Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cheap Wiper Blades - the Best Kind

Like toothbrushes, manufacturers of wiper blades have offered us a staggering array of high performance models at pretty staggering prices.  But for the most part, the standard old-fashioned cheap kind work just as well.

Here in Newfoundland, they have three things - wind, water, and rock.  And when it rains, the wipers come on.  And even though I have intermittent wipers with rain sensor technology, and even though I replaced the blades with special silicon high-tech edge plastic spring do-hickey hi-tech wipers, when the go across the windshield, they go "Screetch, screetch, screetch!"

These blades are only a year old, but off to Wal-Mart we go for replacements.  The assortment is staggering.  Rain-X special blades ($28 each) or triple-edge, high-tech bending edge, silicon edge, or whatever, you can get many makes, models, and types to choose from.

But, after years of seeking out the "perfect" wiper blade, and coming up short every time, I settle for the generic $13 wiper blade that looks like the one that came off my 1965 Chevy.

And you know what? It works better than the "high-tech" models I put on 12 months ago.

Manufacturers know that we want to 'fix' things better than they were before, and so they offer the siren song of the "upgrade" to DIY home mechanics.  I'll fix those wiper blades good this time, for sure!

But the reality is, they are a wear item, and if you use them a lot, they wear out, no matter what you do, and they go "screetch, screetch, screetch!" and the only thing you can do is replace them.

With the cheap kind....

UPDATE 2019:  As part of the "CPO" package on our used pickup truck, the dealer put on new wiper blades - these fancy smart-looking modern kind.  They work poorly, screeching and skipping.   Back to Wal-Mart for the old-fashioned cheap kind!