Quality windshield wipers are important in any weather, but especially in rain and snow, where water can build up and obscure your view. It’s time to get new wiper blades when you notice a blur or smudge on the windshield after each pass.
How big must wiper blades be?
Most professionals agree that the safest way to keep driving conditions is to size your blade as close to the manufacturer’s guidelines as feasible. Wiper blades come in a variety of sizes, each optimized to cover a specific percentage of your windshield and maintain visibility in inclement weather. While wiper blades can be easily and cheaply replaced on most vehicles, there are a plethora of options to consider when shopping for replacements due to the wide variety of sizes available. When you know how long your wiper blades need to be, you can either buy wipers made specifically for your car or discover universal wipers that are the right size.
Why do wiper blades have different sizes?
As a safety precaution, the windshield on the driver’s side is designed to be wider and the wiper blade size must be longer than those on the passenger side. If you choose a blade that is too short, big sections of the windshield will remain untouched, reducing your field of vision. Overly long blades damage the blade mechanism and collide with one another.
Wiper blade lengths change depending on where the wiper arms are located. If the windshield wipers were of similar size and centered on the windshield, they would cover too much ground at the expense of the top center and top corners.
How to find the exact wiper blade size?
Remove your wipers and check for a print or stamp that shows the size; most wiper blades will have this information imprinted on them. If your present wiper blades don’t have any marks, you can measure their length with a tape measure. The appropriate dimensions for windshield wipers, including those for the back blade, are often listed in the vehicle’s manual.
Types of wiper blades:
There are three types of wiper blades:
- Conventional frame wiper blades with metal frames and rubber elements. These rubber blades are inexpensive, durable, and weatherproof.
- Modern beam wiper blades have curved frameless shapes, they are durable, weatherproof, and have high wipe performance beam blades. These have assist characteristics that make them more expensive than ordinary rubber blades.
- Hybrid wiper blades are available with combined beam and standard blade strengths. They also prevent clogging with an aerodynamic design and are weatherproof.