Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

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lightheir
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Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by lightheir » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:43 am

I'm about the change my car windshield wipers.

I noticed there's quite a range of prices and design for ones compatible with my make/model of car, even in a single manufacturer (like 8 different choices from $8 to $35+ for a single wiper.)

Any reason to choose a more expensive wiper? I dont' mind paying more if it's really better, but if not, no.

Goal33
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Goal33 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:46 am

I find the Goodyear ones at Costco to be the highest quality and only slightly more expensive than the cheapest ones you'd find at an automotive store.
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Gufomel
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Gufomel » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:47 am

I'm interested in this as well.

For further differentiation, if you say go better - is it due to it being better quality (e.g. wipes the windows better) or due to it having better durability (e.g. lasts 2x longer than the cheap ones)?

jpelder
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by jpelder » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:51 am

In my experience, it depends on your situation

If you live in a snowy/icy area, and it's winter or about to be winter, the cheap ones are fine. I've noticed that any wipers will tend to get worn quickly when shoving bits of ice off the windshield, or even just when you detach them to scrape.

If it's not snowy, or if it's spring/summer, I usually go with the more expensive ones (bean design, rather than frame design). They seem to last much longer before going streaky as long as they don't get frozen to the windshield. Now that I live in North Carolina (not much ice) instead of Ohio, I'll only change my beam-style wipers once per year, vs. two to three time times per year with the frame style when I lived in Alabama (almost no ice)

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Angelus359 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:57 pm

I actually pretty much have to use the good ones, because the cheap ones have exposed metal, and exposed metal causes serious levels of ice growth on my wiper blades, making them non functional.

Given that, I buy good ones, and keep them for like 4 years.
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Nate79 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:36 pm

So far I've found the mid level to be a good compromise on life and cost. Here in Portland, OR area it rains a lot so they really get a good workout. So far for our Subaru I've found sticking with OEM have the longest life and they are refillable (just change out the blade part). I tried the Costco ones for a few vehicles and they didn't last nearly as long - I was really disappointed in them multiple times. For my GM Sierra truck I just switched from OEM to Bosch Icons and they are doing good so far. I don't think I would pay more than the ~$15 each that they cost. On average my wipers have been last 1-2 years which is fine for me.

CorradoJr
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by CorradoJr » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:46 pm

Get a silicone blend beam-type blade. They never squeak or chatter and last for years before needing replacement.

Rain-X Latitude or similar are about $15-20 each and widely available at Walmart.

Replacing 1x every 2-3 years will be cheaper in the long run vs. a cheaper blade needing replacement every year.

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lthenderson
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:09 pm

I replaced my windshield wipers on our Odyssey last fall with cheap ones and have regretted it ever since. I got them because they seemed very floppy compared to the more expensive models and I thought they would hug the contours of the windshield and do a better job. They have done a horrible job. They don't remove anything stuck on and instead rise over it and then smear everything a good six inches. I think the stiffer blades scrape more and prevent this from happening though perhaps at the cost of not lasting as long. These cheap ones I have still look brand new. I'm going to replace them before I go on any sort of long drive other than across town.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by mmmodem » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:49 pm

I buy whatever's cheap and on sale. Usually that means RainX wipers at Target or Costco. I live in CA so the wipers barely last two years good or bad.

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Kenkat
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Kenkat » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:04 pm

I use Michelin which are a Consumer Reports Best Buy. They are cheap (under $10) and have worked as well or better than more expensive blades $20 and up.

np81
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by np81 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:09 pm

I cannot recommend Bosch Icons enough. They have lasted at least twice as long as the Rain-X Latitudes and Michelin Stealth's that I tried out ever did, and still perform exceptionally well. You get what you pay for in this instance.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Frisco Kid » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:00 pm

=1 for Bosch, do consider wiper blades are a safety item. Having the best visibility is priceless....................

MidMNtom
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by MidMNtom » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:12 pm

kenschmidt wrote:I use Michelin which are a Consumer Reports Best Buy. They are cheap (under $10) and have worked as well or better than more expensive blades $20 and up.


I found this to be true also!

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Frugal Al
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Frugal Al » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:44 am

I think Scotty Kilmer gets windshield wiper advice right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AFdUihWPCk .

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yukonjack
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by yukonjack » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:50 am

np81 wrote:I cannot recommend Bosch Icons enough. They have lasted at least twice as long as the Rain-X Latitudes and Michelin Stealth's that I tried out ever did, and still perform exceptionally well. You get what you pay for in this instance.

