Your Definitive Buying Guide for Buying Car Wiper Blades on eBay

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Your Definitive Buying Guide for Buying Car Wiper Blades on eBay

Car lovers often obsess over paint jobs, install eye-catching wheel rims, and keep their vehicles spotless inside and out. They may also add other accessories to enhance the look of the car's exterior, such as emblems and decals. On the inside, one might find an incredible sound system or simply some fuzzy dice on the rearview mirror. Owners of classic automobiles sometimes prop their hoods up so admirers can check out the engine compartment. For all of this showiness in relation to certain car components, there is one car part that gets little attention and is greatly underrated: the windscreen wipers.

The wipers are essential pieces of safety equipment, and MOT tests require that the wipers and wiper blades be inspected. Drivers usually take windscreen wipers for granted, even though it is not difficult to imagine the consequences of sudden windscreen wiper failure. A spray of mud from a leading vehicle might obscure vision enough to cause a serious accident. Even if the wiper mechanisms are in proper working order, the blades age rather quickly, making them far less effective at removing moisture and dirt from the windscreen. In order to select the correct wiper blades, car owners must gather a good deal of crucial data so that they know exactly what to look for and are able to successfully install the replacements.

History of Windscreen Wipers

The necessity for windscreen wipers became obvious shortly after the proliferation of the automobile. Wipers were invented almost simultaneously in both the United Kingdom and the United States in 1903, by James Henry Apjohn and Mary Anderson, respectively. While Apjohn's design used brushes, Anderson's wipers were more similar to wipers as people know them today. Both styles were operated manually, and it was not until 1922 that the first automatic windscreen wipers were patented. Intermittent wipers came much later in 1963. With all of the changes in car design and technology over the last century or so, windscreen wipers have changed surprisingly little. Wiper blades generally last for up to a year but should be replaced at the first sign of failure.

How to Assess Wiper Blade Failure

If the driver cannot see well in inclement weather because the windscreen wipers are not removing all of the precipitation, that is a good sign that the blades need to be replaced immediately; however, this is a little too late. Waiting until visibility is impaired is a good way to invite an accident. Checking the blades every month or so is simple and only takes a few seconds. First, inspect the blades visually. Lift the wipers gently away from the windscreen and look at the flat part of the blade that touches the window. Check for signs of:

  •     Cracking
  •     Dryness
  •     Discolourations

Second, run a finger along the surface of the blade. Feel for:

  •     Roughness
  •     Fraying
  •     Uneven edges

Third, if it has not rained in some time, use the automobile's mist function to spray the windscreen, and then observe how effectively the blades remove the moisture. Signs of ageing blades include:

  •     Lines
  •     Bands
  •     Chattering (jerky motions vs. a smooth sweep)
  •     Screeching

Use your judgement to determine if it is time to replace the wiper blades.

Replacement Methods for Wipers

When it is time to replace wiper blades, one can either detach the blade itself from the wiper fitting or remove the entire wiper arm and replace it. Purchasing entirely new wiper arms does cost more and produces more waste; however, the task is faster and easier to do correctly. Some people find that getting the rubber blade into the arm is difficult. Consumers must be aware that blades are sold either individually or already fitted into the wiper arm, and that some sellers take "blades" to mean the entire wiper unit. Be as clear as possible when shopping if you want only the blades.

Wiper Locations

Every car has a pair of wipers on the front windscreen, but some special types of vehicles feature rear wipers as well. It is important to specify the location of the replacement blade so that it fits correctly where it is supposed to go. Even on the front, one wiper may be longer than the other, so left and right placement is necessary knowledge to have when shopping for blades.

Front Wiper Blades

Most cars feature two front wiper blades that move cooperatively, although a few models feature just one wiper to clear the entire windscreen. The wiper on the driver's side (left) is often longer than the one on the passenger's side (right)..

Rear Wiper Blades

Hatchback models, as well as trucks and SUVs, sometimes need rear wiper blades.. A buildup of wetness or dirt in this location can make reversing the car dangerous as well as obscure a driver's view of traffic in the rearview mirror. Often, there is only one wiper on the back window. It may be affixed at the top or the bottom of the window.

Wiper Blade Sizes

The wiper blade length should be noted in the owner's manual for the vehicle. However, be careful to distinguish between the length of the entire wiper unit and the length of the blade itself, depending on which you are buying. Some wiper blades are still designated by imperial measurements. The following chart converts the most common imperial sizes to metric.

Imperial Wiper Blade Length

(inches)

Metric Wiper Blade Length

(centimetres)

10

25

11

28

12

30

13

33

14

35

15

38

16

40

17

43

18

45

19

48

20

50

21

53

22

55

23

58

24

60

25

63

26

65

27

68

28

70

While it may be tempting to measure the wipers with a ruler, this is not the most accurate method of determining the correct length blade. It is best to purchase the size the car manufacturer recommends.

Wiper Blade Shapes and Styles

Buyers may notice that some windscreen wipers look different from others. Different shapes and styles are designed to perform on specifically shaped windscreens. The wiper shape also depends on the arrangement of the wipers; for example, wipers may be mounted so that they come to rest on the outside edges of the windscreen or at the top or bottom.

