What happened to cheap wiper blades?

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5,909
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
I've gotten used to using standard Anco (universal) style blades and prefer to use their refill inserts where I can find them. I haven't had bad results with other blades (like the Goodyear branded ones sold at Costco) but they didn't seem to work any better. Even Pylon refills worked pretty well for me. I used to find the standard Anco blades at WM, although eventually they seemed to switch to a SuperTech equivalent that had no branding on the hardware but seemed to be otherwise made by Federal Mogul (Anco) with a package that indicated that. I think WM later switched to a Chinese supplier before they stopped carrying them. Now all I can seem to find are pricey blades at $13-25 each and I haven't seen a universal refill at any discount store or auto parts place in a while. Some parts stores can order universal Ancos, but not at a good price. The one place that seems to have them is RockAuto at about $2 a pair for the plastic-frame refill inserts. I use pliers to remove the metal clip and then put them into the blade frame.
 
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1,644
Location
CA, USA
I just bought RainX conventional at WM for $9. That was a regular price. I am quite happy to pay that, as I used to get the cheapest blades at Autozone and got tired of replacing them every 12-18 months These last so long I forget how to install them, and have to watch the video again. But its worth it for me.
 
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2,540
Location
IL
People, urbanites have bought into the "hype" of beam/aerodynamic wipers, and making them one piece prevents refills, stupid marketing.
 
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6,894
Location
Wet side WA
The price runs about $8 to $13 on Amazon I just picked up blades for my Corolla. I could have got made in China for less than $4 each but I didn't want to go there.
 
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600
Location
Earth
Wipers, brakes and tires aren't places I find saving money to be worth it. Yeah a set of PIAA SI-Tech wipers will run you $50 but they just about last the life of the car and work like nothing else out there.
 
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3,412
Location
Parts Unknown
Originally Posted by Vern_in_IL
People, urbanites have bought into the "hype" of beam/aerodynamic wipers, and making them one piece prevents refills, stupid marketing.
Honda uses them AND offers refills for their blade.
 
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3,150
Location
Western S.C.
Yep, the near-disappearance of basic standard wiper refills is one of my pet peeves, too. The last few years I had the Mazda, I had to buy cheap ugly whole blades (at 4 or more times the former price of refills) which didn't fit the car, took out the refills, threw away the rest of the crummy blade, and reinstalled the refills in the original Mazda blades. For the Toyota, I found and bought OE Toyota refills on-line, for more than the price of entire aftermarket blades, but at least they're better quality, and not as ugly.
 
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5,351
Location
Atlanta,GA
Originally Posted by Vern_in_IL
People, urbanites have bought into the "hype" of beam/aerodynamic wipers, and making them one piece prevents refills, stupid marketing.
If you call spending $25 every 3 yrs for blades "hype" vs $10/yr for el cheopos then so be it.
 
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Messages
2,009
Location
Minnesota
Look on Ebay....dirt cheap right from China. And they seem to last about the same as any other. I've gotten to the point of stocking extras in my garage. Then when I need them, just pull them out and install. Cost about $3 a year per car.....yeah, I'm cheap.
 

y_p_w

Thread starter
Messages
5,909
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted by GZRider
Wipers, brakes and tires aren't places I find saving money to be worth it. Yeah a set of PIAA SI-Tech wipers will run you $50 but they just about last the life of the car and work like nothing else out there.
My car is outdoors most of the time, so if anything the UV exposure is going to kill the blades. I like to replace them every 6 months to a year. If it will cost me $2 I think I'm in good shape. I used to buy the refills on Amazon where they were typically $2.50 to $4 with free shipping from various retailers. But it was really odd because the pricing of Anco universal refills would vary a lot depending on the size and retailer. RockAuto seems to be pretty consistent. I've only owned two cars in my own name. The first was an Integra GS-R and I always used the original blade assembly from NWB. I remember Trico used to have narrow insert refills where I had to use the same metal ribs. Pylon used to sell a universal insert that needed to be cut. However, my best results were with Bosch narrow refills, which had their own metal ribs. They were made in Germany and were graphite coated. They had this strange clip - kind of a square fitting that went into a square hole. I had a local shop that seemed to have various sized on special, although Pep Boys used to carry them with two price points. My 2004 WRX had an NWB assembly with narrow inserts, but I switched almost immediately to standard Anco. The only time I saw Subaru branded blades at a dealer they were standard sized with metal ribs. It didn't look like refills would work on those assemblies because they were crimped. I've variously gotten full Anco blades because WM had them cheap or refill where I could find them.
 
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3,460
Location
NC
Rural King $6.49 for Rain-X Weatherbeater up to 22 inch. 24 inch is $6.99 and 26 inch $7.99.
 
Messages
1,983
Location
Cincinnati, USA
Originally Posted by GZRider
Wipers, brakes and tires aren't places I find saving money to be worth it. Yeah a set of PIAA SI-Tech wipers will run you $50 but they just about last the life of the car and work like nothing else out there.
Nonsense. The very first time you turn them on and don't realize they're *barely* frozen to your windshield, they'll rip just like anything else. It's madness to spend that much for wiper blades if any region that drops below freezing more than once in a blue moon... I accept there are such places. I usually get mine at Rock Auto, throw them in the cart when the order I'm placing for something else is coming from the same warehouse as whichever blades I pick so the extra shipping charge is minimal to nothing. I get them ahead of time and have a spare pair in vehicles and (where needed) a pair of needle nose pliers in the glovebox to aid in swapping them.
 
Messages
10,001
Location
Waco, TX
I add a few clearance wiper blades to almost every RockAuto order. Even a 16" blade wipes the entire "needed viewing area" of where a 20" one usually goes.
 
Messages
600
Location
Earth
@ Dave9 - Cool story about a product you've never tried D$#%@!, but you're full of s#%. The PIAA's are a favorite of rally cross drivers because they are made from a type of platinum cured silicone, which is much stronger then traditional rubber as well as being more resistant to UV exposure and oxidation. The material is also stronger (hence why aftermarket high pressure radiator hoses use it) and thus resists tearing from branches and other debris or say from them being caught in ice. I used them for years in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest and never bought another set of wipers on those cars, they are worth every penny.
 
Messages
600
Location
Earth
For the rest not wanting to spend that much on wipers I'd suggest the Denso wipers if Rock has them for your car or the RainX. Both are typically pretty good to excellent quality and can be found dirt cheap on sale or Rock auto.
 
Messages
10,273
Location
MA
Originally Posted by GZRider
For the rest not wanting to spend that much on wipers I'd suggest the Denso wipers if Rock has them for your car or the RainX. Both are typically pretty good to excellent quality and can be found dirt cheap on sale or Rock auto.
The ones rockauto has for my car are the Trico. They're ok, last about 6 months. They're around $2 a blade, but shipping is a killer so I usually get 3-4 sets per car so it works out to about $3-$4 a blade with shipping. I tried the OEM Bosch ones which were over $30 for a pair and they didn't last much longer than 6 months so I gave up.
 
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