windshield wipers and car wash

Hi Guys, I damaged my wiper during the last snow and need to get another one. There are a bunch of different kinds and besides the price, are any one kind better than another?
Also, when I get my car washed, are all the extras they try to get you to buy worth anything.
Like should I get the bottom cleaned or the tires?

You didn’t tell us what kind of car/truck you have.

I would recommend getting a good quality after-market wiper (you can get one from the dealer but it will cost you more). They have some really high-end wipers that are pricey and are supposed to perform better, but for most cars/trucks a mid-range wiper seems to work pretty well. Keep in mind that you are going to have to replace them periodically so buying the most expensive ones you can find probably doesn’t make good financial sense.

As far as car washes go, they always try and up sell you their highest priced ‘package’ that usually includes wax, undercarriage cleaning, rain-x and wheel and tire treatment. While there may be some value to these services, you certainly don’t need to do them every time you get your car washed. If it’s been a while, and your car is really caked up with dirt and mud, you can splurge and get one of the high-end packages, but for an average wash I think you can get by with the basic package and perhaps wax. It all depends how dirty your car is and how much you are willing to spend to have it cleaned.

In addition to what dolphinboy says, if you live somewhere that uses salt to deal with ice and snow on the roads, you might want to consider that undercarriage wash pretty regularly during ice and snow season, possibly even going in for that as your main purpose. Salt contributes significantly to rusting out the undercarriage of a vehicle.

Good point. Or you can go to a self-wash car place and spray the undercarriage yourself.

I’ve tried a few and what I’ve found is even the cheapest ones wipe the rain off your windshield as well as expensive ones. I buy the the Goodyear blades at Costco.

I used to buy refills but now when I go to the auto store, instead of exact size refills, they sell one-size-fits-all that you have to trim. Which doesn’t really work that well, because you have to also trim the metal stiffener.

So buying whole new blades at Costco doesn’t cost much more than buying just the refills from my car dealer.

No. Hose down the undercarriage yourself. They don’t scrub it, they just spray it. The spray-on wax is nowhere near as good as doing your own paste wax job, and you don’t really have to do it more than a couple times a year. And tire cleaner, etc., is marginal. I see car wash extras like a lot of things that car dealers to for you–yeah, they really do the work they’re charging you for, but it provides no value to you.

Here’s a good article about wiper blades.

Depending where you live, you may need to replace the blades once a year. I prefer the beam type blades.

As far as car washes, most manufacturers recommend brush-less car washes. While they remove more dirt and grime, they can also be rougher on the pain and headlight lenses. I always pay the extra dollar to have the undercarriage sprayed off.

Of course nothing compares to washing the car (and maybe waxing twice a year) yourself by hand short of paying big money to have the car professionally detailed.

I’ve bought cheap blades and I’ve bought expensive ones. Oddly enough, they all seem to wipe about as well as another, but some squeak more. The Rain-X Weatherbeaters seem to be a decent compromise, and I can’t see spending gobs of money on fancy wipers as they all die within a year from UV, ozone and air pollution.