Different Types of Winter Wiper Blades Available

Winter wiper blades are inexpensive, and should be put on cars before cold, snowy weather moves in. The winter blades are designed specifically for harsher conditions. They are able to move ice and snow more easily, making it safer for you to drive in winter weather. There are several types of winter blades available. Here’s a quick look at a few of them and the differences and advantages to each.

Silicone Blades

A silicone blade will use a wiping surface made of silicone rather than rubber. Silicone can withstand colder temperatures without freezing and cracking as rubber can. The silicone surface will provide a clearer field of vision during times of freezing rain or snow. They also last much longer than rubber blades, and many are available with lifetime guarantees. You may pay extra out of pocket when you purchase these, but you’ll save money in the long run. At the end of the season you can remove them and store them for use again the next year.

Vibrating Wiper Blades

Vibrating wiper blades, or shaker blades, use a vibrating motion while wiping the vision area. This helps to remove snow or ice that can accumulate under the blade. When snow or ice builds up on the blade, the vision field can become obscured, making driving more dangerous. These can be used at any time of the year as well to clear leaves and other debris that can become lodged under the blade. These aren’t considered disposable. Some models offer replacement rubber strips instead of full blade replacement. These will cost more than standard blades, and you may end up needing to pay for installation as well. If you choose to only use these during the winter, you may also have to pay to have them removed for storage.

Heated Blades

Heated wiper blades are becoming more popular as a standard feature on new vehicles. These include a heating element inside the rubber strip of the blade. This is nice to melt ice or snow as it builds up. The driver is able to turn the heater on and off as needed. This isn’t typically going to be easy to install, and will need to be done professionally because of the wiring involved. However, many people still opt for these since it makes it much easier to defrost a window in on a cold morning and makes it safer for driving in sleet and snow.

Maintenance

You will get the most out of your winter blades with some basic maintenance. Use a washer solution that will not freeze. This is easy to find, most big box retailers and auto parts stores will carry these solutions. Keep your blades clean, and always return them to the off position before turning off the car. This will help if they become frozen overnight, as you won’t burn out the motor in the morning while trying to heat up your vehicle.

Windshield Wiper Blades in Good Condition are Important to Your Safety

Tell me how your windshield wiper blades are and I will tell you the condition of your car. Worn out wiper blades are symptoms of neglected vehicle maintenance that put drivers and passengers at serious risk during rainy or snowy periods.

Rainy or snowy weather also affects driver visibility and control of the vehicle. Because 90 percent of driving decisions depend on good vision, a clean windshield is imperative. Streaking and smearing impair vision and are caused by worn windshield blades. One out of every five vehicles that goes through an inspection has worn wiper blades.

Replacement wiper blades are inexpensive and they are easy to change. Why put it off until there’s a downpour or a major snowfall and your blades are chattering and smearing the windshield?

Do you need different windshield wiper blades for the winter period ?

We all tend to run to the auto parts store when winter is approaching, to get winter replacement wiper blades. Usually, winter blades are covered with a rubber membrane which are supposed to better fight against icing. However, before you make the purchase you should carefully check them. Several types of winter blades listed in catalogs of aftermarket parts or even those recommended by car manufacturers are not that effective. Several models are shorter than the “summer version” and do not cover enough windshield surface. Others are long enough but do not have the “banana” shape allowing for proper contact on the windshield over the full length. In either case this results in reduced visibility for the driver.

Windshield wiper blades should be checked regularly to ensure they offer maximum performance. If you need to replace them do not compromise on the quality and ensure they provide good coverage and adherence to the windhield. If you are unsure if the model you are considering meets those criteria ask the auto parts store about their return/credit policy. Once tested, you should be allowed to return them if the results are not conclusive.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your local mechanic for some sound advice. They constantly replace wiper blades on a wide range of car models and they should be able to tell you about the do’s and don’t for your particular vehicle.

Replacing windshield wiper blades should be simple process ….. but don’t jump the gun and make a quick desision. You may regret it next time you drive rainy or snowy weather.

Copyright 2005 Marc Deschamps