Windshield wipers are one of the least used components of your car since you’ll look for their service if it is raining or there is a snowstorm outside.
You also turn on the wipers if the visibility through the windshield has decreased.
In a nutshell, though not needed regularly, windshield wipers hold an excellent value for your car and your life when you’ve to drive in harsh conditions as above.
Now, like other components of your car, windshield wipers too come with a limited warranty and may not work correctly after that.
In that case, you will have to install the new wipers, and with so many options and sizes of wipers to choose from, you’ll find yourself in some dilemma while choosing an ideal wiper size & type for your car.
It’s important because you can’t choose wiper sizes or types using the one-size-fits-all approach.
Therefore, here’s an ideal windshield wipers size and type guide to help you with your purchase.
What Size Windshield Wipers Do I Need?
As said above, you can’t use the one-size-fits-all approach while purchasing the windshield wipers, as two critical factors usually regulate their size.
First, the car’s windshield size, and second, the motor that turns on the wipers.
Besides, it would help if you also prepared yourself to encounter a wide variety of wipers categorized on the styles, variations, and vehicle-specific wipers.
Ways to determine which wiper size is suitable for your car:
Peek into the car’s owner manual:
Not just the wiper size, you can get too much information from your car’s owner manual.
However, here you will use it for the wiper size purpose.
Since wiper sizes are specific to the car’s model, the manual will include sufficient information.
Head to the nearby auto shop:
If you have misplaced your owner’s manual or are outside with the car, you can also head to any nearby auto shop and use their wiper size scale to know which size wiper will fit in your car.
Pick up the measuring tape:
Yes, you can also measure the windshield wiper size by using a regular measuring tape.
To do so, lift the blade, press it to straighten it since it is usually curved, and measure the end-to-end length in inches using the tape.
Note that in some models, the wiper sizes on the driver side and passenger side may mismatch. Hence, it’s advisable to measure each of the wiper’s sizes.
Use any online wiper size finding tool:
As technology is advancing, you now have online tools to measure the windshield wiper size.
You will have to provide certain information like the car’s year, make, and model name based on which that tool will present you the details of the most suitable blade for your car.
If you are using an advanced tool, you will also get additional details like the best wiper design and type for your car.
So, these are the best ways to decipher the most suitable windshield wiper size and other details.
Types Of Windshield Wipers
Car experts suggest replacing your windshield wipers once a year.
Hence, if you are looking forward to purchasing one, here are the best and in-demand types of wipers you can consider.
These frame-style wipers are the most common windshield wipers which you are more likely to have at the moment.
Most carmakers install these wipers in their models.
The reason being their low cost, long-life, and ability to maintain clear visibility through the windshield no matter how challenging the situation is outside.
These wipers have two other categories.
The first one with halogen-hardened rubber and the second one with rubber squeezes. Out of these two, always go with the former type for better durability and life.
The main disadvantage of the frame-style wipers is the usage of multiple parts.
Beam-style windshield wipers
The beam-style windshield wipers are the second-best category of wipers that attract most customers.
These wipers carry a completely different design and, unlike the frame-style wipers, are minimal.
Again, you get to choose from the two popular categories of beam-style wipers – one made out of silicone and the other from double rubber.
The beam-style wipers crafted from silicone can last as long as twice the conventional frame-style wipers with rubber.
However, the key disadvantage of beam-style wipers is their high cost. These are possibly the costliest wipers on this list.
Still, it would help if you gave these wipers a try as they can last for long.
Winter wiper blades
As the name suggests, these blades are made explicitly for places that encounter harsh winter months.
Regular wipers’ blades sometimes fail to clear the ice or snow off the windshield as they will generally stick around the blades.
You can notice this by turning on the wiper after an overnight snowstorm!
These special winter wiper blades carry an additional external rubber shell. This shell will keep the snow or ice off the main wiper blades, thus assisting them in their job.
A winter wiper is usually inexpensive.
Heated wiper blades
Another wiper option for places that welcome shallow temperatures or chilling frigid conditions is the heated wiper blade. Their work is simple.
The blades heat up to wipe any ice or frost off the windshield surface as the temperature goes too low.
Note that the heated wiper blades automatically detect freezing temperatures and heat themselves.
Plus, such wipers are not readily available and may optimally work as required. Hence, heated wiper blades aren’t available; there is no harm in using the winter wiper blades.
Wiper blades with scrubbers
If your main aim is to have a clear windshield in all weather conditions, don’t look beyond the wiper blades with scrubbers.
These wipers resemble your regular wipers but with an additional attachment called scrubbers.
These scrubbers help scrub off the visible spots from the windshield to provide you a much clearer vision.
Hence, if you generally drive through sand or dirt, these wipers are the most suitable for you.
Depending upon your budget, you can purchase any premium wiper with scrubbers for a better life.
So, these are the top 5 types of windshield wipers.
Do wiper blades fit all cars?
No, wipers are not universal, i.e., you can’t purchase any random wiper for your car.
For example, if you install larger wipers, they will either hang off the windshield or hit the windshield’s top trim in the vertical position.
Oversized wipers can also hit each other while moving, damaging each other, the wiper motor, or the transmission.
On the other hand, choosing a smaller wiper will leave critical viewing areas of the windshield unclear, endangering the occupants’ lives.
Additionally, a smaller wiper will also wear out faster. Hence, utilize any of the above-listed methods to determine the correct size of wipers for your car.
Do windshield wipers have to be different sizes?
Yes, windshield wipers need to have different sizes. On the front windshield, there are usually two wipers, one each for the driver and co-passenger.
The one meant for the driver usually sits near the side edge of the windshield, and here’s why.
The wipers’ identical length will lead to the overlapping of the wipers during motion, considering the relative position of the wipers on the windshield.
It will neglect the top center and top corners of the windshield.
Hence, both the wipers are of different lengths and positioned uniquely to cover the top windshield portion in one go.
Windshield wipers usually last for six months to a year, depending upon various factors.
If not replaced by this period, you will experience various issues with the wiper blades like uneven cleaning, scratches on the windshield, squeaking sound as the wipers roll over, and much more.
It will affect the visibility through the windshield and thus poses a significant threat to the driver and co-passengers.
Hence, it’s good to have the new set of wipers handy to replace the old ones as and when required.
While purchasing the new set, remember to check the size of the wipers as the wrong size can lead to several other problems, as discussed above.
With technological advancements, you can choose your favorite wiper from the various categories that likewise fulfill specific functions apart from regular cleaning.