second place, so it comes down to the price to divide them-and the lower-priced Aerowipers wins.
If budget is your main concern, Wipacs is worth mentioning; three wipers are less than £16, which is great value for money.
This is the fifth consecutive win for Bosch Aerotwin wipers; none of their competitors can beat them, and since our last test, they have also reduced their prices to less than £20.
In this test, the locking devices feel safer than others, and they are also the quietest when wiping. In all conditions, they effortlessly removed the water from our screen without leaving smudges, while remaining whistle-free and firmly fixed on the screen on the highway. We think they are worth the money compared to the cheaper products here.
Aerowipers and the third-ranked Michelin were a close match, but the lower prices of these "own brand" blades from wiperblades.co.uk won.
There is no need to worry that the quality of these devices will be lower than that of more well-known brand wipers, because they can clear our screens as effectively and quietly as anything other than Best Buy Bosch. The QR code on the package links to a video tutorial on how to install them, and they are firmly inserted into the arm of our Land Rover. Our only real complaint is that the connector looks a bit sloppy and unfinished after installation.
Buy now from wiperblades.co.uk
Michelin is not a one-piece flat blade for every competitor, but uses old-fashioned bridge wipers to help it wrap the curved screen, but enclose it in a soft rubber shell for better aerodynamics and less wind noise. This may look quite old, but the blade does a good job of cleaning up the water and is quiet. However, they do look a little chunky when installed.
The box has six accessories suitable for various cars, and the blade is easy to insert directly into our hook arm. But they don't feel as safe as Bosch or Aerowiper, and there is no cover on the connector, and it looks like a part has fallen off.
Halfords claims that its new Advanced blade is a revolution in wiping the world. Instead of using vulcanized rubber like almost all other blades on the market, they use silicone. This material has been tried in wipers before, but it is less resilient to extreme temperatures. However, Halfords stated that the new blade has been tested 500,000 cycles to ensure durability.
The advantage of silicone is that it should be coated with a waterproof coating on the windshield every time it is wiped, so that the water droplets are like water droplets on freshly waxed paint. We were worried that this coating would produce haze, but in fact, there was no obvious difference or beading effect.
There is no denying the value of these blades; they are the cheapest here, and the price includes replacement of the rear windshield wiper.
They are the closest to the original blades on our Land Rover, with a retaining clip to hold them in place, and the design is the same. But the plastic feels fragile, and the blade will leave slight stains in the wettest conditions. They are also noisier and produce a clearer click when the wiper changes direction. However, if your budget is tight, their prices are not bad.
Although there is a well-known brand name on the box, these wipers are the cheapest in our tests, at less than £15 for a pair. They look good too, but once we start to stimulate them, they look like products produced on a budget, with the blades of plastic rather than rubber.
After installation, the problem continued, and there was no double lock on the accessory to fix the wiper to the arm. This budget sensation seems to translate into wiping performance, because the blade is smudged and a small piece in front of the driver's eyes is not wiped.
These unbranded blades are one of the most popular choices on Amazon and are described as "a direct replacement for premium OE", so we would love to try them. Compared to the competitors here, their price is about £20, but this does include the rear wiper.
However, they don't feel like a quality product, which is loose in a box with poorly assembled parts. After reassembly, they are indeed similar to the original Land Rover wipers, with a locking tab on the arm. Their wipe performance is better than Lucas's, but the driver's side blade hits the car body at the top of each wipe, causing an audible dull sound. Irritating.
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