What Windshield Wipers Do I Need?

May 11th, 2022 by

Windshield wipers play a critical role in safe driving. They clear away rain and snow to give you a better view of the road. You can also use them to clean your windshield of dust and dirt with the washer function. They can even help during insect swarms.

Fortunately, replacing your windshield wipers costs very little and, in most cases, doesn’t require any tools, making it the perfect DIY project for those that consider themselves handy. However, you need to consider a few things before proceeding, such as finding the proper size and style of blade. Here’s everything you need to know about finding the correct windshield wipers for your vehicle.

What Size Wiper Blades Do I Need?

what windshield wipers do I need

Image via Flickr by tinafranklindg

The size of the wiper blade you need depends on your vehicle’s year, make, and model. Choosing the wrong size can have detrimental results. If you select a blade that’s too long, the wipers could hit each other and damage the blades or even the wiper motor. Selecting a wiper that’s too small can leave large portions of your windshield uncleared. As a result, you’ll have reduced visibility in bad weather.

You can check your owner’s manual to find out the correct size for your vehicle. We recommend that you have our technicians replace your wipers when necessary. Our parts department stocks a full selection of Buick and GMC windshield wipers and can replace them while we change your oil or rotate your tires.

Types of Windshield Wipers

Basically, you have three types of windshield wipers. Older vehicles have a metal frame that holds the rubber blade against the windshield. These conventional blades cost the least to purchase but rarely last as long. In addition, the metal frame can rust or become damaged more easily.

Modern vehicles more commonly use a beam design. This design uses composite materials that curve the blade to the contour of your windshield. Beam blades offer better cleaning than conventional blades. Although they may cost more, they last twice as long. These kinds of wipers don’t have metal frames that can get clogged with ice and snow, making them an excellent choice for Ohio winters.

Finally, there’s a hybrid blade that blends the features of a metal frame with a protective rubber shell. The metal frame uses pivot points to press the blade against the windshield, and the shell protects the metal frame from weather and debris. Hybrid windshield wipers usually cost a little less than beam blades.

Where To Buy Windshield Wipers

At #1 Cochran, we love DIY people. If you prefer replacing your wiper blades yourself, we can still help you find the correct ones. If you know the part number, you can conveniently order them online and we’ll have them ready for you to pick up when you arrive. You can also call us or stop by our parts department, and one of our technicians will quickly identify the correct part.

Many auto parts stores stock a wide variety of windshield wipers. However, it can be confusing and difficult to find the perfect fit. Many wiper blades found in these stores are aftermarket products. Aftermarket parts don’t fit like original equipment manufacturer parts because the manufacturers aren’t held to the same standards as OEM part makers. These aftermarket parts often cover dozens of different makes and models, leading to a poor fit. 

If you want the part to fit right and work properly, always try to use OEM parts. At #1 Cochran, we guarantee you’ll get the correct windshield wiper that the manufacturer recommends. As a result, you’ll enjoy a longer-lasting streak-free experience.

When To Replace My Windshield Wipers

No hard time frame exists to cover when it’s time to replace your windshield wipers. Experts recommend replacing them every six months, but that number can fluctuate greatly depending on usage and other factors. For instance, if you live in a hot, dry climate, you may not use your wipers that much, but the rubber will dry out. Eventually, the rubber stiffens and cracks.

On the other hand, you might endure an icy, snowy Youngstown winter. In that case, your windshield wipers work will work harder to move heavier snow and ice. As a result, your wiper blades will wear out sooner. The same can happen if you live through heavy rainy seasons.

Most people wait until the performance begins to fade. Signs to look for include:

Excessive Noise 

The rubber blades press against your windshield and sweep away moisture and debris. This action naturally creates a smooth, soft sound. Any squeaking or squealing noise could indicate that the wipers may need replacing.

Cracked or Damaged Blades

Rubber can dry and crack over time, particularly in hot climates. In some cases, the rubber can split or partially tear. If you see the rubber has torn or degraded, you should replace your windshield wipers immediately.

Wipers Leaving Marks on Glass 

Older wiper blades have a metal frame that can scratch the glass if the rubber wears too low or tears off. Newer windshield wipers have composite frames, but these can still leave marks on your windshield. If your wipers leave even the slightest mark on your glass, you should replace them immediately.

Streaking Occurs

Like any squeegee, your wiper blades should leave a streak-free surface behind. Streaking occurs when the rubber begins to stiffen with age and fails to keep in contact with the windshield. Unfortunately, streaking gets progressively worse and can happen rapidly, so you should replace your windshield wipers when it first begins.

Hopping or Sticking Blades 

If your wiper blades don’t slide smoothly over the glass, you won’t get the clean, streak-free surface you want to see. Several situations can lead to hopping or sticking blades. For example, you might have a bent frame or a compromised blade. Our technicians can quickly diagnose and fix the problem.

#1 Cochran understands the importance of having the right windshield wipers on your car, truck, or SUV. That’s why we stock an expansive inventory of wiper blades. If you have questions about what windshield wipers you need or simply want to replace them, please contact us or schedule service online. Our technicians can quickly identify the correct blades and replace them in minutes.

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