How to find out the type and size of wiper blade for your car?
Vehicle maintenance is more than just visiting the mechanic a couple of times a year for that regular engine oil change. There are many parts of the car that need attentions, including your good old windscreen wipers.
As simple as they sound, windscreen wipers play a crucial part in car safety, especially when it comes to the time where you need to drive in the rain. They are the difference between what you can and cannot see, so it's essential to make sure they are properly maintained.
But how do you find out the type and size of wiper blades your car needs?
All vehicles require different size wiper blades, so check the length via the car's user manual which usually sits in the glove compartment. To cross-check, most wiper blade manufacturers also have recommended sizing that covers almost all car models, but your manual will probably be the best guide. The reason for this is because sometimes, the two wiper blades for your windscreen might come in different sizes.
If you replace your wiper blades with the wrong size, you will find that one will hang from the side of your windshield and hit the top of the windshield when it is in a completely vertical position. Not only can this lead to rapid wear of the wipers, but it can also cause the blades to hit and damage each other, which in turn might also damage your expensive windscreen and its surroundings.
To have the best chance of removing dirt, dust and other particles from the windshield, the lengths must be exact to the vehicle manufacturer recommendation.
The rear wiper will be a different size compared to the front, with most being smaller than your windscreen wipers. Even if you think a larger wiper blade might cover more area in the rear, it's best not to do so at it will protrude out of the glass area and hit the vehicle's body, so it's best to keep it to manufacturer specification.
Once you have figured out what size your wiper blades are, you should also consider and know what type of connectors they use as it isn't one type fits all. Vehicle manufacturers use a variety of connector styles to attach the wiper blades to the wiper arm. Knowing the difference between them is helpful when you need to buy new wiper blades.
While the three most common connector styles are J-hook, side pin, and bayonet, you might be surprised by the manufacturers' variety of designs, as some are proprietary. In the past, this would mean that you would need to buy original equipment or original equipment manufacturer wipers, but in the modern-day, most wiper manufacturers include a connector adaptor which makes it easier for wipers to be accepted on most cars.
If all fails, you can always do a physical inspection of your car's wiper blades, but it's best to look it up in a manual, parts book or using an online resource. Except for the manual, you will typically need to know the year, make, and vehicle model to identify which ones fit your vehicle.