The different types of wiper blades
Wiper blades might not be the most exciting of topics but old, worn, or perished wipers can not only make wet weather driving a misery but they also can be dangerous. For this reason, many manufacturers recommend that they are changed once annually, at least.
Yet, as with all technologies, times change and wiper tech has moved with the times as well. Ensure, therefore, that you buy the correct type for your car.
The once common design consists of a metal, or plastic, frame that features between four and eight points (pictured) that distribute pressure to the rubber blade. These can be very fiddly to fit, so ensure that any parts you buy include any appropriate adapters.
2 ‘Flat’ blades
This design has become almost universal within the past decade. Despite them being more expensive than the traditional designs, with their ‘hook’ type wiper arm, they are far easier to fit on cars that were fitted with them when new.
A tensioned metal strip replaces the several separate pressure points of the traditional wiper, to distribute an even force across the entire rubber blade. Their moulded rubber profile also matches the windscreen’s curves more accurately and, because they are more aerodynamic, wind noise is reduced.
You can update a car from traditional to flat wiper blades; ask your motor factor if any conversion blades are suitable for your make-and-model.
3 ‘Hybrid’ blades
Unsurprisingly, hybrid types are traditional-type wipers in terms of their basic construction and lack the tensioned metal strip. Yet, their plastic covers offer the looks and aerodynamic advantages of flat wipers. They tend to accommodate the traditional ‘hook’ type wiper arm fittings and are more common on vehicles from Asian manufacturers.