What happened to cheap wiper blades?

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10,038
Location
OH
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
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.
There are no wiper blades that last 3 years. I haven't found any that even last 6 months regardless of price, and the cheap ones last just as long and work just as well as the expensive ones, so there's no sense in wasting money...
 
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10,038
Location
OH
Originally Posted by Triple_Se7en
Originally Posted by y_p_w
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.
I bought Anco's for four decades. Then something happened with their quality control. For the past 10 years I've been purchasing Trico. So far a perfect marriage.
I can no longer find Anco blades at any retailers. Where have they gone?
 
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3,015
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America
I used to decry the unavailability of cheap wiper blades until I realized that my oem blades for $36+ last 3-4 years without any issues.
 
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10,038
Location
OH
Originally Posted by Alfred_B
I used to decry the unavailability of cheap wiper blades until I realized that my oem blades for $36+ last 3-4 years without any issues.
They must be magic...
 

y_p_w

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5,909
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San Francisco Bay Area
I finally got my shipment of Anco universal plastic-frame refills from RockAuto. They were all under $2 a pair and I eventually got about 13 pairs in different sized for $9 shipping. Still less than $3 a pair and overall way less than I can find anywhere else. Kind of weird what I got though, although I'm not complaining. The majority seem to be the latest version with a 2009 copyright on the label. Made in Mexico and packaged in a plastic package that's easy enough to take apart by hand. Every one had the DURAKLEER label somewhere on the package. However, I ordered 3 pairs of U19R refills (for my wife's Civic and maybe I'll help out my parents who almost never change the blades on their Camry) and each one was different. They were all the old style packaging with a plastic bubble (one was even a yellow plastic sheet stapled to the bubble) covered with a cardboard sleeve. They all seemed like "new old stock" and had varying levels of dust on the packaging. What looked like the oldest said copyright 2000, while the other two said copyright 2004. One even had a price tag on it like it was unsold stock obtained from a bricks and mortar retailer with a $7.49 price tag on it. That one had a sticker covering the "Product of Mexico" label with a "Made in USA" sticker. I'm not complaining about it because they seem fine (even if NOS), but it seemed like they sell some stuff they get as closeouts from auto parts stores that can't unload them. I've seen some listings that clearly say they're some sort of closeout, but mine weren't listed as any closeout parts.
 

y_p_w

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Since I have those refills I played around with them. I had a set of Goodyear branded (Pylon) blades I bought at Costco. Now it seems to be Michelin branded by Pylon, but they're essentially the same. I figured out that I could use pliers to squeeze out the little clip at the end, and the rubber insert and/or entire metal frame can completely slide out. I tried getting an entire 17" plastic refill frame in there, but it was a little too long. But when I pulled out the rubber insert it fit in there just fine. Didn't quite work with the 22" version though. I think I might be able to fit the entire frame in, but I wanted to try just the rubber insert. I couldn't seem to yank it out (probably could have if I spent more time) without destroying the frame, so I destroyed the frame with some pliers. When I tried the same thing with the 22" version I found that the insert was too thick/wide to fit in the frame. And I destroyed the plastic frame that it came in. I guess I can use the insert later by reusing an old 22" frame.
 

y_p_w

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San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted by Triple_Se7en
You use Valeo tires?
I thought that said "Valeo blades". https://www.valeoservice.us/en-us/passenger-car/wiping-systems-passenger-car/wiper-blades My dad drives a 2008 Nissan Rogue. I borrow the car from time to time and he never, ever changed the rear wiper blade. I even recall the front wipers weren't changed for maybe 5 years to the point where they were clearly rotted away. But eventually he replaced the wipers, but still not the rear. Those used a Valeo 12E, which I can't seem to find at any stores other than online. https://www.amazon.com/Valeo-12E-Ultimate-Composite-Wiper/dp/B01N7ZANY8 I actually managed to replace it with an Anco 12" narrow refill. I went to an AutoZone and they had to ship it from another store that had it. The narrow refill frame didn't actually fit in there, but I pulled out the rubber insert and rigged that to the existing frame. It worked, but that was maybe 5 years ago and I'm thinking it's probably in pretty bad shape.
 
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Texas
I don't think cheap tires, brakes or wipers makes sense...no way I would use a PLASTIC frame wiper either! I mean, we are talking a little money for good wipers. Rock auto has almost any type of wiper from cheapo plastic frame to the latest hype designs. You can get good Trico exact fit wipers for about $8 with shipping each.
 

y_p_w

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Originally Posted by GMBoy
I don't think cheap tires, brakes or wipers makes sense...no way I would use a PLASTIC frame wiper either! I mean, we are talking a little money for good wipers. Rock auto has almost any type of wiper from cheapo plastic frame to the latest hype designs. You can get good Trico exact fit wipers for about $8 with shipping each.
I've gotten exceptional results over the years using plastic frame refills from Pylon or Anco. The blade frame is a combination of steel and plastic. The refill itself is a rubber insert fixed into a plastic frame. Optionally one can get a metal ribbed refill, which should work as well. I thought that the point was to wipe off water from glass. And I haven't found anything that consistently does a better job (at any price) than common plastic frame refills. Even the ones I see at the dealer are almost the same, although maybe with a captive metal ribbed insert.
 
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San Rafael, CA
I have had good luck with Trico Rainguard... $2 for the whole wiper blade if you have a commercial account at O'Reilly. But personally I've switched to beam blades across the board. Bosch Focus on the Vic and Trico Titan on the other two. Regardless of price, if you live around here and don't garage your car, you aren't going to get more than 1 year out of your wipers.
 
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919
Location
Florida
The question is, what happened to cheap anything anymore? After gas prices came back down motor oil is still the same price to this day, whats up with that, same with food cost going up due to fuel prices, those never went back down. Stepping down from my soap box, apologies.
 
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10,038
Location
OH
Originally Posted by 1978elcamino
The question is, what happened to cheap anything anymore? After gas prices came back down motor oil is still the same price to this day, whats up with that, same with food cost going up due to fuel prices, those never went back down. Stepping down from my soap box, apologies.
Remember when shipping costs skyrocketed back when fuel costs were high? They never came back down either...it's just an excuse to gouge consumers...now gas prices are going through the roof again (for no good reason) and we'll start the whole cycle all over again...
 
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Cincinnati, USA
@ 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.
I never claimed they weren't good, but it is still madness to me to spend that much unless you have a complex windshield shape and it's the only thing you can find that tracks flat on that shape.

You're telling us rally cross drivers use them, but if I were racing I would get a new set of blades right before then, not using them lifetime of vehicle as was stated, plus, I am well aware of the benefits of silicone blade longevity, particularly the UV resistance, but they aren't remotely close to strong enough to resist tearing when stuck to a windshield. THINK about it. Something has to give, if they don't tear then you're going to destroy the wiper mechanism, or break a shear pin, blow a fuse (or trip motor internal thermal breaker), etc. Are you suggesting silicone can't freeze to glass? I'm certain that is not true.
 
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943
Location
PR CA, USA
The ultimate cheapo would just return them to Costco every year. I get the Rockauto blades. Bosch, Valeo or whatever is cheap. Their search is bad when it comes to wipers. Different vehicles show different brands and universal shows very small selection.
 
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