Best Windshield Wipers 2018 – Buyers GuideLast Updated: November 1, 2018
If you need to replace your windshield wipers, and want to ensure a quality wipe with durability and efficiency, check out our team’s assessments of the Best Windshield Wipers in this great Top 10 Buyers Guide 2018
Outside of serious motoring enthusiasts, windshield wipers would not be high on the priority of most people who drive cars for business or pleasure. However, it’s important to become more aware of the best windshield wipers and how to buy them, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, although the pre-installed wipers on your car may work perfectly find, they are mechanical devices that get a lot of wear and tear in the average week, and regularly need replacing.
When you need to replace your wipers, are you best to go to your dealer and find the ones supplied by the manufacturer for your vehicle, or do you head to the marketplace? Sometimes, the latter is the best option, in terms of value for money, durability or efficiency.
Our team has taken a look at the best windshield wipers on the market, from the perspective of a variety of questions and issues that you need to be aware of when looking for the best windshield wipers. You must be aware of whether they are compatible with your car, for example. Reliability and reputation of the manufacturer is another important point. And last, but by no means least, quality of the product.
Best Windshield Wipers 2018
Read on, for our reviewers’ pick of the best windshield wipers, laid out below for you in a handy 1-10 table of the best windshield wipers products.
Bosch needs no introduction, but people might not think of them as a manufacturer of quality windscreen wipers. Well, they are. Flawlessly so. There really is nothing negative to be said about the Bosch 26A ICON wipers. They are of simple design, but robust and sturdy quality. The wipers are easier to install than pretty much any other wiper blade, and, best of all, they probably have the longest life span on the market.
Number of Customer Reviews: 1,339
Average Review Rating: 3.8 out of 5 Stars
Materials, Design & Build
One of the chief attractions about the Bosch 26A ICON is the sheer quality of its design and build. Bosch is a renowned and recognised brand worldwide, and these wipers are another flagship product. Their exclusive FX rubber material is resistant heat and ozone deterioration, and is proven in independent tests to last for up to 40 percent longer than rival wiper products. It’s a graphite-blended natural rubber substance which, used in wiper blades, is great for consistency, and it’s as quiet as it is clean. Another great feature is the spring-arcing tech that creates a fit that’s custom-contoured to the curvature of each side of your windshield. They also have a flexible asymmetric spoiler that exerts uniform downward pressure along the entire blade, not just the centre, to make it adhere firmly to the windshield even at higher wiper speeds.
Best Things About the Bosch 26A ICON
We would say that what you’re buying into when you opt to purchase the Bosch 26A ICON is brand reliability but their superior performance, rugged and solid construction, and their durability. You’ll be getting a clean, quiet wipe operation out of these for a considerable length of time.
Worst Things About the Bosch 26A ICON
While the manufacturer claims that the Bosch 26A ICON is easy to instal, we would have to say that despite the provision of hook arm adapters (for 9×3 and 9×4), these are actually quite difficult to instal. The instructions must be followed to the letter.
Best Windshield Wipers Review – Bosch 26A ICON – Summary
A great quality pair of windshield wipers, the only thing negative that we have to say about these is the installation, which is not quite so easy as the manufacturers would have you believe.
|Bosch 26A ICON - Our Verdict|
|Overall, if your priority is performance and design and you're not too concerned about the relatively high price, then don't hesitate to go for the Bosch 26A ICON.|
|Bosch 26A ICON - Pros||Bosch 26A ICON - Cons|
|The standard of construction and the rubber materials used in these wiper blade are outstanding.||Installation is a little trick, but for some people, the short term pain is well worth the overall gain.|
There is very little separating the Bosch from the Rain-X Latitude. These are incontestably one of the best if not the best windshield wipers available. They are durable, so long time is guaranteed. The wipers are very easy to instal, and there’s a smooth, quiet operation—no squeaks! This top notch wiper set has the best cross-market compatibility as it comes in just about any size you can imagine.
Number of Customer Reviews: 429
Average Review Rating: 3.6 out of 5 Stars
Materials, Design & Build
Another superior set of wiper blades, this time from Rain-X, this is marketed as “more than just a wiper blade”. We take this to mean that it’s as effecting as repelling water as it is cleaning dirt and residue from the windscreen—and so it proves in practice. This is another of the best-selling wiper blades on Amazon, and frankly, we’re not surprised. You’re going to find either the Latitude or other products from the Rain-X wiper blade range either in silver or gold medal position in a huge number of product reviews.
