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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been drizzling late this evening, and when it does, the wipers tend to smear.
I took off the blades and found them quite dirty. But I also noticed that the the tip of the blade that contacts the windshield is deformed to face in one direction. So, I pulled off the blades, cleaned the rubber parts, and managed to remove the rubber so I could reverse them. In doing so, they'll be going against the direction they settled in, hopefully they'll get straight for a while, then of course bend over in the opposite direction. I think its been a year since I replaced them.

So here's the discussion: What brand blade do you use, and how often do you change them. One may think getting a superior blade would be the thing to do, but if it doesn't long enough compared to a cheaper brand, it may be better to to get the cheaper one and replace more often.
Discuss, while I log onto CU and get their take on it.

By the way, after doing the cleaning and reversing, it works much better in a prelimary test using the washer, but still streaks a bit.
 

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I'm using factory ones (2 years, 3 months).

I regularly clean the blades. For those that don't, you'll be surprised how black they are. If you haven't cleaned them in a while, you'll be cleaning each blade a few times before you towel doesn't get black when you rub down the blade (The worst is 8 times on my dad's Camry before the towel was clean when I rubbed down the strip).

Didn't replace my dad's one til last summer. They were almost 5 years old and streaking. The new ones obviously are superior and surprisingly cheap. Cdn$8 for the driver's side, Cdn$5 for the passenger side.

Definitely worth changing for the safety of a clean, streak-free windshield.
 

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You might want to consider switching to PIAA wiper blades, the best I've ever owned. Bought them based on a recommendation online, and they run about $20 per blade, but they are made of silicone and never streak. Truly excellent quality... and you might also consider the back wiper mod so that you get an additional 2-3 inches of window space cleared with each pass. I'll try to dig up the link if you are interested.

I've had them installed since June 2006 and they perform like they are still brand new. Prior to that I used the factory installs since December 2003 when I purchased my 2004 Prius.
 

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This is probably something I should look at...my blades are over 3 years old on the front. The thing is, I don't use them often b/c I use Rain-X. I do use them when the windshield gets dusty/dirty or bird crap gets on it though.

My rear blade required replacement b/c the bottom edge was torn due to being deformed much like the OP described. I had to buy a new blade (not just the rubber part) from a Toyota dealer as no substitute could be located at regular locations.

I'll consider the PIAAs
 

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I just put new blades on the anti-Prius. Dealer wanted $35 for a set of "refills" (rubber part that slides in). Went to Canadian Tire and purchased generic inserts ($10 for a pair). OMG, I had to bend the tabs the blades slide between because, of course, manufacturers use "proprietary" sizes to prevent you from buying elsewhere. Big job, bending those little tabs. ;) Oh, and I had to cut the blades to length before inserting them. Just removed each blade and used it as a template - each side is a different length. They work very well.

I'm sure you can do the same for the Prius.

Not sure what I can do for the rear one - it's a totally non-standard size.
 

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I too have a 2001 Pathfinder and I found it's just easier to replace the rear wiper with a close match. I believe the rear wiper is supposed to be 12", but I've used 11" and 13" blades successfully. I don't just put a refill in though, I replace the carrier and blade. Same thing for the fronts, that way I'm not constrained by Nissan's goofy refills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Warwind said:
DanMan32 said:
while I log onto CU and get their take on it.
What is CU?
Consumers Union, the organization that publishes Consumers Reports. I suppose I should have put CR instead of CU.

Anyway, I logged onto their website, and they didn't have an article online. The last test was in 2000, and they only have as far back as 2003 online. I think I still have magazines from 2000 though, which I was about to dispose of somehow.
I did find a column though on maintenance on that site. They recommend every 6 months.
I'll look into PIAA if these wipers that I rehabilitated don't work too well.

I also bought Invisible Glass and Rain-X, but haven't gotten around to applying them yet. Guess this would be a good time to get my car washed, then apply these things, since I am still out of work. Better than wasting time watching silly TV.
 

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8)
 

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I recently had my 15,000 mile checkup and was shown torn front blades and asked if I wanted replacements. I was a bit surprised as my car is less than 2 years old and not driven in the rain that much. Wish I could say how much I paid, but all I remember is it was cheap. They also found a nail in my front tire.
 

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Tideland Prius said:
I regularly clean the blades. For those that don't, you'll be surprised how black they are. If you haven't cleaned them in a while, you'll be cleaning each blade a few times before you towel doesn't get black when you rub down the blade (The worst is 8 times on my dad's Camry before the towel was clean when I rubbed down the strip).
Does cleaning your blades make them last longer? If it does then it sounds like a good idea. If not, it seems like a lot of work for nothing. When it rains, I turn my wipers on and it clears off the window. It doesn't make them dirty, even after not being cleaned since they were new. I'm sure if you tried to clean tires off, they would leave your rags black too but that doesn't mean they need to be cleaned.
 

