What happened to cheap wiper blades?

Messages
1,983
Location
Cincinnati, USA
I treat my wiper blades with the same approach as I use for my tires; the newer the rubber, the better the performance. I buy the cheap Michelin blades sold at Walmart for about $6 each and they wipe perfectly for about 6 months, then I replace them. They would probably go longer, but for $6 a piece, why mess around with the clarity of my vision while driving.? When I buy tires I buy the least expensive tires I can find with the most aggressive tread. They are usually 40K mile rated. Sure I could spend more on 80K mile rated tires, but I'd rather replace my tires with new ones at 40K miles than drive that amount of time putting the last 40K on a set of 80K mile tires. Tires ride better when new, get better traction, and have less road noise. Rubber gets harder as it ages, so the newer the tires, the better...same with wiper blades...
That's backwards. Least expensive tires with most aggressive tread, ride the worst, and need replaced more often because the rubber breaks or wears down faster, not because the more expensive ones would have degraded as much over same period of time because they generally don't. At the same time I do think it's a false economy to buy very expensive tires to bank on an ~80K mi life expectation if it would take over 6 yrs to get there, but it's also a false economy to buy cheap tires that are worse by year 3 than average tires would be at year 5. Remember, the cheap tires start out worse new so by the time you break even you'd have had better value out of median grade tires... kinda the same thing as any purchase decision for long term use, low vs high vs sane middle ground products.

It's not the same with wiper blades because they tend to work equally well for me until a noticable degradation towards end of life whether that be smearing, skipping, or tearing. It's not messing with clarity of vision at all to use a wiper until it needs changed. Pretty simple stuff that people have done successfully for decades.
 
Messages
322
Location
SW Missouri
Check with your local truck parts dealer. I carried the Anco 31 and 97 series and the yellow box 31s were only 3-4 dollars. We bought cases at a time.
 
Messages
10,038
Location
OH
That's backwards. Least expensive tires with most aggressive tread, ride the worst, and need replaced more often because the rubber breaks or wears down faster, not because the more expensive ones would have degraded as much over same period of time because they generally don't.

My experience has been just the opposite....like I said, the newer the tire, the better they perform, and that's always been my experience...a brand new 40K mile rated cheap tire will do everything better than an 80K rated tire with 40K miles of wear and age...
 
So you hate changing oil and wiper blades but you're on a forum about changing oil and wiper blades? 😂
I hate doing maintenance more often than necessary . My car is an appliance to serve me, I do not live to serve it. If you like changing wiper blades every 6 months, it's your life, go for it. What I was actually TRYING to do was share something that, IMHO, is a real timesaver. You really don't need to be snarky. Or, if you do, I refuse to let it bother me; I've learned a lot of things on this forum from the likes of Trav, Clinebarger, Molakule and others that are far more important than wiper blades. For example, I started changing my transmission fluid ~every 30K based upon Molakules advice. Oil, wiper blades, brakes, tires, serpentine belts, spark plugs, etc. all (obviously) need to be changed along with too many other things to list; like brake and transmission fluid. Obviously, anything you drive must be maintained. The LESS I can maintain my vehicles, (and still be safe and roadworthy) the better I like it. My wipers ARE 6 years old and function fine. If you don't believe me or wish not to spend the money for PIAA wipers, that's not my problem. I can only offer what I consider helpful advice to someone willing to listen. I also use Aquapel on my windshield and side glass(es). Aquapel is for people who used to use rain-x and found something far superior. It lasts for months, not days or the first car wash. I also use Amsoil and bypass filtration and change oil LESS than once a year, but I digress. Because of the superior performance of the things I choose to maintain my vehicles with, yes, I have more time in my life, and I enjoy this forum.
Remarks like yours notwithstanding. :)
 
Messages
640
Location
USA
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.
Toyota OEM replacement rubber is a better deal than aftermarket for me. Bought some Aero (I think?) on Amazon for a Subaru that were a bit cheaper than OEM. They've been fine.
 
Messages
148
Location
Inside a Mori Seiki
I use the Trico ultra and get about 6 months to a year out of them on the Veloster and if they still are decent, they go into the trunk and kept as emergency spares. A bit more pricey but they are also made in the USA so i cant complain there. Also i once bought the 5 dollar wipers for a ford taurus 6 years ago and they lasted not even 3 months. i learned that lesson fast.
 
Messages
48
Sun & pitted windshields destroy the blades. Personal witchcraft rituals are psychological at best
 
Messages
3,794
Location
WI.
I was always a OEM insert guy but have moved on to the Michelin $12 ones at WalMart they last 2yrs. here in the snow and ice, nice wiper.
 
Messages
137
I treat my wiper blades with the same approach as I use for my tires; the newer the rubber, the better the performance. I buy the cheap Michelin blades sold at Walmart for about $6 each and they wipe perfectly for about 6 months, then I replace them. They would probably go longer, but for $6 a piece, why mess around with the clarity of my vision while driving.? When I buy tires I buy the least expensive tires I can find with the most aggressive tread. They are usually 40K mile rated. Sure I could spend more on 80K mile rated tires, but I'd rather replace my tires with new ones at 40K miles than drive that amount of time putting the last 40K on a set of 80K mile tires. Tires ride better when new, get better traction, and have less road noise. Rubber gets harder as it ages, so the newer the tires, the better...same with wiper blades...
Michelin wiper blades for $6/ per blade at Walmart?

The cheapest Michelin wiper blades at my store are at least twice that. Which specific blade is it?
 