Like the Bosch ICON, this is beam blade, and it comes in around the same price range as the ICON too. If you can get the fit right to your own vehicle’s windshield, they will keep the screen clear of rain (and snow, and mud) and perform effectively throughout their life cycle. the fact that in a 2017 Kantar TNS survey of 40,000 customers, this product took product of the year in the ‘car care’ category. They really are that good.
The synthetic rubber blend squeegee—with its Rain-X water-repellant coating—and the advanced beam bad technology is designed to closely hug the curvature of your windshield.
Best Things About the Rain-X Latitude
Despite their triumph in the 2017 Kantar survey, Rain-X Latitude is not a name that you hear as frequently as Bosch. However, we can tell you that these are almost as good as their better-known peers. We enjoyed the synergy of the blade workings and its rubber squeegee and how it works together for a smooth streak-free wipe. They also come with a handy universal adapter to help you instal them.
Worst Things About the Rain-X Latitude
They are not as quiet as their closest rivals, the Bosch ICON (above).
Best Windshield Wipers Review – Rain-X Latitude – Summary
These are a very consistent wiper blade indeed, and just as good value for money as the Bosch ICON. They are not as quiet in operation as the ICON, however, although considered in the round, that seems like a minor quibble.
|Rain-X Latitude - Our Verdict|
|This gets the thumbs up from our team as one of the best, most consistent wiper blades available in 2018.|
|Rain-X Latitude - Pros||Rain-X Latitude - Cons|
|These are well made, consistent and effective blades for keeping your windshield clean.||These are well made, consistent and effective blades for keeping your windshield clean.|
Anco’s 31 Series is available in a huge variety of sizes, and like the previous entries in the table, they’re a high quality item, made from DuraKlear Rubber, which maximises efficiency and keeps the noise and streak to an absolute minimum. They are great value for money, at an affordable price point. This, with their rather lightweight albeit solid feel, might make them the underdog of the best windshield wipers stakes, but these are a great option.
Number of Customer Reviews: 2,890
Average Review Rating: 3.8 out of 5 Stars
Materials, Design & Build
While none of these products is particularly expensive on the face of it, the Anco 31 Series is significantly cheaper than the best known brands, and for this reason, it’s hardly a surprise to find that these too are among the best-selling windshield wiper blades on Amazon in particular and online in general. But price would mean nothing without a respectable performance and lifespan and that’s where these wiper blades really come into their own. One of the difficulties with wiper blades at the more affordable end of the budget span is that they have to be replaced so frequently, there is little or no cost benefit arising from the price tag in and of itself.
These are made from an exclusive rubber compound named DuraKlear, which provides not only pretty consistent streak-free performance on your windshield, but also the kind of durability that you would expect from the more expensive wiper blades.
Best Things About the Anco 31 Series
Durability, and that’s a surprise given their price, and it definitely makes them a standout player at the cheaper end of the market. The DuraKlear rubber compound from which they are made (see above) is well named!
Worst Things About the Anco 31 Series
The blades are noticeably louder in operation, and we found also that you really have to ensure that your windshield doesn’t have a significant degree of curvature. If it does, skip on these. They just won’t work effectively at all.
Best Windshield Wipers Review – Anco 31 Series – Summary
These are, in the round, a fantastic set of wiper blades for the price, and another strong point is that they are available in a range of lengths, ranging from 10in to 28in. They’re easy to instal, thanks to the KiwkConnect Installation System, which produces an audible click that lets you know the product has been installed properly.
|Anco 31 Series - Our Verdict|
|The Anco 31 Series is what you should go for if you're looking for something at the more affordable end of the market that will give you the durability you'd expect from a Bosch or another premium brand. But do make sure that your windscreen is suitable for these.|
|Anco 31 Series - Pros||Anco 31 Series - Cons|
|The value for money of the Anco 31 Series is superb, and these will last just as long as the more premium brand blades provided you use them and care for them correctly.||Ultimately, the quality of the build and the materials is slightly inferior to that used by the more premium brands, and so they're not as quiet as you might like them to be.|
The Valeo 900 Series is one of the best windshield wipers available today, coming in a range of sizes to fit almost any requirement. They’re made from high grade Tec3 Rubber, and there is no sign of any of the metal parts that can collect dust, grime or ice & snow. Everything is ingeniously tucked away. These are built to last and cannot be praised highly enough.
