Wipers are one of the few highly visible components which can easily be changed by the DIY motorist. They are essential for removing rain, snow, ice, dust, pollen or other debris from your windscreen so that you have a clear view when driving. As often road accidents are caused by poor visibility, this makes windscreen wipers, along with lights and interior ventilation, vital for driving safety.
What type of wipers do I need?There’s more to buying a new set of wiper blades than simply picking a set and attaching them to your car. You need to consider the characteristics of different blade types, the sizes required and the wiper’s appearance. Below you can find an overview of the different wiper parts, types and styles, as well as why the size is important. There is also information on recent innovations in wiper technology and the possible future of wipers.
Windscreen wiper partsA windscreen wiper is made of the following parts:
Different types of wipersThe three main types of wiper blades are: conventional, flat and hybrid. If your car came with conventional windscreen wipers, they can be replaced with flat or hybrid wipers for a performance and visual upgrade. However, it should be noted that cars that came with flat windscreen wipers cannot be fitted with conventional ones.
Conventional windscreen wipers
Up until a few years ago, conventional windscreen wipers were the most common type fitted to new cars. Nowadays, almost all new cars are equipped with flat blades.
Conventional windscreen wipers have a metal or metal plastic composite structure comprising a central bridge and articulated links that provides between 4 and 8 pressure points, depending on the length of the blade. Spring flexors distribute the force generated by the wiper arm spring via the wiper bridge and links and flexors to the rubber element for a uniform pressure on the glass.
Flat windscreen wipersIncreasingly, new cars are now equipped with flat windscreen wipers.
As the name suggests, hybrid windscreen wipers are a combination of conventional and flat windscreen wipers. They enjoy both aerodynamic properties and appearance of flat windscreen wipers with the performance of conventional windscreen wipers.
The integrated spoiler runs along the full length of the blade, reducing wind lift to maintain constant down force. This keeps the rubber blade on the windscreen, for a smooth and quiet movement especially at high speeds.