Windshield s are your ultimate protection when in a vehicle. Because of this, your windshield wipers are your ultimate defense and protection for your windshield. They’re not the most exciting thing and definitely not the top thing on people’s minds when they think of their vehicles! However, they are vitally important.
Did you know 1 in 5 vehicles have deficient windshield wipers or washing systems? In 2018, there were 227.5 million licensed drivers in the United States, which means there are approximately 45.5 million drivers with deficient wiper systems. That is dangerous! Let’s talk about everything you’ve ever wanted to know about windshield wipers.
Almost all motorized vehicles have windshield wipers – from water crafts with cabins to trains to automotive vehicles. Windshield wipers on vehicles haven’t always been the motorized we know now. American inventor Mary Anderson introduced the first windshield wiper in 1903, with a lever you manually push to push away water, ice, snow or debris.
The wipers we know and love today, the ones that move back and forth at different speeds depending on the weather and the needs of the driver, were created in 1923 by Raymond Anderson. Most vehicles made after 1969 have adjustable speeds on their windshield wipes.
Traditional Frame Style – These are the most common type of windshield wipers. These consist of a metal framework that is used as a mount for the actual wiper and rubber, sometimes specialized, to clear away ice, snow, precipitation, or debris. This is the most affordable, available, and used style of wiper.
Winter Wipers – Winter wipers have a special rubber on them to prevent ice and snow build up on the wiper. These are your best options if you get hit hard with winter storms. Avoid using these wipers all year round because they are heavier than normal ones and cause pressure on the windshield motors. The right ones may take some hit and miss tries before you find the one you personally prefer. Keep trying until you find your perfect fit..
Premium Beam Style Wipers – These style of wipers have a fancy, sleeker appearance than a traditional frame style wiper. These are typically more expensive than traditional frame style, as well. Premium beam style wipers are usually a one style piece design. A spring-steel band allows the wiper to hold on to the curvature of the windshield. Some premium wipers incorporate silicone and double-rubber technology to better clear away precipitation.
There are so many different brands and different kinds of windshield wipers out there that it can be a bit overwhelming to buy new windshield wiper blades. You can breathe easy though, cause we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that hard! Look at your vehicle’s owner manual to see what type are recommended for your vehicle. You can also check on a website like Advance Auto Parts for personalized recommendations. Remember that your left and right windshield wiper blades may be different lengths.
It is important that you replace your windshield wipers every 6-12 months and replace both at the same time every time. However, if you notice your wipers are not cleaning or removing debris effectively, try running a wet cloth over them to remove any debris. If that doesn’t help, change them as soon as possible.
Changing your windshield wipers yourself can be overwhelming, but it also doesn’t have to be because it is really not hard. Sometimes when you purchase new wipers at an automotive store, the attendant will be happy to come out and change them for you. If not, here is how to change your windshield wipers on your own.
Remove the old ones. Turn on your car and your wiper blades. Turn off your car when the blades are in the middle of the wiper cycle. Lift the wiper arm off the windshield. To remove the old wiper blades from a J-hook arm, press the button on the connection adapter clip and pull the wiper blade out of the open end of the “J” on the end of the wiper arm until free. To remove the old wiper blades from a pin arm, use a small screwdriver to separate the wiper blade from the adapter clip. Because when the wipers are off, the blades can be dangerous. To be safe, place the metal arms back against the windshield until you’re ready to put on the new wipers. To be extra safe, place a cloth between the wiper and the windshield.
The three most common wiper arm styles are the side post, J hook and bayonet. These common style blades rely on part of the wiper to lock into place, making for simple removal and installation. However, some different wipers will need a specific wiper blade, and will require the use of a screwdriver for removal.
Installation of a new windshield wiper is different based on the type of windshield wiper you’re using, but for most part, there is a pretty standard procedure. Start with taking the new wiper, and inserting the arm through the appropriate hole. This should push the actual wiper up a little bit. To determine which hole it goes through, adjust the hinge to be perpendicular to the wiper and line it up so that the arm’s hook will go over the hinge. Once the arm is inside the hole, just line the hook over the hinge and push them together. You’ll hear and feel a click when it’s snapped in. Lower the arm and check the arm’s angle. The rule of thumb is that the blade is 90 degrees to the glass mid-swipe. Repeat on the other side.
When finished, start your ignition and test your new windshield wipers out by wetting your windshield with washer fluid. You should have a non streaky finish. If not, make sure to wipe the blades down with rubbing alcohol or check for proper installation.
Voila! You have new windshield wipers. Your wipers are important to maintain your auto glass, and as always, we’re here to help if you need anything. Contact us at +1 (469) 494-3807 or online to get a free quote on your auto glass today.