Number of Customer Reviews: 2,535
Average Review Rating: 3.9
Materials, Design & Build
The 26in Valeo 900 frameless replacement wiper blade has been rated by a third party consumer magazine as one of the top performing wiper blades available in 2018. These are frameless, unlike most of the blades featured on this review page. They have no metal or rubber superstructure, and so will not gather water and dust and snow in the workings. Because of this also they tend to last for longer, as they are more aerodynamic, and have a more evenly dispersed and plentiful set of pressure points, meaning that their contact with the windscreen is much better. This means that you’re going to have fewer streak marks than ever before, and they will be quieter also.
Best Things About the Valeo 900 Series
The Tec3 Rubber Technology in these Valeo 900 Series blades will deliver a smoother and quieter wipe, and they’re suitable in all seasons. They’re also easy to install, and because of the frameless design, they have some 1,500 pressure points retaining contact with the windshield at all times, as opposed to the 4-8 pressure points of a conventional blade. The Valeo 900 Series blades are also versatile, and available in a range of sizes, from 15in right up to 29in, so they will fit most cars.
Worst Things About the Valeo 900 Series
Pricing is likely the only really negative aspect of the Valeo 900 Series. They will be beyond what some people are prepared to pay for wiper blades.
Best Windshield Wipers Review – Valeo 900 Series – Summary
These are a great set of windshield wipers. Their innovative design makes for a quiet and effective screen wiping operation, and, combined with their durability, constitutes an adequate return on investment for what is a more expensive set of wiper blades.
|Valeo 900 Series - Our Verdict|
|Although some will quibble at the price, there is no argument that anyone can make about the effectiveness of the Valeo 900 Series wiper blades. These are exceptionally good in all weather conditions.|
|Valeo 900 Series - Pros||Valeo 900 Series - Cons|
|Design and quality of construction.||High price likely to be an issue for some.|
Next on our list of the best windshield wipers is the Aero OEM Premium. These are constructed from special rubber made to withstand the wear and tear that can really compromise some of the lesser quality windscreen wipers on the market. These are also aerodynamic, and so don’t drag, clean efficiently and keep noise to a minimum. They’re more expensive than some of the others, but their longevity speaks for itself.
Number of Customer Reviews: 4,127
Average Review Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars
Materials, Design & Build
The AERO OEM Premium All-Season wiper blades use top quality materials and pass strict QC testing. They offer the durability and quality of major brand names, and they’re covered by a six-month warranty for OEM replacement, quality and fitment. These J-Hook style bracketlesss blades are made from premium rubber with a DuPont Teflon coating, and have been tested for a wiping durability of one-million times. Again, the bracket-free design of these blades means that you have no difficulty with buildup of debris, snow or ice, and the aerodynamic design is a significant contributor to the effectiveness of performance. You’ll not be troubled by drag, noise or wind life with these blades.
Best Things About the Aero OEM Premium All-Season
The bracketless design is great, as is the value for money which also buys six months’ warranty cover. There is also a broad compatibility with a range of vehicles and the consistently streak-free performance is fantastic. AERO is a supplier of OEM wipers for numerous vehicle manufacturers, and therefore they will work just as well as the blades that came with those vehicles—indeed, in some cases they might even be of a superior performance.
Worst Things About the Aero OEM Premium All-Season
Although they are compatible with a wide range of newer vehicles (because of their standard hook mount), one major drawback is the lack of any adapter that would enable these wipers to work (out of the box) on certain vehicles.
Best Windshield Wipers Review – Aero OEM Premium All-Season – Summary
All in all, these are fantastic value for money, with their Teflon-coated blades, OEM quality and six-month warranty all over-riding any minor niggles some people might have about durability and compatibility with some vehicles.
|Aero OEM Premium - Our Verdict|
|This is one of the best wiper blades you could find, and if they're compatible with your vehicle you might find that they're even superior to the blades that are on your car already!|
|Aero OEM Premium - Pros||Aero OEM Premium - Cons|
|The bracketless design, broad compatibility range and six month warranty are all great selling points.||They might not be as durable as more premium brands, and the lack of an adapter is a minor drawback|
The Valeo 600 Series may not be quite as robust as the 900 Series, but they deliver the same quality performance as the other wipers in the Valeo stable. They’re also affordable, easy to install, and their availability in a range of sizes guarantees that these will be popular right across the board.