Messages
2,630
Location
Northeast
I buy the inexpensive AUTO DRIVE ( Wal-Mart brand ) wiper blades and then remove the new rubber blade from the steel frame and replace the bad blade of the original assembly . The refills costs twice as much at a dealer . Looks like they're on clearance and the prices vary . .65 cents for the 28" , .90 for 16" , etc. . Instore purchase only and availibility is scattered .
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Messages
6,019
Location
Los Gatos, CA
I bought some off Amazon for $13 for a pair. Never heard of them, Parrati 19".
Seemed ok. Tundra sits outside and it doesn't rain much here.

The Michelins are on sale at Costco for $5.99 each right now.
 

wdn

Messages
1,641
Location
NH
I buy my windshield wipers at $2.99 or $3.99 each at Ocean State Job Lot. Selection varies since the place buys lots below wholesale and sells cheaply but I have gotten Michelin, Trico, Valeo and NAPA wipers from them in the past.
 
Messages
1,983
Location
Cincinnati, USA
My experience has been just the opposite....like I said, the newer the tire, the better they perform, and that's always been my experience...a brand new 40K mile rated cheap tire will do everything better than an 80K rated tire with 40K miles of wear and age...
You're not comparing anything in real life. In real life, your cheap tire gets miles and years put on it too, and in real life, the cheap tire usually doesn't cost as little as half what a better major brand tire does, so the 40K vs 80K isn't relevant. The cheap tire starts out worse new than the average tire, and stays that way throughout its viable lifespan, because it's not just miles but age that can cause a tire to need be replaced.

Plus that's just not even remotely close to true any way you look at it. On dry pavement, the median or better grade tire with LESS tread left, still not very old yet, will walk circles around the cheap generic tire with deep tread. On wet pavement and ice, the cheap tire compound gets harder with temperature drop and hydroplanes easier.

Someone told you a falsehood and you believed it because you didn't think about it much. The only time what you're suggesting is true is if you try to compare very old tires to new tires, and then it is not cheap vs expensive, rather it is no matter what your tires cost they should've been replaced already based on age if mileage didn't wear the tread down to nothing yet, but this will happen sooner with cheap tires.

On certain complex windshields, this can also be true of wiper blades, but a couple differences are that the price spread between basic blades and premium suggested on this topic, is multiple times more than the % price difference between cheap and better tires. The other difference is that even expensive wipers get destroyed by freezing to the windshield then tearing. If you live where it's always sunny and no chance of freezing, do get silicone blades, of whatever brand has the support assembly that works well on your windshield shape... which can matter more than which material the blade is made out of for initial performance and like tires it only goes downhill from there.

I'm not against cheap tires, as long as they can be balanced, as long as you recognize their weaknesses and drive appropriately, they can make sense for a vehicle not driven often so it is years rather than miles that cause them to be replaced, but they do not perform better unless you're just too cheap to replace your tires when you should otherwise.

The other wildcard here is you tried to use an example of 80K rated tires. Of course those are low rolling resistance, you should try normal performing tires rated closer to 60K instead of the cheap junk or the tires optimized for long life in exchange for lower friction (= traction), unless all your miles are highway and you put a lot on.
 
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Messages
184
Location
UK
I have used bosch aerotwin for 10 years or more. Once you fit fit those, you never go back tometal frame high profile style
 
Messages
10,038
Location
OH
You're not comparing anything in real life. In real life, your cheap tire gets miles and years put on it too, and in real life, the cheap tire usually doesn't cost as little as half what a better major brand tire does, so the 40K vs 80K isn't relevant. The cheap tire starts out worse new than the average tire, and stays that way throughout its viable lifespan, because it's not just miles but age that can cause a tire to need be replaced.

Plus that's just not even remotely close to true any way you look at it. On dry pavement, the median or better grade tire with LESS tread left, still not very old yet, will walk circles around the cheap generic tire with deep tread. On wet pavement and ice, the cheap tire compound gets harder with temperature drop and hydroplanes easier.

Someone told you a falsehood and you believed it because you didn't think about it much. The only time what you're suggesting is true is if you try to compare very old tires to new tires, and then it is not cheap vs expensive, rather it is no matter what your tires cost they should've been replaced already based on age if mileage didn't wear the tread down to nothing yet, but this will happen sooner with cheap tires.

On certain complex windshields, this can also be true of wiper blades, but a couple differences are that the price spread between basic blades and premium suggested on this topic, is multiple times more than the % price difference between cheap and better tires. The other difference is that even expensive wipers get destroyed by freezing to the windshield then tearing. If you live where it's always sunny and no chance of freezing, do get silicone blades, of whatever brand has the support assembly that works well on your windshield shape... which can matter more than which material the blade is made out of for initial performance and like tires it only goes downhill from there.

I'm not against cheap tires, as long as they can be balanced, as long as you recognize their weaknesses and drive appropriately, they can make sense for a vehicle not driven often so it is years rather than miles that cause them to be replaced, but they do not perform better unless you're just too cheap to replace your tires when you should otherwise.

The other wildcard here is you tried to use an example of 80K rated tires. Of course those are low rolling resistance, you should try normal performing tires rated closer to 60K instead of the cheap junk or the tires optimized for long life in exchange for lower friction (= traction), unless all your miles are highway and you put a lot on.
I've been doing tires and wiper blades like this for years and it has served me well. If my system works, why should I fix it? I used to put 2500-3000 miles a month on my car when I was working, but now that I'm retired, I doubt the car sees 1000 miles a month, so my tires will need to be replaced due to time rather than being worn out. There's no reason for me to spend extra money for tires with a higher mileage rating...
 
Messages
1,556
i try and limit my amazon buys.. however i do get these aero wipers off amazon.. had them on several vehicles they hold up well come delivered in 2 days or so and the company has great customer svc.
 
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