Are Silicone Wiper Blades Worth the Money

Autos & TrucksMaintenance

  • Author John Akin
  • Published May 3, 2008
  • Word count 642

Are Silicone Wiper Blades worth the Money?

Like Rubber Wiper Blades and just about every other product or service, Silicone Wiper Blades come at different Price Levels, and buying the dearest doesn’t necessarily mean getting the best.

In order to make an informed decision, we need to be able to spot quality features in Wiperblades, and understand what influence they have on Safety, Life and Performance.

Next we need a method of measuring the cost of Wiperblades against their useful life. We do that by dividing the cost of a single wiper blade by the number of 100,000 cycles in it’s expected life. A cycle being 1 wipe in each direction.

The cheapest and most basic Wiper Blades have a moulded rubber blade with an arrow-head profile offering a single wiping edge. They’ll also have a very cheaply constructed frame. Differences in Frame Quality are more difficult to spot, but usually, the blade quality is a good indicator of the overall quality of the Wiper Blade. Most un-branded Wiper Blades fall into this category.

Single edge Wiper Blades have a typical life of 200,000 cycles, and can cost as little as £3, so they cost at least £1.50 per 100,000 cycles

Most Motorists seek comfort in the big Global Brand Wiper Blades. They know they’re probably not getting the best value for money, but it’s a safe bet. Of course the big brands aren’t slow to take advantage of that, and so their prices aren’t always cost-effective.

Global Brands (and some smaller Brands) offer good quality Wiper Blades. They are easy to spot because the rubber blade has a profile like a small screwdriver instead of an arrow head. This means there are 2 Wiping Edges instead of one. As the Wiper Arm moves in one direction the blade flexes and trails, presenting one of the tip’s "corners" to the windscreen. On the Return Wipe, the blade flexes in the other direction, and uses the opposite edge to wipe the screen.

Quality Twin Edge Rubber Wiper Blades are good for around 500,000 (half a million) wipes. They reduce the risk of unwiped areas, and are much smoother and quieter than cheaper wiper blades. Typically they cost around £10 each, and so cost around £2 per 100,000 cycles.

Every pack of Rubber Wiperblades that I’ve seen carries a warning that they should be replaced between 6-12 mnoths. That’s because U.V. Ozone and Pollution all combine to attack the Rubber Wiper Blades, even when they’re not being used. That’s really bad news for Low-Mileage Drivers and Classic Car Owners, because the Wipers often rot away before they’ve done much work!

Silicone Wiper Blades wear much slower than Rubber ones. A good quality Silicone Wiper Blade has an expected life of 1,500,000 (one and a half million) cycles. Good Quality Silicone Wiper Blades cost slightly more than Premium branded rubber ones, about £12 each. Giving by far the lowest Cost over life of £0.85 per 100,000 Cycles - Obviously, that’s great news for High-Mileage Drivers.

On top of that Silicone Wiper Blades aren’t affected by Ozone, UV and Pollution, so when you’re not using them, your investment isn’t wasting away. That’s great news for Low-Mileage Drivers & Classic Car Owners, because they can get the full useful life out of their purchase.

Silicone Wiper Blades offer great safety advantages. Their increased flexibility especially in extreme cold weather, means that you don’t get those dangerous un-wiped areas especially on dark winter mornings. Also, the flexibility and performance is more constant over life, because Silicone shakes off UV, Ozone and Pollution attack.

Look for the following features to make sure you get genuine good quality Silicone Wiper Blades:- Twin Edge Profile, "100 more than a Major Branded Rubber one, and you really have the Best Wiper Blade for Performance, Safety, Life AND Value!

John Akin is the Senior Partner of John Akin & Co

Specialising since 1994 in Innovative Products & Technical Solutions for the European Aerospace, Automotive and Engineering Industries

Silicone Wiper Blades

Article source:
This article has been viewed 2,759 times.

Rate article

This article has a 5 rating with 1 vote.

Article comments

There are no posted comments.

Related articles