Windshield wiper blades are usually composed of simple rubber only, so just imagine how long they can take continuous up and down motions as well as changing weather conditions. Since they are very fragile compared to other automobile components, you should know how to install wiper blades.
How to Choose Wiper Blades
Before learning how to install wiper blades, you should know how to choose replacements first. What should you consider before purchasing new wiper blades? Aside from size which you can easily get from your owner’s manual, you must also decide about the type of blades your car really needs. Here are major types of wiper blades that are often compared with one another:
Known as the most common type of wiper blade, the conventional or standard ones are practical but they do have flaws. In fact, the discovery of beam blades is rooted in the disadvantages of using conventional types.
Standard blades have a lot going on with their components moving at the same time. If there are more components used, then there is a higher risk of damage. Additionally, conventional blades have their frames exposed which results in clogs, wind-lift, and a distracting view on the windshield. Also, they have limited pressure points which may lead to uneven contact with the windshield’s surface, resulting to streaks and scratches. Lastly, they do not contribute much to the car’s overall appearance.They are too simple to look at.
However, conventional wiper blades are the cheapest options. Since blades are naturally fragile, should you really invest in something that is not even guaranteed to last for years? Let’s face it, beam blades are much more expensive but they do not ensure years of service. Before you even start doubting our second option, find out the in-demand features of beam blades first.
Even though conventional wiper blades are undoubtedly the most common choices for most cars, beam blades are gradually taking the spotlight because of their modern features.
Also known as frameless, spineless, bracketless or flat wipers, beam blades were originally made for newer vehicles like Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz in the year 2000. Since their design perfectly represents automotive innovation, they definitely have captured the attention of car owners and enthusiasts.
Beam blades have less moving components, leading to a lower risk of breakage. Next, they have low-profile frames. If the frames are more hidden than the standard look, ice and snow will not easily clog them. In addition, they provide a clearer view of your windshield. More importantly, they have fewer chances of catching wind because of their built-in wind spoiler. Wind-lift is a safety hazard since it decreases contact, leading to an ineffective cleaning of the windshield. Meanwhile, beam blades have unlimited pressure points which result in smoother contact, hence a cleaner view. Finally, the last advantage revolves around aesthetics. Beam blades have an edgy style, perfect for today’s standards of what a modern car should look like.
Summer vs. Winter Blades
Winter blades have their own category. However, what makes them perfect for ice and snow? On the other hand, do cars really need special blades just to survive heat and rain during summer?
Let’s start with the notion that there is such thing as special wiper blades for summer. Actually, the summer blade is just a general representation of the features ideal for a hot season. For example, in case it rains, conventional blades are useful because of their multiple moving components, comprising a lattice framework. This type of framework prioritizes multiple pivot points and bars for flexibility in wiping rain off the windshield. It makes it easier for you to wipe bigger areas.
However, summer blades may also refer to beam blades. Since beam blades are thinner and more lightweight, they reduce friction. Intense friction is the last thing you need during hot days.
Now, it is time to discuss winter wiper blades. These blades use flexible, soft synthetic rubber to withstand freezing temperatures. Their materials are usually Teflon and silicone since they can keep the blades from getting hard. Regarding the winter blades’ frame, it is really sturdy because it only uses one moving part. The sturdiness aims for movement during blizzards while the single moving component prevents clogs. Aside from the usage of only one moving component to avoid clogs, winter blades also have a protective armor or shield.
How to Install Wiper Blades
After reading your owner’s manual for the measurement and deciding on the ideal type for your vehicle, you are finally ready to purchase wiper blades with confidence. Of course, you should also know how to install wiper blades to get the most out of your independence on windshield maintenance. The following are steps on how to install wiper blades for most types of cars:
Raise the wiper arm.
To successfully install wiper blades, you should raise their metal arms to avoid hitting the windshield during installation. Make sure that the arm is steady. You should do this step carefully because a spring-loaded arm can snap back. We do not want you to break your windshield just to install new blades.
Remove the old blade.
Obviously, in order to learn how to install wiper blades, you should also know how to remove old ones. Simply unhook the old blade after pressing the stopper. The stopper is a small component located at the intersection where the arm meets the blade. It is usually made of plastic.
If your blades use pins instead of a stopper, push the tab up or use a screwdriver. Then, pull the blade away from the arm. It should go sideways.
Install the new blade.
To install the replacement blade, just reverse the whole process. Just make sure to secure the blade either by snapping the hook into place or closing the tab.
Some wipers easily snap back to the windshield, so you might need to do the process single-handedly because your other hand should hold the wiper from start to finish. To protect your windshield in case you accidentally let go of the wiper, fold a towel and place it on the windshield.
One of the easiest things to learn about car maintenance is knowing how to install wiper blades. It is just a matter of reversing the removal process.
There are adorable and useful accessories designed for windshields. Enjoy our list of the best windshield sunshades for cars!