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Windshield Wiper Blades

Windshield wiper blades -- those rubber wipers that clean your windshield -- are an important safety feature because they can help you see in a rain or snow storm. But old wipers, leaving drops, streaks, and blurs on your window, can be a real safety hazard, particularly at night. When should you change them and to which wipers?

Time to Change

The rubber blades of the wipers wear out from use and from exposure to the elements. The sun, in particular, causes the rubber to harden and crack; when it stiffens, the rubber has a harder time conforming to the shape of the windshield, thereby causing streaks.

Selecting New Blades

The simplest approach is to buy the entire wiper arm. Simplest because you walk into an car dealer, auto supply store, or local discount store (Walmart, etc.). Each wiper manufacturer has a book that you can use to find the right blade to fit your make and year car. Removing the old blade and attaching the new one is a simple operation (although there is a trick to it, so dispose of the instructions and have someone show you how to do it the first time).

A cheaper approach (save as much as half or more) is to replace the rubber wiper. The only trick here is that you need to buy replacements made by the maker of the original wiper arm (a lot like razors and razor blades), so it limits your options.

Which Ones

There is a wide range of blades to choose from. The winter style have a protective boot on them to keep snow and ice out. A nice thing if your wipers are prone to being frozen in snow or ice. Other than that, you are pretty much on your own and at the mercy of the claims of the manufacturers.
Where to Shop

WIPER BLADES from JC Whitney

PartsAmerica- The on-line presence for two of the largest auto part retailers in America: CSK Auto (Checker, Schucks and Kragen) and Advance Auto Parts. PartsAmerica provides quick and easy access to nearly $1.5B in inventory and 3,000 locations in all 50 states. Search their real-time inventory, purchase items on-line, pick up and return at a local store, or have products delivered to their home or business.
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