Eventually, everybody needs to replace his or her windshield wipers. You can purchase a really cheap set at the local mega-mart, or you can spend $20 or more per blade. The question is how do you combine savings and quality in a way that avoids the need to replace your blades every other week.
Learn to Do It Yourself
Odd as it may seem, a relatively large percentage of drivers don’t know how to change their own wiper blades. This is a relatively simple task, although it can vary a bit from car to car. Get out your owner’s manual and learn. You will get charged a lot more for the same blade if you ask the garage to put them on for you.
Determine What You Need
While you are learning how to replace your blades, find out what size blades you need. Chances are you will need to replace your front blades much more often then your back blade – if you even have one. It is fairly common to need two different sized blades today, so write down what you need before you start “shopping” around.
Get online and read some reviews. Some blades work very well in snowy conditions, others work better in rain. Determine which functions you need most of all. If you live in Buffalo, chances are you will want winter blades by the time fall rolls around. In Seattle you will want blades that work very well in rain. Winter blades usually cost more, so you don’t want to get them unless you really have to.
Online you can check prices for specific blades so you don’t waste gas and time driving around while comparison shopping.
Keep Them Clean
If your windshield wipers start streaking, you don’t have to rush out and buy new ones. First, figure out if the streaking is occurring because of worn blades or due to dirt.
Wiping down your wiper blades from time to time will not only prolong the life of your windshield, but it will help you evaluate if you really need to replace your blades. Wiper blades accumulate grit, sap, dust, and more as they go back and forth across your window.
To clean them, grab some isopropyl alcohol and a clean paper towel. Wet the towel and wipe it back and forth over the blade a few times. Test the blades by spraying some water on the windshield and run the wipers. If you are streak free, things are good. If you still streak, you will know that it is actually time to change the blades.
Look for Coupons
It’s an old song but the tunes still hold true, manufacturers want you to purchase their brand, so keep an eye out for coupons, especially around the holidays, season changes, and online. If you have a brand of wipers you really like, consider signing up for e-mails from that company, as you might get coupons tossed in as well.
Windshield wipers are an essential piece of safety equipment on your car, but there is no reason to pay top dollar for them.
This is part of the How to Save Money on Everything ebook. Get yours free by signing up for the frugal email newsletter.