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Which Windscreen Wipers are Best for Your Car?

which windscreen wipers are best for your car

Wipers serve an important purpose in the overall function of your car. They clear away water, snow, and debris from your line of vision as you drive. Without wipers, you simply couldn’t see through your windscreen while driving through rain. Not to mention, the action would be extremely dangerous.

While your car’s wipers are only there for a rainy day, they still suffer from wear and tear over time. After a while, the rubber strip across your wipers starts to chip and erode, or the blades start to lose their contact with the windscreen, or perhaps they start creaking, squeaking, chattering or skipping over parts of the screen. These faults decrease the effectiveness of your wipers and are all signs of needing a replacement.

I’m sure many of us have gotten to the stage where turning on your wipers during a light rain does more to obfuscate your vision, rather than improve it. This is not only irritating, but puts you in danger while driving. Further, driving without proper functioning wiper blades is illegal in some states.

Replacing wipers blades is a chore, but it’s one of those things we must do. Although it’s easy to put it off for months on end, you never know when a dangerous storm will strike (especially in Queensland) and leave you visionless. So, this is your official order to get your wipers changed, and if you’re new to this, we’re here to explain how you can get this done.

But Before We Do – Did You know?

Windscreen wipers were first invented in 1903 by a woman named Mary Anderson. She came up with the device as she was frequently travelling to New York City and became frustrated by how cold and stormy weather affected her trips. Before windscreen wipers, drivers had to regularly exit cars to wipe down the windscreen, taking up time on long trips.

After she formulated an illustration of the device, she patented it as a “window cleaning device”. Unfortunately, after conceptualising her wiper blades, Ms Anderson didn’t have much luck obtaining interest from manufacturers in the motor industry; however, she lived long enough to see them become ubiquitous.

mary anderson inventor of wipers

Mary Anderson, the inventor of windscreen wipers.

Wiper Blades – Are They all the Same?

It may surprise you to know that with wiper blades, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Wiper blades are vehicle-specific. In most cases, the driver’s side wipers are the same as the passenger’s side wipers – though in some models, they’re not. If you’re in need of a wiper replacement, it’s important to know which wipers you’ll need. Getting the wrong size can cause early wear and damage. For example, if wipers are too big for your car, you may find that they hang off the windscreen or hit the top windscreen trim when completely vertical. Even worse, the wipers might hit each other, or tangle up, and cause damage to the wiper blade arms, motor, and transmission. So, it’s incredibly important to get the right blades for your car.

Tip: If you’re not sure about the size of your wipers, consult the owner’s manual for your car! Otherwise, you can always talk to an expert or mechanic. 

Windscreen wiper blades vary in two different ways. Firstly, there’s the style of the wiper, and then there’s its size. In regards to size, wiper blades can range from 14–28 inches. Style-wise, windscreen wipers often fall into the following categories:

  • Beam-Style or Flat blades
  • Frame-style or standard/ conventional blades
  • Winter blades

 

As the name suggests, most cars come with the conventional or frame-style blades. The shape of this blade somewhat resembles a coat hanger and the design consists of a frame that holds a rubber refill. These can be replaced, however, for the beam-style or flat blade alternative. Flat blades are increasingly the blade-of-choice for newer vehicle models as they are more discreet and provide a more reliable sweep. Winter blades are reserved for those that live in extremely weather conditions where they might encounter icy conditions. Their heavy-duty design and durability make them superior at sweeping frost and snow.

Care to learn more about your trusty wipers? Read just about everything you need to know about wipers in our recent article!

types of windscreen wipers

This vehicle is fitted with frame-style or conventional windscreen wipers.

To Replace the Entire Blade or Only the Refill?

It should be noted: you don’t always need to place the whole blade! Sometimes, you just need a new wiper refills – the rubber strips that do a majority of the work. There is often a variation in price when it comes to refills and blades (the refills are cheaper), so make sure you know which needs replacement. Firstly, identify whether the contact between your wiper and windscreen is good. It’s useless getting refills if the wiper isn’t pressing down on your windscreen with enough pressure. Weak contact may indicate the entire blades should be replaced.

Budget or High Quality, Which is Best?

Wiper blades come from a range of brands with varying prices, costing between A$20–$400. Typically, the price of the wiper blade correlates to the make of your car. If you’re driving a more luxurious make, your wipers will most likely cost more. On the other hand, car makes that are more accessible and popular will have more affordable wipers.

When it comes to wiper blade brands, most will offer a range to suit each driver’s budget and car. For example, DM wipers prices start from $10.99 (for one) and go up to $373 (for a set). So, regardless of your budget, you will be able to find wipers to suit your needs.

Other popular wiper brands include:

  • SCA
  • Autotecnica
  • Bosch
  • Tridon

 

How Often Should you Replace your Wipers?

According to RainX.com, we should be changing our wiper blades every six months; however, not everyone has the time or money for this. It is difficult to determine a timeframe for replacing your wiper blades as this very much changes from person to person – or should we say car to car?

How soon your wipers need replacement depends on the make and model of your car, how frequently the blades are used, and the weather conditions they encounter. Stay on top of your wipers by checking on them every now and then. Spray your windscreen with water and evaluate how well it is swept away by your wipers. If it’s taking additional swipes to clear the water, it’s a good indication that your wipers (or just their rubber strips) are deteriorating.

windscreen wiper replacement

The two main parts contained in a conventional wiper.

Changing your Wipers – Get a Professional or DIY?

You may be tossing up whether to have a crack at replacing your wipers yourself or hire an expert. There are pros and cons to both, but the most obvious variance is price. However, while getting a professional to change your wiper blades may cost more, you have peace of mind knowing the job is done right. As a bonus, you don’t have to go hunting around for the right model – the specialist will know. To help you mull it over, we’ve jotted down the benefits of each to help you reach a decision.

Get a Pro Do it Yourself
  • More convenient – less work for you!
  • You don’t have to supply the wipers
  • More efficient – the expert has done this before and knows what they’re doing.
  • It’ll be done properly
  • You can often get the pro to do it as an add-on service while they’re servicing another part of your car
  • Requires more effort – buying the blades, finding an instructional guide or video, then actually changing the wipers.
  • Cheaper – if you’re on a budget, this may be a significant factor!

Feeling Wiped Out?

Windscreen wipers are often neglected due to their limited use; however, their deterioration can greatly affect our driving experience. Without proper functioning windscreen wipers, you are not only taking a great risk by driving in rainy weather conditions, but you might also be breaking the law. Replacing your windscreen wipers may not be as much of a hassle as you think it is, especially if you get the right professional. In addition to performing a bunch of other services, Novus Autoglass can replace your wipers for you. Add it on to your next service and get the job done so you can drive away with peace of mind.

Wipers working well but windscreen still not clear enough? This might be a sign of abrasive damage to your windscreen. It is essential for your windscreen to be clean and clear for your driving safety. When yours is in need of a replacement or repair, contact Novus Autoglass to get the job done quickly and professionally.