Whenever you are driving you would always want to have a safe and clear vision, and windscreen is something that always helps you in keeping your view on the road even in rain and snow.
For cleaning the windscreen, you would need wiper blades and these wiper blades wear out over time and it needs to be replaced. In that situation, many drivers are tempted to know if they can use bigger wiper blades than the ones that are recommended for their cars.
For that reason, today we will get to know if you can use bigger wiper blades on your vehicle or not and how to make a good decision for your safety.
What Can Be The Impact Of Bigger Wiper Blades On Your Car?
If you are installing wiper blades that are larger than the normal size recommended for your car then you might have to face some consequences.
For an unprofessional person, it would seem like larger blades would be able to give a better coverage, but you should remember that vehicles are designed with a specific wiper blade size to ensure optimal performance and visibility.
So, if you install wiper blades with bigger size, then they might collide with each or hit the windshield trim, which can cause damage to the wiper motor, blades and arms.
Moreover, larger blades might not properly fit the design of your vehicle’s windshield, resulting in areas that remain uncleared and reduced visibility.
It’s crucial to prioritise safety and maintain the manufacturer’s recommended wiper blade size to ensure the best driving experience.
Does Windshield Wiper Size Matter?
The size of windshield wipers does matter, but there’s some leeway within which you can work.
Generally, as long as the size of the new wiper blade is roughly an inch larger or smaller than the size of your current wiper blade, it should work to some extent.
However, it’s important not to exceed this range, as wiper blades that are too large may overlap or touch, potentially causing them to break.
Certain manufacturers might not produce specific sizes of wiper blades due to low demand from automakers.
For instance, a well-known brand like Bosch might not offer 17-inch wiper blades, but opting for a 16- or 18-inch blade is acceptable. The impact of the size difference is usually minimal, as it results in just a half-inch variation on either side.
In rare cases, you might be able to deviate slightly from the automaker’s recommended wiper blade size without compromising safety and effectiveness.
To navigate this, aim to choose wiper blades that closely match the sizes suggested by your vehicle’s manufacturer, ideally no more than an inch larger or smaller.
Reason Behind Different Size Wiper Blades
If you’ve ever noticed that the driver’s side wiper is closer to the windshield’s edge, there’s a reason behind this design.
Windshield wiper blades come in various lengths due to the positioning of the wiper arms.
The wiper arm rotates to a 90-degree perpendicular before snapping back to its starting position, necessitating different lengths to ensure thorough coverage.
If both wipers were the same size and placed in the middle of the windshield, certain areas like the top center and top corners of the glass would remain uncleared.
Additionally, the trajectories of the wipers could intersect, leading to inefficient wiping. Vehicle designers strategically position and configure wipers to clear the maximum windshield area, particularly on the driver’s side.
This design logic necessitates varying wiper blade sizes to match the unique positions.
The Consequences of Using the Wrong Wiper Blade Size
While using the incorrect wiper blade size won’t cause immediate harm, it can lead to compromised visibility and potential issues.
You might experience a reduced wiping area, or the extra inch in length could interfere with the second wiper or the windshield’s edges. In such cases, you might notice noisy operation and jerky movements of the wipers.
While choosing the wrong wiper blade size won’t lead to significant damage, it’s advisable to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure the best performance and safety while driving.
Determining the Correct Wiper Blade Size
Choosing the right wiper blade size for your vehicle is critical for effective windshield clearing. Various methods can help you find the correct size:
- Take Them to the Parts Store: Bringing your old wiper blades to an auto-parts store can help employees assist you in finding the right replacement.
If you’re unsure how to remove the blades, there are many service chains that can help you do the replacement.
- Check the Owner’s Manual: Your vehicle’s owner’s manual should specify the appropriate wiper blade sizes for each side. Be sure to follow the instructions closely, as some vehicles have different size requirements for the driver and passenger sides.
- Local Online Tools or In-Store Systems: Online tools and touchpad systems in local parts stores can help you find the right-sized blades quickly and accurately.
- Consult a Service Technician: If you are not sure of what’s the right size for you, then you should always consult a certified technician who can help you on what size is best for your car.
Common Wiper Blade Sizes and Safety Considerations
To ensure optimal driving conditions, experts recommend closely adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended wiper blade sizes.
Once you have the exact specifications, you can choose between universal blades that fit multiple vehicles or blades specifically designed for your car.
The sizes of wiper blades normally range from 10 to 32 inches, with variations depending on the type of vehicle and the environment.
Typical car front wiper blade lengths range from 16 to 28 inches, while rear wiper blade lengths range from 11 to 16 inches.
The recommended blade length for your vehicle should be found in the owner’s manual, as utilising blades that are too short can impair your field of vision and the effectiveness of windscreen cleaning.
Despite the fact that there may not be as much of a size fluctuation as there is with other products, such as shoes, it is still vital to use the manufacturer’s size chart.
Always utilise the suggested blade length because a certain brand could occasionally suggest a slightly different size from the one that arrived with your car.
What Is The Optimal Wiper Blade Replacement Frequency?
Wiper blade replacements are generally needed between 6 to 12 months, but some factors can influence this timeframe as well.
Some factors like the weather conditions, how much you use it, and the material of the blades also plays an important role in its lifespan.
For example, silicone blades will last longer because of their durability, while traditional rubber blades would have shorter lifespan.
When performing normal maintenance, such as oil changes, make sure to regularly check your wiper blades to assess their condition and determine whether replacement is necessary.
It’s time for a replacement if there are symptoms like rust on the metal parts, screeching noises, streaks on the windscreen or decreased clearing performance.