Windshield wiper blades are one of those things you forget about until it’s raining or snowing out. Hurricane season lasts a long time and you don’t want to wait until the bad weather is upon us to worry about your ability to see the road clearly. At those times, as your blades leave streaks across your windshield reducing your visibility, you remember it’s time to replace them. But when you arrive at the auto store, you see shelves of wiper blades: conventional, beam, hybrid, rubber, and silicone. Which is best for your car? And how do you attach new wiper blades? Knowing how to change windshield wipers doesn’t need to be your area of expertise; you can leave it to Xpress Lube of Kernersville.
We’re a full-service automotive center offering repair and maintenance for your vehicle. Employing 4 ASE-certified mechanics and 5 technicians with NC inspection certifications we perform over 30 common car repairs. Tune-ups, brakes, transmissions, and wheel alignments are just some of the services we offer. Remember, you can come in for your annual NC inspection and get an oil change at the same time. At that time, they also check your washer fluid and other fluids, so you can accomplish a lot with one visit! Furthermore, we have a state-of-the-art car wash on the premises too.
Changing Your Wipers Regularly Is Very Important
Inclement weather can make driving difficult with poor visibility. In North Carolina, we can experience hurricanes, torrential downpours, freezing rain, and snow. For your driving safety, you need correctly installed and properly working windshield wipers.
Since we only use wiper blades when the weather is bad, we tend to forget about our windshield wipers. Yet, many experts recommend replacing your old windshield wiper blades every six months. Moreover, if you notice a difference in visibility, you should also change your car’s windshield wipers.
Windshield wiper blade performance depends on maintaining contact with the windshield. When the blade moves across your window, it creates a barrier pushing rain, snow, and debris to the side. An old wiper blade can have gaps and fail to apply even pressure. Thus, you’ll experience streaking and smearing across your window. You’ll see a huge improvement when you install a new windshield wiper blade.
Many elements cause a reduction in your wipers’ performance. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause deterioration of the rubber in your blade. Heat too, can generate cracks and warping. Accumulation of dirt, grime, and pollen also wear down the edge of wiper blades. Moreover, running your wipers over ice on your windshield can destroy the edge of the wiper. And heavy snow can bend the frame preventing proper contact with your windshield.
You should periodically check your wiper blades for any signs of wear. If the edge has cracks, splits, or uneven wear, it’s time to replace your blades. Additionally, a bent, broken, or corroded metal frame needs changing. Certainly, if you notice a reduction in visibility during use, it’s time to replace your blades.
Types of Windshield Wiper Blades
When shopping for windshield wiper blades at the auto parts store, you may be surprised at the number of choices. Certainly, due to the different size windshields on automobiles, windshield wipers are available in a variety of lengths. You can measure your blade for the correct size or check your owner’s manual to see what your car requires. The same rules apply for the rear wiper blade.
While conventional blades are the most affordable and popular style of wiper blades, they’re not the most effective. Conventional blades have only 6-8 pressure points. These points are critical in preserving the contact between the blade and the glass. Should ice or snow accumulate on one of these points, you’ll experience streaks and reduced visibility.
Manufacturers construct beam blades to match the curve of today’s aerodynamically designed windshields. A curved construction means there is no gap in coverage. Additionally, beam blades have continuous pressure points for a snug connection to the window.
Aerodynamically designed, beam blades resist wind for continuous performance. In a phenomenon known as wind lift, high speeds and wind can cause blades to separate from the window. Without contact with the surface, your blades will do a poor job of clearing them.
Hybrid wipers combine the best attributes of conventional and beam construction. Aerodynamically designed to resist wind lift, hybrids have the wiping efficiency of beam blades. However, whereas beam wipers are frameless, hybrids have a protected, concealed frame. The extra strength of the frame is ideal for removing snow.
Which is Better, A Rubber or Silicone Blade?
Today’s manufacturers construct wiper blades from either rubber, silicone, or a combination of the two. Your choice of blade depends on your personal preferences and driving climate. Consider the pros and cons of each before your purchase new blades.
Rubber has been the material of choice for wiper blades since their invention in 1903. With its flexibility, it can withstand impact and keep its shape. It’s also resilient against tears and abrasions. While it is the least expensive choice, rubber isn’t environmentally-friendly. Manufactured with petroleum products, rubber blades are not recyclable and do not decompose easily.
Silicone is a chemical compound that is durable and flexible. Environmentally-friendly, silicone products are recyclable and biodegradable. Long-lasting, silicone blades can last twice as long as rubber. And silicone is much more resistant to UV rays too. However, silicone is soft and isn’t as effective against heavy precipitation. Thus, it may not be the best choice if you drive in an area that experiences heavy snowfall.
Some manufacturers produce a dual rubber/silicone construction wiper blade. These blades have a rubber core surrounded by a silicone outer layer. The combination of the strength of rubber and the longevity of silicone makes this a better all-weather blade.
