Wiper Blades, Book a Free Wiper Blade Check
At National Tyres and Autocare, our branches stock a wide range of wiper blades to suit most popular applications. These can usually be fitted while you wait.
What are wiper blades?
Wiper blades are used to clear the windscreen on a vehicle. They can clear water, snow, ice and other debris to ensure a clear windscreen for a driver.
Wiper blades come in many different sizes and attachment types, so it’s very important to ensure that you purchase the correct size for your vehicle. If you buy an incorrect size, then they may not clear the entire windscreen. Similarly, if you buy the incorrect fitting, you may not be able to attach the wiper blades to the car.
FREE Wiper Blade Check
At National, we offer a wiper blade check as part of our FREE 5 point safety check. During this check, your wiper blades will be examined for any faults, to prevent any smearing or streaking on your windscreen. Along with a wiper blade check, the 5 point check will also examine your headlights and brake light, battery health, windscreen chip and offer an MOT due date reminder.
To book your car in for a FREE 5 point check, click the button below.
Alternatively, we also offer a 10 point vehicle check for only £15. This includes all of the above, as well as checking tyre tread depth, tyre pressure, oil level, screen wash and AdBlue and coolant level. To book a 10 point check, click the link below.
Different types of wiper blades
There are different types of wiper blades, and not every type fits every vehicle. The most common types of wiper blades are;
These are the most common style of wiper blades. They use a hook fitting, making them very easy to replace when required. These blades are a similar shape to a coat hanger, and come in a wide range of sizes, allowing for fitting on a wide range of windscreen sizes.
A conventional wiper blade has four pressure points on the windscreen, which allows it to sit flat and clear the windscreen efficiently.
Conventional wiper blades are typically manufactured with rubber as the material for clearing the windscreen. Rubber can wear more quickly than other materials, but are generally more cost-efficient.
Unlike a conventional wiper blade, a flat wiper blade does not come in a coat hanger shape. These blades have a metal strip below the rubber on the blade, allowing for a flat shape to improve aerodynamics and wind noise. Due to the lower profile, there are multiple points of pressure on the windscreen, allowing for more efficient cleaning in comparison to conventional wiper blades.
These blades are typically smaller than a conventional wiper blade, and therefore are becoming more common on new vehicles where they don’t obstruct the view of the driver as much as a larger conventional wiper blade.
Flat wiper blades use silicone as the clearing material. In comparison to rubber, silicone is more durable, and therefore the blade will last longer than a rubber blade.
Hybrid Wiper Blades are a combination of Flat Wiper Blade and Conventional Wiper Blade technology. They offer the shape and aerodynamics of a flat blade but have a similar construction to a conventional wiper blade.
These blades offer a smooth airflow, allowing for increased downforce from the wiper blade. The hybrid design offers great wind noise reduction, whilst allowing for the wiper to flex on the windscreen. This in turn ensures a smooth and clear windscreen wipe.
Common issues with windscreen wipers
The most common issues with windscreen wipers are the following:
Wiper blades can become unusable due to a loose pivot nut. This can prevent the wiper blade from fitting flush on the windscreen, and therefore it will not work properly. To fix a loose pivot nut, remove the dust cap on the wiper blade attachment point, and use a socket set to tighten the nut. The wiper should be tested before driving to ensure they work.
A burnt-out wiper fuse can result in the windscreen wipers not moving. If the wiper blades don’t move after being turned on, the fuse may have burnt out.
Similarly, to a burnt-out fuse, wipers may also not work if their motor is dead. A dead motor will result in the wiper blades failing to move when activated from inside the car.
A damaged blade will stop your wipers from clearing the windscreen efficiently. If the arm of the wiper is damaged, then the blade won’t sit on the windscreen properly, and therefore the blade won’t clear the entire windscreen. To replace the arm, you can order a new wiper blade, and attach it to the existing fitting.
Why are wiper blades important?
Wiper blades should be a crucial part of your vehicle maintenance routine. Windscreen wipers (and washer fluid) are solely responsible for clearing the windscreen, and therefore are critical for car safety. If a windscreen is dirty or wet, vision whilst driving could be severely impaired, which could contribute to an accident.
If your windscreen is dirty, your vision may also be impaired, in direct sunlight.
When do wiper blades need replacing?
Wiper blades are manufactured with rubber or silicone and over time these materials will degrade. If you notice any of the following symptoms you should have them replaced (or at the very least, checked).
When using your wiper blades, you might hear a squeaking sound. If you do, then your wiper blades may need replacing as they may not be clearing your windscreen effectively. Wiper blades shouldn’t make any noise when in use, so if they squeak it might indicate they are worn and need replacing.
Smearing is a key indication that your wipers need replacing, as it will significantly reduce visibly from inside the car.
If wiper blades are skipping, this means that the connection between the rubber and windscreen has been damaged. Therefore, the blades will need replacing in order to function correctly.
If you notice that the rubber or silicone has become detached from the blade, you will need to get the wiper blade replaced. Detached rubber can lead to all of the issues above, and therefore can be a big hazard for visibility whilst driving.
It is very important to have your blades replaced as early as possible, as you may receive a fine if you’re found to be driving with faulty wiper blades. You could also receive 3 points on your driving licence, due to faulty wiper blades being very dangerous for driver safety.
Fitting Wiper Blades at Home
To find out how you can change your wiper blades at home, click the link below.
Where to get wiper blades fitted?
If you’d like to bring your car to a National branch, click the button below to find your nearest location.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, if your wiper blades fail to clear your windscreen, your MOT will fail until they are replaced. Before you take your car for an MOT, make sure you test that your wiper blades clear the windscreen and don’t leave any streaks.
Wiper blades deteriorate at different rates depending on usage. If a wiper blade is used more frequently, it will wear faster and in turn, need replacing sooner. Generally, wiper blades will need replacing every 6-12 months. This is depending on their condition and should be replaced as soon as they don’t clear the windscreen efficiently.
On rare occasions, some classic cars are only fitted with one wiper blade. This is due to the small size of the car windscreen. However, if your car is fitted with two wiper blades as factory standard, it is illegal to only drive with one.
You will be able to buy wiper blades either individually or in a pair. This is because you may not need to replace both wipers. However, if it has been a while since you changed your wiper blades, it is safer to replace both of them at the same time.
Yes, it is illegal to drive with faulty wiper blades. It is very dangerous due to a decrease in visibility, and therefore you could be fined and have points put on your licence if found to be driving with faulty windscreen wipers.
The wiper blade numbers relate to the product number of the blade. The number is an easy way to identify the size of the blade and to see if it matches your vehicle.
You can easily fit wiper blades at home. There are a few different types of wiper blade fittings, so you will need to check which ones are compatible with your car. For a step-by-step guide on fitting wiper blades, click the link below.
Having the correct wiper blades on your car is crucial for their function. If you buy the wrong wiper blades, they may not attach to your car or fit across the windscreen. To find out more about what wiper blades you need for your vehicle, click the link below.