Winter wiper blades are inexpensive, and should be put on cars before cold, snowy weather moves in. The winter blades are designed specifically for harsher conditions. They are able to move ice and snow more easily, making it safer for you to drive in winter weather. There are several types of winter blades available. Here’s a quick look at a few of them and the differences and advantages to each.
A silicone blade will use a wiping surface made of silicone rather than rubber. Silicone can withstand colder temperatures without freezing and cracking as rubber can. The silicone surface will provide a clearer field of vision during times of freezing rain or snow. They also last much longer than rubber blades, and many are available with lifetime guarantees. You may pay extra out of pocket when you purchase these, but you’ll save money in the long run. At the end of the season you can remove them and store them for use again the next year.
Vibrating Wiper Blades
Vibrating wiper blades, or shaker blades, use a vibrating motion while wiping the vision area. This helps to remove snow or ice that can accumulate under the blade. When snow or ice builds up on the blade, the vision field can become obscured, making driving more dangerous. These can be used at any time of the year as well to clear leaves and other debris that can become lodged under the blade. These aren’t considered disposable. Some models offer replacement rubber strips instead of full blade replacement. These will cost more than standard blades, and you may end up needing to pay for installation as well. If you choose to only use these during the winter, you may also have to pay to have them removed for storage.
Heated wiper blades are becoming more popular as a standard feature on new vehicles. These include a heating element inside the rubber strip of the blade. This is nice to melt ice or snow as it builds up. The driver is able to turn the heater on and off as needed. This isn’t typically going to be easy to install, and will need to be done professionally because of the wiring involved. However, many people still opt for these since it makes it much easier to defrost a window in on a cold morning and makes it safer for driving in sleet and snow.
You will get the most out of your winter blades with some basic maintenance. Use a washer solution that will not freeze. This is easy to find, most big box retailers and auto parts stores will carry these solutions. Keep your blades clean, and always return them to the off position before turning off the car. This will help if they become frozen overnight, as you won’t burn out the motor in the morning while trying to heat up your vehicle.