Additionally, some manufacturers will add coatings to their blades. For example, some products have a coating of graphite for lubrication and reduced friction. A graphite coating also produces a cleaner wipe. Others use water-beading technology that leaves a coating on your windshield. This coating causes rainwater on your window to bead up and bounce off giving you greater visibility.
How to Change Windshield Wipers on Your Car
Windshield wipers have 2 basic parts, the windshield wiper arm and the blade. The arm is the metal piece attached to both the blade and the motor. Whereas the blade consists of the metal frame and rubber/silicone insert. Sometimes, you may be able to replace just the insert if the frame is in good condition. Often, you may only be able to purchase the entire assembly.
Occasionally, the metal frame can become bent or cracked. This can occur when you’re scraping snow or ice from your windshield. Other times the insert will become too worn to work effectively. Sometimes, you may not see any obvious problems. Thus, you can perform a test. Start your car and wet the windshield with wiper fluid. If your blades smear or streak, it’s time for a wiper blade replacement.
First, you’ll want the wiper assembly in a 90-degree angle to the windshield. Gently pull the metal arm away from the window into this position. Once you’ve got the arm in this position, you can remove the blade. Car manufacturers use a few different ways to connect the blade to the arm. Sometimes you need to push a button, other times unlatch a hook. Your owner’s manual will have instructions for removing the blade assembly.
After removing the old blade, simply attach the new blade in reverse making sure it locks into place. Be sure to install your blade correctly. Failure to lock it into place can result in your blade blowing off while driving.
However, an easier way to change your windshield wipers is to bring your car down to Xpress Lube of Kernersville. Our technicians can recommend the best type of wipers for your automobile. And while you’re here, we’ll perform a courtesy check on the fluids in your car.
We Employ ASE Technicians
Since 1972, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has been certifying automotive technicians. To qualify for certification, technicians must pass a challenging test. Additionally, technicians must have 2 years on the job training or a 2-year degree with 1-year working experience. Moreover, to keep up with advancing technology, professionals must retest every 5 years to keep their certification.
Today’s cars have complex systems making auto repair complicated. Finding competent, knowledgeable automotive professionals can be challenging. ASE serves to relieve this burden by certifying skilled, qualified technicians.
There are 50 ASE certification tests, covering almost every aspect of the automotive repair and service industry. These tests focus on practical problems encountered in everyday work situations. Written by educators, manufacturers, and other automotive professionals, passing verifies the technician’s competence and technical abilities.
We employ 4 ASE-certified technicians at Xpress Lube of Kernersville. They have the expertise to repair any make and model car. Using the latest diagnostic equipment, we’ll pinpoint your issues and effectively and efficiently repair your vehicle. Simply make an appointment and we’ll take care of you and your vehicle.
Try Our Xpress Turbo Wash
In addition to our repair and maintenance services, we have a turbo foam car wash. We incorporate premium products such as Armor-All®, Rain•X®, and Black Magic® for a deep and sparkling shine. Our car wash lubricates your car’s surface before the ultra-soft brushes wipe the dirt and grime away. Plus, we use recycled, filtered water for an environmentally-friendly cleanliness.
We offer 3 different wash packages to meet your needs with 3 affordable ways to pay. Buy a monthly pass and get unlimited visits for that month. Or pay each time you visit us. Additionally, you can buy a prepaid card to use whenever you want. Our gift cards also make great birthday, graduation, or holiday gifts.
It’s Easy to Join Our Loyalty Program
We appreciate our customers and want to thank you. That’s why we created our loyalty program. Designed to reward you for supporting our business, join today to start accumulating savings.
It’s easy to sign up. Just visit our website and enter your information. Then, earn 1 point for each dollar you spend at Xpress Lube of Kernersville. You can use your points towards any of our services. This includes new wiper blades, oil changes, any maintenance or repair service. Moreover, you can even use your rewards towards a car wash.
We’re the Family-Friendly Automotive Maintenance and Repair Shop
When was the last time you checked your windshield wipers? Don’t wait until you’re stuck in a downpour and you can’t see the road! Visibility is a crucial part of safe driving. If you already notice your blades are smearing and streaking, it’s definitely time to change them. And if you’re not sure how to change windshield wipers on your car, come by and see us. Xpress Lube of Kernersville offers full-service automobile repair and maintenance.
Our owner, Mac Allen, has over two decades of experience in the automotive maintenance and repair business. Providing high-quality automobile services is part of our mission. We’re also dedicated to giving you outstanding customer service. All of our employees strive to provide value-driven service in an inviting, family-friendly environment.
So, call us today at 336-993-7697 to schedule an appointment to replace your old, worn wiper blades. Additionally, if you’re experiencing any other issues with your vehicle, let us know. We want to keep you safe on the road with a fully-operational, reliable car.