Number of Customer Reviews: 1,136
Average Review Rating: 4.1 out of 5 Stars
Materials, Design & Build
These are not quite so durable and high performance as their frameless counterparts, the 900 Series (see number 4 on our review list), but they are still one of the best selling wiper blades on Amazon and their popularity is understandable given their quality. A traditional blade design, they’re not of comparable performance to the 900 Series, but they’re still very good indeed for a wiper blade of their design. They’re very easy to install but they might not suit all vehicles. If they do though, you’re on to a durable, high performance winner.
They’re made from Tec3 Advanced Rubber Technology that’s designed to make wipers glide more smoothly on the windshield and without generating much noise, and according to consumer feedback they are particularly suitable for clearing snow and ice during the winter months. However, if you get the fit right, these will give you close to a best-in-show performance in all kinds of weather conditions.
Best Things About the Valeo 600 Series
These are a durable set of wiper blades, like pretty much all of the product coming out under the Valeo brand. They’re quiet in operation, very easy to install, and while the performance is perhaps not up to the standard of the frameless Valeo 900 series, it is perfectly fine for most users. Their build its robust, with a galvanised steel build that prevents corrosion, making them particularly sought after in areas of the country prone to heavy snowfalls, or in coastal locations where there are high salt concentrations in the air.
Worst Things About the Valeo 600 Series
They have been designed as an all-purpose wiper blade that will fit most vehicles, but they will not fit all types of windshield for maximum effectiveness.
Best Windshield Wipers Review – Valeo 600 Series – Summary
The Valeo 600 Series is one of the best-selling wiper blades on Amazon for a reason. They’re effective, easy to install and built to last. However, it might be an idea to consult and expert motor mechanic when making your first purchase, as they are not the cheapest purchase, and they’re unsuitable for a number of windshield curvatures.
|Valeo 600 Series - Our Verdict|
|If you are driving a car that these wipers will fit correctly, it would be difficult to find a better set of windshield wipers than the Valeo 600 Series. However, please ensure that the blades will fit your windscreen properly before committing to purchase.|
|Valeo 600 Series - Pros||Valeo 600 Series - Cons|
|Their build quality and durability is superb, and they're quiet and very effective in all weather conditions.||They will not suit the curvature of some windshields and you should do a suitability check before purchasing.|
Trico Force is an extremely dramatic name for a windshield wiper, but believe us, these are indeed dramatic in their performance and their quality. For the price point, these are extremely recommendable and they come in a wide variety of sizes. They’re also super easy for anyone to install, and they perform well in all climates. This versatility and their durability makes Trico Force one of the best windshield wipers available.
Number of Customer Reviews: 902
Average Review Rating: 3.9 out of 5 Stars
Materials, Design & Build
These are among the most expensive wiper blades on the market, and in performance you can see why straight away. Simply put, their performance is exceptionally good in all weather conditioners. They have a robust superstructure for durability, and yet they’re aerodynamically superior, cutting through wind speeds of up to 135mph to deliver crystal clear windshield visibility. You’ll certainly have no trouble amid the cross-winds and turbulence caused by traffic. The VorTec® aerofoil converts wind force, while the HighGlide® treatment helps ensure a quieter performance from the rubber squeegee.
Best Things About the Trico Force 25-220
The attention to detail in the build gets best in class results with the Trico Force 25-220, and the superstructure of the blade is obviously built to endure through all weather conditions. Even a non-expert will have no difficulty connecting the blades, thanks to Trico’s SWIFT® easy connection technology. The blades are also available in a range of lengths, from 14in up to 28in.
Worst Things About the Trico Force 25-220
There is very little ‘wrong’ with the Trico Force 25-220. In fact, they’re almost victims of their own success. The wiper blades have been so well designed to deal with extreme weather that in conditions of only light mist they can actually be a little squeaky.
Best Windshield Wipers Review – Trico Force 25-220 – Summary
These are an almost perfect set of windshield wipers, certainly they’re among the very best that our team has ever reviewed. The price is a little higher than some others, but they’re worth every cent.
|Trico Force 25-220 - Our Verdict|
|The Trico Force 25-220 wiper blades get an enthusiastic and emphatic thumbs-up from our reviews team. There is almost nothing wrong with these wiper blades at all—they're all but flawless.|
|Trico Force 25-220 - Pros||Trico Force 25-220 - Cons|
|Durability and performance—these function well in all weather conditions, even in high wind.||Almost none. But they can be a little bit squeaky when handling lighter jobs, such as light mist.|
This is another quality wiper blade, available for the vast majority of windshield sizes. The quality of the construction is pretty amazing for such a lightweight blade. The silicone material leaves absolutely no streaks on the windshield, and the blades are pleasantly quiet, with no squeaks, while in use. Installation is very easy, and overall, it would be difficult to quibble in any way.
