Our windshield wipers have really gotten a workout during this record breaking summer of rain in the Four State Region! You probably never think about your wipers until they don’t work. And that is when you need them the most. It’s pretty hard to tell exactly when to replace your wiper blades. If a person at a car care center suggests it is time to change the blade, we often automatically assume they’re just trying to sell us an unnecessary part so they can meet their monthly quota.
I try to replace ours when needed, although that kind of stuff always takes me three times longer than the average person. Thank goodness for Youtube, where you can find instructions for just about everything. Earlier this year I replaced Lisa’s wiper blades. Several times! Everytime I would change them, one of the wipers would end up catching the other, then bend and ultimately break. After three attempts with the same results, I gave up and went to my mechanic. Turns out, it wasn’t my fault. The “recommended” replacement blades were about an inch longer than what were needed.
Don’t know about you, but I always struggle with getting the wiper speed just right. Set too low, you can’t see out of the windshield and set too high, you get that annoying scraping sound, wearing down your blade unnecessarily.I’ve been fascinated with windshield wipers since i was a little kid. Did you know there are two types of windshield wipers on most on most vehicles? There are “pivot” wipers and “opposable” wipers. The pivot wipers go in the same direction and are on most cars and trucks. The opposable wipers go in opposite directions. They are on many minivans and some cars. My favorite wiper type (yes I have a favorite!) is the opposable variety. They do a better job clearing the windshield, leaving only the tiny swath un-wiped near the rearview mirror.
I also like opposable windshield wipers largely, I guess, because they are on most of the classic 50s and early 60s vehicles. By the mid 60s, they started disappearing on all but luxury cars and then disappeared all together. So what happened to opposable wipers? Turns out pivot wipers require just one motor. Opposable wipers require two motors and an assembly that keeps the wipers in synch. In short, pivot wipers are much cheaper to make and maintain. And in America, cheaper is always better, right? In the late 90s, the opposable windshield wiper made a comeback and I am glad. Now, if the rain could just disappear for awhile.