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It has been my understanding that using blades as intended when raining, has little to do with them wearing out & needing replacement.

I believe blades are "worn out" by sitting in the sun, which deteriorates the blade material, or use on ice on the windshield, which of course beats them up. I have had blades last for many, many years, in good wiping condition, as I normally garage the car, do not live in an ice/snow area, and rarely have to park the car for long periods of time outdoors in the sun.

Of course, :wink: being an old retired guy helps me with that. :)
 

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An04Prius said:
It has been my understanding that using blades as intended when raining, has little to do with them wearing out & needing replacement.

I believe blades are "worn out" by sitting in the sun, which deteriorates the blade material, or use on ice on the windshield, which of course beats them up. I have had blades last for many, many years, in good wiping condition, as I normally garage the car, do not live in an ice/snow area, and rarely have to park the car for long periods of time outdoors in the sun.

Of course, :wink: being an old retired guy helps me with that. :)
Well, that definitely explains my problem. My car fits all of those "worn outs".
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
redwein said:
Tideland Prius said:
I regularly clean the blades. For those that don't, you'll be surprised how black they are. If you haven't cleaned them in a while, you'll be cleaning each blade a few times before you towel doesn't get black when you rub down the blade (The worst is 8 times on my dad's Camry before the towel was clean when I rubbed down the strip).
Does cleaning your blades make them last longer? If it does then it sounds like a good idea. If not, it seems like a lot of work for nothing./quote]
Same question I am currently asking about cleaning my shower door. Spend all this time cleaning all the gunk off of it and looking for glass gasket, or spend $200 for new doors? I'm leaning towards getting new doors.
redwein said:
When it rains, I turn my wipers on and it clears off the window. It doesn't make them dirty, even after not being cleaned since they were new. I'm sure if you tried to clean tires off, they would leave your rags black too but that doesn't mean they need to be cleaned.
Yes, but you don't drive on glass that you have to see out of.
 

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DanMan32 said:
redwein said:
When it rains, I turn my wipers on and it clears off the window. It doesn't make them dirty, even after not being cleaned since they were new. I'm sure if you tried to clean tires off, they would leave your rags black too but that doesn't mean they need to be cleaned.
Yes, but you don't drive on glass that you have to see out of.
I had a typo. I meant to say that it doesn't make "it" dirty, meaning my windshield, not "them", looking like I meant the blades. Since my windshield gets cleared without getting dirty when it rains, I still don't see the point of cleaning the blades.
 

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DanMan32 said:
Does cleaning your blades make them last longer? If it does then it sounds like a good idea. If not, it seems like a lot of work for nothing.
The difference is that shower doors are $200 and wiper blades are a few dollars.

Cleaning them regularly just minimises streaking that's all. I mean if your windshield is fairly smooth (from all the wiping) and you have a nice clean blade, then you can clear the rain water better. You're supposed to change them every year (due to them cracking or aging under the hot sun and other crud that accumulates on the blade).

It may only be a few dollars but hey, it lasted 5 years in the Camry with regular cleaning, right?
 

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Tideland Prius said:
It may only be a few dollars but hey, it lasted 5 years in the Camry with regular cleaning, right?
That's what I was wondering. Is there conventional wisdom out there that says it makes them last longer, or is it only for cleanliness sake? My cars that sit outside need to have the blades replaced every 2 years or so, due to cracking. I'm assuming that is from sitting out in the sun. My wife's cars stay in the garage and the blades seem to last as long as we keep the cars. Neither of them gets the blades cleaned. I suppose I could clean the blades on one outside car and not the other and do a test of some sort. I would have to wait more than 2 years for the result though.
 

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Well the thing is that when it starts streaking, rather than replace the blades, give the blades a shot and clean them (either dry or with a damp towel or even Windex might work [ammonia-free I'm assuming]).

All I know is that cleaning them just makes them NOT streak for a longer time, delaying the replacement process. Again, the Camry was garaged most of its life. It now sits outside cause the Prius took its garage spot. It has been this way for 2 years now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
After cleaning and reversing my blades, they streak much less. Still a little streak, but usable. But then, I haven't experienced light rain that was problematic. Heavy rain was not a problem.

As for not getting the blades dirty, the only way the blades would be left clean is to not use the wipers at all. You might even have to leave the car garaged unused. Dirt will always get on them, just as dirt gets on the rest of the car. Dirty blades don't function well, so they do have to be clean. Tires don't need to be perfectly clean to function well.
 

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I guess I'm saying that I never clean my blades and they seem to work perfectly fine. Granted that if I have a dirty windshield and very light rain, they make a mess, but I assume that is the dirt on the windshield as much as anything. In all cases, any time there is a reasonable amount of rain (or cleaner from using my windshield washer), my windshield gets cleaned fine, with no streaks. Maybe I would notice some sort of improvement if I did clean them. I'm not sure what that would be though.
 
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