Have you ever wondered what style of wiper blades you need for your vehicle? If this is something that has had you perplexed more than a few times, you’re certainly not alone. You’d be surprised how many people go to their local discount store, walk into the automotive section, and think they’re going to pick up replacements for their car without having the slightest idea what size they need or even what type of blades they should purchase. It happens all the time.
Unless you’re a car guru or you’ve done it a few times, you may not even realize that there are separate sizes for each particular car. In reality, there are not only different sizes to choose from but also different styles. Therefore, it’s important to know what you need to make sure that it fits the automobile you’re purchasing them for. The question is, how do you know what to buy?
Refer to the Owner’s Manual
A lot will depend on how new or old your automobile is. Older cars that come with an owner’s manual have this information available inside of the manual. Owner’s manuals tell you things like what kind of oil to put in your car and what style of blades to buy for the windshield wipers. However, newer automobiles sometimes don’t come with an owner’s manual that’s printed. You might get something on a CD, or you might be told to refer to a particular website.
Either way, it can be frustrating because it includes yet one more step that you have to do before you can figure out what you need to purchase. With that being said, it’s still imperative that you take the steps that are necessary to figure it out. Otherwise, you’re basically wasting your money on something that may or may not fit.
Look It Up On the Store’s Computer
Most stores that sell blades for your windshield wipers, even the discount stores that sell a little bit of everything, usually have a computer in the automotive section that allows you to plug in information about your car. For example, you can put information in about the year, make and model in order to find out what style of blades you need to purchase. The computer will give you your choices based on the information you’ve entered. Your job is to then find those choices on the shelves and purchase the brand that you prefer.
Alternatively, these stores have a large book in which you can look up your car’s make and model, and it tells you the wipers you need. Typically, there will be several different manufacturers that you can choose from. The important thing is to make sure you’re choosing the right style and size.
If you’re in an auto parts store, you can simply ask the person at the counter what you need to purchase. More often than not, they’ll also install these blades for you. Most of the time, the installation comes free of charge with the purchase of the blades. On the rare occasion that you are charged a fee for the installation, it’s nominal. If you’re not accustomed to installing new blades on your windshield wipers, it might be worth having them do it even if they charge you. Some people don’t have any trouble installing blades, and others struggle for hours on end without any success. If you’re not very mechanically minded or if you have trouble with the dexterity or strength in your hands, they can present a real problem. This is especially true when it comes to the bayonet style of wiper arms. They’re a lot harder to put new blades on than the older style that was much more straightforward.
When it’s all said and done, a lot of it comes down to when your car was made. Older cars, especially classics, almost always used a universal wiper arm that made it much easier to install new blades. All you had to do was pull the old ones out and slide the new ones in.
On the other hand, the newer automobiles tend to incorporate the bayonet style of blades that lock into place, and they do so in a very specific fashion. If you get the wrong size, you’re out of luck. Even with the right size, it can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth to install them on your own. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to ask someone else to do it for you.