Having a clear windshield is crucial for safe driving. Windshield wipers are an important component that help keep your view of the road ahead free from rain, snow, and debris. While basic wipers may get the job done, upgraded or “fancy” wipers provide improved performance and longevity.
How Windshield Wipers Work
Windshield wipers are a simple yet vital invention. They consist of a metal arm attached to a rubber blade that sweeps back and forth across the windshield. The wiper blade presses against the glass to clear water and dirt. Under the hood, a motor powers the arm to oscillate across the windshield. The wiper fluid spray helps enhance cleaning ability.
On most vehicles, there is a wiper for the driver’s side and a separate one for the passenger side. The speed is adjustable, allowing you to set the rate of wiping based on weather conditions and visibility needs. Most wipers have an intermittent setting that pauses between wipes.
Benefits of Upgraded Windshield Wipers
While basic stock wipers are functional, upgrading provides improvements in several areas:
- Durability – Better materials and engineering result in blades that last longer.
- Performance – Advanced designs improve wiping capability in rain, snow, and on curved windshields.
- Noise – Upgraded wipers are engineered to run quieter.
- Visibility – Innovative shapes and materials provide a cleaner wipe for better sightlines.
Investing in quality wipers means fewer streaks, chatter marks, and blind spots when driving in less than ideal conditions. The result is a safer, clearer view of the road.
Types of Upgraded Windshield Wipers
The wiper market offers many upgrade options from basic blades. Three popular varieties include:
- Beam Blades – Made of a single piece of curved steel that evenly presses the wiper against the windshield. This design closely follows curved glass for reduced streaking.
- Hybrid Blades – Combine frames from multiple materials like steel, plastic, and rubber for optimal windshield contact across the blade length.
- Coated Blades – Have a Teflon or graphite coating to further reduce friction and wiping noise.
Within these styles, upgraded engineering provides features like aerodynamic spoilers to hold the blade firmly to the glass at higher speeds.
Big Brand Names
Well-known wiper manufacturers lead the way in innovative and reliable systems. Some popular premium brands include:
- Bosch – The ICON line features durable beam blades with specialized rubber compounds and weather-resistant properties.
- Rain-X – Latitude wipers have a contoured frame that hugs the curve of modern windshields.
- MICHELIN – Stealth hybrid wipers have a low-profile asymmetric spoiler for a close fit and OE-quality wiping.
- PIAA – Super Silicone blades use silicone rubber for superior wiping in all weather conditions.
Sticking with a reputable brand ensures you get innovative designs made with quality materials and manufacturing.
There’s no question upgraded windshield wipers come at a higher price. Basic wiper blades can range from $10-20 for a set, while premium options run $25-40 or more. Here’s a comparison of approximate costs:
*Per set installed for a typical sedan
The investment pays off when you consider upgraded wipers can last twice as long as cheaper ones. Less frequent replacement means saving money over the long run. It also eliminates the hassle of changing wipers more often.
Professional Installation Recommended
While installing wipers yourself is possible on many vehicles, having them changed by a professional mechanic is recommended. Proper installation ensures the blades make consistent contact across the entire windshield for optimal visibility and performance. A mechanic can:
- Apply the correct tension so the wiper arms have proper pressure on the glass.
- Check for and correct any warped or bent wiper arms.
- Align new blades to evenly distribute force across the windshield.
- Identify any worn wiper components that need replacement.
This precision helps upgraded blades work as designed. The small added cost of professional installation is worth it for longevity and safety.
Signs You Need New Wipers
Here are some signs that indicate your windshield wipers need to be replaced:
- Wipers leave streaks and unwiped areas on the windshield.
- Blades appear cracked, split, warped, or otherwise damaged.
- Wipers chatter and squeak while running.
- The rubber looks shiny, slick, or overly stiff and rigid.
- Arm movement is uneven or wipers skip across the windshield.
Worn blades are ineffective and compromise visibility in wet conditions. If your wipers exhibit any of these issues, new upgraded blades can restore proper performance.
Upgraded windshield wipers provide substantial benefits over basic varieties, even at the higher price point. Improved materials and innovative designs result in blades that wipe more effectively, last longer, and run more quietly across your windshield. This translates into clearer visibility in all weather conditions. Reputable premium brands backed by thoughtful engineering are worth the investment for optimal performance and safety.
With better wiping performance, upgraded wiper blades also offer greater longevity over their cheaper counterparts. The added cost pays off over time by reducing maintenance hassles and expenses. Just be sure to have new premium wiper blades properly installed by a qualified mechanic to get the full benefits.
So are fancy windshield wipers worth it? For critical visibility and safety on the road, the answer is yes. Their smart designs and durable construction provide reliable wiping you can trust in any weather. Just a few extra dollars for upgraded blades is a small price to pay for confidence in your ability to see the road ahead.