Standard Wiper Blades

A standard wiper blade or conventional blade features a curved, somewhat triangular metal frame or arm, with the blade running almost the entire length of the arm. Several attachments hold the blade in the frame. The driver's side blade may feature a spoiler, which helps to keep the blade against the windscreen.

Flat Wiper Blades

A more modern style is the flat wiper blade or beam blade. These blades lack the metal frame and are instead reinforced with metal inside the rubber. The resulting wiper is smaller, adheres to the windscreen better, and is less affected by wind. Some flat blades are designed to work with cars that were manufactured to take standard blades; these are called "retrofit" flat blades. It is important to differentiate, since the attachment method is different for flat blades that directly replace existing flat blades.

Wiper Blade Connectors

There are many different types of connections for wiper blade units:

  •     Pin
  •     Hook
  •     Pin and hook
  •     Bayonet
  •     Pinch tab

Owners should learn how to detach and reattach the wiper arm properly by checking their owner's manual. In some cases, a screwdriver or other small tool may be necessary to free the wiper arm if it has a more difficult attachment type.

If one wishes to replace the blade only, this is a more advanced method that usually requires pliers and may not be in the regular owner's manual. A car repair manual may have instructions on how to do this correctly, or the package with the new blades may contain these instructions. Although the job is generally simple in that one only has to remove the old rubber blade and slide in the new one, there may be locks or clips that need to be dealt with, hence putting the new blade on the wiper arm can sometimes be tricky.

Wiper Blade Materials

Windscreen wiper blades must be able to adhere tightly to the windscreen in order to remove every molecule of water, but they must not scratch the glass. Only a couple of materials are suitable for windscreen wiper blades: latex rubber and silicone rubber.

Latex Rubber

Standard rubber wiper blades were the original blades for Mary Anderson's invention and are still manufactured and sold today. They perform well and are relatively inexpensive. Rubber tends to squeak in some circumstances, a noise that may irritate some people but not bother others.

Silicone Rubber

Silicone wiper blades are a more modern development. They are more resistant to harsh weather conditions such as direct sunlight, heat, and freezing temperatures. For a car that is parked outside instead of in a garage or under a carport, silicone is ideal. However, silicone blades do not necessarily outlast rubber ones by any significant length of time and they also cost a little more.

Graphite

If the two main wiper blade materials are latex rubber and silicone rubber, one might wonder what graphite wiper blades are. These are made of regular rubber but are simply coated with graphite, a coal-like, semi-metallic element used in pencil lead. When rubber is impregnated with powdered graphite, the blade is able to glide across the glass more smoothly and quietly due to reduced friction. Graphite also helps to protect the rubber from damage and deterioration.

Where to Find Wiper Blades

You can find car windscreen wiper blades at auto parts shops, discount shops, dollar stores, and petrol stations. You can also purchase blades directly from your auto mechanic or service station. It is best not to purchase used wiper blades unless there are special circumstances; for example, perhaps the blades were not on the car very long before it was sold or wrecked, or maybe the previous owner simply bought the wrong size.

How to Buy Wiper Blades on eBay

eBay has hundreds of thousands of wiper blades for sale every day from almost as many sellers, which means that you get the widest selection and most competitive pricing. To shop, start at the home page and click on the link for all categories.. This enables you to look at all possible groups of merchandise on the eBay site. Next, continue clicking links to get smaller and smaller categories until you arrive at wiper blades. You can then use category filters on the page to further narrow down the results in order to find exactly the blades you need.

If you prefer, you can also try a keyword search. This is particularly helpful if you know specifics about the wiper blades you need, such as the length, car make and model, or other criteria. To search by keywords, go back to the home page and type a word or words into the Search box. You might try "windscreen wiper blades" or "Peugeot front wiper blades". Then, click on Search. eBay returns results from all categories, as long as the item is tagged with those terms. This allows you to locate listings that may be placed in an unexpected or unseen category (as categorisation is at the discretion of the individual seller).

Conclusion

Some car owners ignore their wiper blades until MOT test time or leave it up to their auto mechanic to notice deteriorating blades during an oil change. Because it can be several months between these appointments, a driver might be going a month or more with inferior blades. Often, people do not realise what bad condition their blades are in until they are changed. Everyone should make a point of visually checking their wiper blades about once a month and assess their performance with each use. Any streaking or dissatisfactory water removal indicates it is time to change the blades. Wiper blades are relatively inexpensive and can make a huge improvement in visibility and safety.

Most standard passenger cars have two front windscreen wipers. A few models have just one wiper for the entire windscreen. Certain types of vehicles, such as SUVs, hatchbacks, and station wagons, may have a back wiper as well. It is important to know the location of the blade you need as well as the correct length. Wiper blades are available in latex and silicone rubber as well as graphite-coated rubber; silicone may be the best choice for cars that are parked outside much of the time. The most important thing to remember when buying car wiper blades is simply to buy them regularly for ultimate visibility and safety.

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