+1. This has been my experience over the years. Although after watching the above YouTube video I am tempted to get the silicone variety next time.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by munemaker » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:00 am

kenschmidt wrote:I use Michelin which are a Consumer Reports Best Buy. They are cheap (under $10) and have worked as well or better than more expensive blades $20 and up.


Last set I used were Michelin I-beam type, and they lasted for several years (3?). They were still pretty good when I changed them. I bough Michelin again, wasn't paying attention and ended up with more conventional blade (not the I beam type). I only had them on a couple weeks and am getting squealing under certain conditions. Not all that happy with them.

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tinscale
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by tinscale » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:52 am

I get the $3.88 Supertech blades at Walmart and replace as needed.

Update: Or even better, from Home Depot :beer

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Last edited by tinscale on Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.

staythecourse17
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by staythecourse17 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:25 pm

Are the blade insert refills available from the OEM for your model?

I just did that on my vehicle.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by blaugranamd » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:41 pm

+1 for Rain-X Latitude, have a pair on my Subaru that have been on for about 3 years (and 3 winters) now and still perform well.

I was not impressed with the Michelin Stealth beam wipers when I tried them 5 years ago.
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by hille141 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:47 pm

I'm going on 4+ years on a set of Bosch wipers from Walmart which is a long time for the cold MN winters and hot summers.

They weren't cheap but they are the best set of wiper blades I've ever had. I hate changing them so paying a couple bucks extra is worth it.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Incendiary » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:59 pm

Costco wiper blades are great. Still replace once a year, though.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by tibbitts » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:58 pm

MidMNtom wrote:
kenschmidt wrote:I use Michelin which are a Consumer Reports Best Buy. They are cheap (under $10) and have worked as well or better than more expensive blades $20 and up.


I found this to be true also!

I bought and installed those on my Impala and Focus. They've been excellent on the Impala, very poor (noisy, don't maintain contact) on the Focus.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Novine » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:46 pm

Our local repair shop included new wiper blades with an oil change. I don't know the brand they used but they must have been cheap because they didn't last and did a lousy job. When one of them broke on a particularly cold day, I went to the local auto supply store and picked up the mid-level Rain X as they were discounted so I was able to get them for $10 off the regular price. They work great. We'll see how long they last but performance-wise, the difference between those and the cheap ones that preceded them made paying extra worth the price.

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RetiringSomeday
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by RetiringSomeday » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:46 am

Treating the windshield with rainX periodically will help even substandard blades perform very well.

Takes very little time to do but I still get lazy and don't do it as often as I should probably. I have a buddy who uses the rainX wiper fluid but I haven't tried that myself.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by eog » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:31 am

I would also recommend the OEM refills. I change mine once a year right after winter, they are about 12 bucks a pair. There is also less waste since all you are replacing is the blade and not the whole assembly. I used to get aftermarket stuff all the time but tend to stick to OEM as much as I can these days.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by smackboy1 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:45 am

I don't like to scrimp on essential safety items for our cars. Being able to see clearly in bad weather when visibility and traction is poor is #1.

I have had excellent results with Bosch ICON and Rain-X Latitude wiper blades.

The key to wiper blade longevity is to wipe the windshield and clean off the blades frequently to get rid of abrasive particulate. This is especially true in snowy winter climates. Using a water repellent on the windshield is also highly recommended e.g. Rain-X, Aquapel
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by rec7 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:23 pm

I got some nice one around 15-20 at sams. I love them that was several years ago. They still work good. I think they are worth the extra money.
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by wfrobinette » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:03 pm

staythecourse17 wrote:Are the blade insert refills available from the OEM for your model?

I just did that on my vehicle.


Be careful replacing just the inserts as the blades tend to bend/warp over time

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by N10sive » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:29 pm

I would suggest just getting the OEM refills. In my experience with aftermarket wipers, the OEM seems to peform the best and last the longest. Refills are also very cheap.

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Toons
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Toons » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:54 pm

Bosch or Michelin :happy
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by misterno » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:34 pm

N10sive wrote:I would suggest just getting the OEM refills. In my experience with aftermarket wipers, the OEM seems to peform the best and last the longest. Refills are also very cheap.


where do you buy refills?

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by squirm » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:58 pm

Bosch Icons. They last a long time and work great. Just buy them at Wally World.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by N10sive » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:13 pm

misterno wrote:
N10sive wrote:I would suggest just getting the OEM refills. In my experience with aftermarket wipers, the OEM seems to peform the best and last the longest. Refills are also very cheap.


where do you buy refills?


Maybe online? Otherwise the only place would be the dealer. Most auto parts stores will not carry refills due to the fact they can sell you a brand new wiper blade for $15 dollars.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:24 pm

N10sive wrote:
misterno wrote:
N10sive wrote:I would suggest just getting the OEM refills. In my experience with aftermarket wipers, the OEM seems to peform the best and last the longest. Refills are also very cheap.


where do you buy refills?


