Everything You Need to Know about Windshield Wipers in the Winter

Winter inAlbuquerque can bring anything from cold rain to stinging sleet tosnow-globe-like blizzard conditions. You just never know. But you need to beready for any type of winter precipitation. That means you need the right wiperblades to keep your windshield clear of actual precipitation as well as theroad-grime-slush ick that gets kicked up by other vehicles’ tires.

Before you head toyour nearest auto parts store to get new blades, know your options and whichones are more likely to meet your needs.

What You Want in Wiper Blades for Winter

When you shop forwindshield wiper blades, you’ll first notice two main types:

  • All-weather
  • Winter

Which type youneed depends on a couple of factors:

  • Averagedaily temperatures
  • Averageexpected precipitation

Albuquerque hashad a number of mild winters, and all-weather wiper blades would be fine forthose conditions. But like we said, you never know, so winter wiper blade maybe your best choice.

Compared toall-weather blades, winter wiper blades typically offer:

  • Fully enclosed frame
    Ifyou look at the frame of an all-weather wiper, you’ll see a lot of holes. Thoseare perfect places for ice and frost to build up. And if it does, your wipergets heavy…sometimes too heavy for the motor to push it across your windshield.So in the cold of night (because you know that’s when it’s going to happen),you have to get out of your warm car and de-ice your windshield wipers. Unless,of course, you have winter wiper blades with a fully enclosed frame that has noholes.
  • Rubber compound that better withstands cold
    All-weatherwipers typically have an all-natural rubber blade. All-natural rubber can getbrittle in cold temperatures. Hardening makes blades more likely to skip acrossyour windshield, so it isn’t as effective at removing rain, snow and ice. Italso makes blades more likely to tear, rendering them useless when you needthem most. Winter blades, on the other hand, use a rubber compound thatmaintains flexibility and grip on the glass.

Winterwiper blades are also more likely to feature easy attachments. If that’s thedifference in price point, definitely opt for the quick-install variety asnothing makes windshield wiper blade installation harder than clumsy, frozenfingers.

Wiper Blade Maintenance

No matter whattype of wiper blade you choose, your blades will only perform well if they areintact and clean. To keep them that way:

  • Routinelyclean your windshield so that the wiper blades do not collect debris that isthen scraped across your glass
  • Routinelywipe off blades with a cloth or paper towel
  • Scrapeyour frozen windshield to de-ice it rather than running your wipers to clearaway frost and ice
  • Preventyour wipers from freezing to your windshield (pulling wipers away from theglass and then setting them back down before you leave your car parked for thenight may be enough)

Oh, and never runyour windshield wipers across a dry windshield. So, when you’re buying blades,remember the wiper fluid.