Number of Customer Reviews: 1,005
Average Review Rating: 4.1 out of 5 Stars
Materials, Design & Build
Manufacturer PIAA claims that these super silicone blades have been designed to break new ground in windshield cleanliness and visibility for motorists. The silicone infused blades are carefully designed to closely hug the shape of the screen so that there is whisper-quiet operation and unparalleled visibility after use. We have to say—while they might not exactly break new ground—the blades live up to these claims of cleanliness, versatility, quiet operation and effectiveness in all conditioners. The high quality silicone rubber compound used in the manufacture of these blades is tough and resistant to all adverse climates, and they also have an activate silicone coating that makes rain bead and simply slip off your windshield.
Best Things About PIAA 95060 Super Silicone blades
The quietness of operation of the PIAA 95060 Super Silicone is just fantastic, and the ease of installation is also pretty noteworthy. There is an extra step in that for best results you first need to apply the windshield prep pack to the windshield and then run the wipers dry on it for about three minutes, but the water-repellant results are well worth the effort.
Worst Things About PIAA 95060 Super Silicone blades
There are some reports of the blade being ineffective on some windshields, and even difficulties with visibility after the prep pack treatment has been applied, so you should check with an expert to ensure these blades are for you.
Best Windshield Wipers Review – PIAA 95060 Super Silicone – Summary
Another close to flawless set of windshield wiper blades, about which very little in the way of negative comment can be made about their performance. However, it is true that they will not suit every car or windshield variety, so please do ensure that they are compatible before making your purchase as they are among the most expensive wiper blades on the market. If they fit your windshield, however, they’re close to perfect.
|PIAA 95060 Super Silicone - Our Verdict|
|An excellent set of wiper blades that, for the most part, lives up to the hype surrounding silicone blades|
|PIAA 95060 Super Silicone - Pros||PIAA 95060 Super Silicone - Cons|
|The design, durability, quietness of operation of these blades elevates them into the wiper blade Hall of Fame!||If they don't suit the curvature of a windshield, they won't work well, so check with an expert if you're uncertain.|
ACDelco Metal is a good wiper blade. Given the price point there is no surprise that there is a narrower range of sizes available than most of the other brands and models on this list. However, these blades have a simple and sturdy standard of construction and they’re also incredibly easy to install. The quality of materials, too, is a pleasant surprise at this price point.
Number of Customer Reviews: 23
Average Review Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Materials, Design & Build
ACDelco is the Original Equipment parts brand for General Motors, and have been manufacturing auto parts for the past century. The all-metal build of the wiper blade frame means that you benefit from the renowned durability of the ACDelco brand. They’re resistant to rust and bending, and the actual blades are as effective as their frame is solid. You’ll not be troubled by squeaks or streaks from these blades. However, they may need to be replaced a little bit more often than some of the more high-budget blades on this review page. However, if you’re on a budget but want an effective wiper blade that is going to last through an extreme winter, this could well be the one for you.
Best Things About the ACDelco 8-4426 Advantage
This brand is a favourite among auto mechanics and if you get a pair that suit the shape of your windscreen, you’re on to a good thing. They’re made very well from high grade materials, and they don’t squeak or leave streaks on your windscreen during or after use.
Worst Things About the ACDelco 8-4426 Advantage
There are some reports of flimsiness, and ineffectiveness of their bracket design, so we would recommend that you consult with an excerpt mechanic as to the suitability of these particular wiper blades for your vehicle.