Maybe online? Otherwise the only place would be the dealer. Most auto parts stores will not carry refills due to the fact they can sell you a brand new wiper blade for $15 dollars.


Pick them up at the dealer. If you want to save a few bucks look around online for the OEM inserts. Typically there are a few dealers for every brand around the country who sell OEM parts at a discount. You can usually shortcut the search process by going on a brand's enthusiast site and asking for source recommendations.
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JoinToday
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by JoinToday » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:28 pm

Dang!!! Bosch Icons seem popular.

I always went for cheap / whatever was on sale / or Costco. This year I put Bosch Icons on 2 of the cars. Ordered from Amazon, easy to put on. I can't speak about the longevity yet, but they seem to work well.
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by MnD » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:43 pm

Goal33 wrote:I find the Goodyear ones at Costco to be the highest quality and only slightly more expensive than the cheapest ones you'd find at an automotive store.


I put those on 3 very different vehicles with a wide range of sizes and all had a very short life.
We are in Denver and they dried up and started to streak/miss and make noise within a few months.
They didn't seem to hold up to the high UV and dry air.

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iceport
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by iceport » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:06 pm

In 40 years of driving I have never used a better wiper than the Bosch ICON beam-type wiper blades.

— long lasting: > 2 years last time
— aerodynamic design: blades stick to windshield, no lifting even at high speeds
— besides distributing pressure evenly, the beam design eliminates the need for "winter blades"

The beam-type design is the critical feature, whatever brand you choose. I'm currently using a TRICO Flex Beam wiper, because they were deeply discounted at the time. They're just about as good, but I intend to go back to Bosh next time.

I also pair the blades with Rain-X 2-in-1 washer fluid. The combination seems to greatly enhance longevity and helps to prevent streaking.
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Fletch » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:16 pm

I rarely get more than 6 months before the wiper blades begin to streak (very noticable at night) or sometimes might irritatingly chatter. I've tried many brands and price ranges. Oveall, I'd say Bosch Icons and the Volvo OEMs made by Bosch are in a tie for the best. I focus more on the blades not streaking than the cost ... that's just me.
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by ze233 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:31 pm

RetiringSomeday wrote:Treating the windshield with rainX periodically will help even substandard blades perform very well.

Takes very little time to do but I still get lazy and don't do it as often as I should probably. I have a buddy who uses the rainX wiper fluid but I haven't tried that myself.


+1. RainX makes mediocre blades perform like a champ. I spray it on every season. 3 year old goodyear costco blades still work well.

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:04 pm

ze233 wrote:
RetiringSomeday wrote:Treating the windshield with rainX periodically will help even substandard blades perform very well.

Takes very little time to do but I still get lazy and don't do it as often as I should probably. I have a buddy who uses the rainX wiper fluid but I haven't tried that myself.


+1. RainX makes mediocre blades perform like a champ. I spray it on every season. 3 year old goodyear costco blades still work well.


Be careful with Rain-X if you don't like a streaky windshield. I put it on one car and regretted the decision until the day I replaced the windshield.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by Jazztonight » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:04 pm

I bought a pair of Goodyear blades at Costco, and my friend and I struggled to put them on my Camry. Was it me, or us? We are both pretty handy and mechanically savvy. For some reason, these were just a bear.

I returned them to Costco, pulled into a Firestone, and used a coupon I downloaded to get new blades. They work great. Can't remember the brand or what they cost, and don't really care. When I need new blades, that's where I plan to get 'em.
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by smackboy1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:44 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:Be careful with Rain-X if you don't like a streaky windshield. I put it on one car and regretted the decision until the day I replaced the windshield.


That is one annoying thing about Rain-X. The windshield streaks when the Rain-X wears off. The answer is regular reapplication of Rain-X. If the streaking is really bad, clean everything off the windshield (I use dishwashing detergent or rubbing alcohol), dry it, and then reapply Rain-X.
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Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:52 pm

smackboy1 wrote:
FrugalInvestor wrote:Be careful with Rain-X if you don't like a streaky windshield. I put it on one car and regretted the decision until the day I replaced the windshield.


That is one annoying thing about Rain-X. The windshield streaks when the Rain-X wears off. The answer is regular reapplication of Rain-X. If the streaking is really bad, clean everything off the windshield (I use dishwashing detergent or rubbing alcohol), dry it, and then reapply Rain-X.


I tried everything (detergents, chemicals, etc.) and never could get rid of it completely....other than changing the windshield.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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