Best Windshield Wipers Review – ACDelco 8-4426 Advantage – Summary
If these are compatible with your car, you probably couldn’t do better for the price. However, although ACDelco claims to be compatible with just about every car on the market, it would be wise to do your homework on these before fitting them. And given the reports of frames falling off while in use, perhaps have an expert take you through an installation step by step the first time you use them.
|ACDelco 8-4426 Advantage - Our Verdict|
|There's a mixture of views as to how good these blades are. For the short time we used them, we found them to have worked perfectly fine, but the consumer reports of unsuitability for some cars shouldn't be ignored.|
|ACDelco 8-4426 Advantage - Pros||ACDelco 8-4426 Advantage - Cons|
|If you've used these before, there would be no reason to recommend you switching to another brand if you are happy with them. They do the job and at a very reasonable price.||Issues around compatibility with some windshield times should be thoroughly checked out with regard to your own vehicle before you go ahead and install them.|
Last but by no means least on our roundup of the best windshield wipers, the Michelin Stealth Hybrid, is a fantastic value for money proposition. Practically and simply designed, and very easy to instal, these blades are made in such a way as to conceal any of the crucial moving parts inside the mechanism. Simplicity really is beauty in this case. Their availability in a range of sizes only serves to enhance the attractiveness of these wiper blades.
Number of Customer Reviews: 657
Average Review Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Materials, Design & Build
These wiper blades are among the best in the Michelin stable (which also includes the Cyclone and Stealth Ultra lines). What makes the Stealth Ultra particularly impressive at its price point is not only its sleek, aerodynamic design, which repels ice, snow, debris and other buildup, but also the Smart Flex technology that is used to ensure closer adaptation to a variety of windshield curvatures, for best in class performance across a wide range of vehicles. The independent suspension from within the frame works to ensure a close end-to-end wiper blade contact with the windshield, and it has had positive consumer verdicts from usage in all weather conditions. These are incredibly easy to replace and fit, thanks to Michelin’s EZ Lok connector system. According to Michelin, in independent testing the Stealth Hybrid has outperformed all industry competitors in 300,000-wipe cycles. We cannot verify this claim, but we do agree that the blades we used were extremely effective and very quiet in operation.
Best Things About the Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid
The efficient and no-fuss manner in which the Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid does what it is supposed to is the best thing about these wiper blades. They do work well in all weather conditions, and they have a lovely sweeping action that keeps the windscreen clear of rain, without any streaks or annoying squeaks.
Worst Things About the Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid
There is very little negative that we can say about this product at all. Certainly in terms of its performance and longevity, the Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid will tick a lot of boxes for the average consumer. However, there is no warranty cover with them, which some users do not like.
Best Windshield Wipers Review – Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid – Summary
These are a very good alternative to wiper blades at the more expensive end of the market. They are very effective in use, quietly and efficiently doing their business, and incredibly easy to install.
|Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid - Our Verdict|
|Our team gives these Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid wiper blades the thumbs up. They were all but perfect in their cleaning operation, and are clearly built for long-term use by Michelin.|
|Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid - Pros||Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid - Cons|
|Durability of build, efficiency of operation, quietness—Michelin 8022 Stealth Hybrid blades have much to recommend them.||There's almost nothing negative that we can say here, although some users are unhappy about the lack of warranty cover.|
Best Windshield Wipers – FAQ
To help you make your decision about which set of windshield wipers to get for your vehicle, here is our team’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about windshield wipers.
How often should I change the windshield wiper blades in my car?
A really good rule of thumb is to do it one every six months. Most mechanics would agree that twice a year is ample.
What’s the best time of year to change windshield wiper blades?
It’s accepted by most mechanics that replacing them in the spring is a good idea, because of the damage done to blades during the extremities of the winter months. In addition, to replace the blades in the Fall is a good idea because it will mean you’ll be replacing blades that will have been damaged by the dry heat of the summer months.
Apart from seasonal intervals, how do you know when the time is right for a replacement?
The most obvious signs are when the blades themselves, the squeegees, begin to fray on the outer edges or actually start to break down. But there will be tell-tale signs before you get to that stage. If they are starting to leave a hazy finish on your windshield, and you feel that you are not getting a clear view after using them, take the plunge at that point.
How difficult is it for an average person to replace wiper blades?
It’s not really all that difficult, but you would want to be reasonably handy, or else disciplined about following instructions that come as part of the packaging of the blades. To be fair, that is something that the majority of people are not that good about. So, if you’re a little bit concerned about your ability in this area, why not make your first purchase of blades at an auto parts supplier, and ask the staff to help you with it. Most will not even charge for this, as it takes only a couple of minutes.
Is it possible to change to beam blades if you have bracket-style wiper blades?
Yes it certainly is. If you can find one that is made for your vehicle, then making the upgrade and switching the blades is a process that can be carried out yourself.