Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

What Are the Different Types of Windshield Wipers?

Windshield Wipers

When you need to clean your windshield, you spray washer fluid onto the glass and turn on your windshield wipers. They swipe back and forth to remove any visual obstructions that may have collected on the glass.

There are a few different styles of windshield wipers, though they all have something in common: they all have a rubber edge on the blade that makes contact with the windshield glass. The rubber edge is quite flexible and soft and is prone to wear, weathering, and tearing. Manufacturers have developed several styles of wiper blades for use in different circumstances, including:

  • Standard hinged wiper blades are what normally come equipped on most cars. They use a lightweight stamped metal frame that has several pivots. A rubber wiper edge is held by the frame against the window and the hinges allow the rubber to conform to the contours of the glass. Hinged wiper blades have been used for decades and are a good all-around blade for an economical buyer. They tend to collect ice on the metal frame during winter which can prevent the rubber edge from pressing against the glass, making it less effective. They need to be cleaned off regularly in winter to be useful.

  • Hingeless wiper blades are an excellent all-around wiper blade. Instead of using a metal frame, the structure of the wiper blade is made of flexible plastic. This means there is less surface to have snow and ice build up on, and no hinges to limit the range of movement. A rubber blade edge is still used to clear the glass. Hingeless wiper blades are a premium blade and are typically priced higher than standard blades.

  • Winter wiper blades are virtually the same as standard hinged wiper blades. They use a metal frame and a rubber edge with the major exception being that the whole frame is encased in a thin rubber boot. That means that ice and snow are not able to easily collect on the windshield wiper and it maintains its hinged abilities. Winter wiper blades are excellent for cold-weather use but in hot summer weather the rubber boot can deteriorate quickly and crack or tear.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...

Related questions

Q: Various problems with driver's side of car.

Looking at the wiring diagrams there is no correlation or common issue that tie together the AC, wipers, and speaker issues. For the heat issue where the drivers heat is staying there is either an issue with the front mode...

Q: Wipers stop working at times - 1995 GMC G2500

Hello. This is caused by the wiper motor circuit board and cover. You should call a dealer to see if there is an active recall to repair this under a recall. If not, then I recommend replacing the entire motor...

Q: Car has an electrical problem

The turn signal switch may have failed and caused other issues as it is tied to many circuits. The multi-function switch must be inspected and the circuits it covers to make sure there were no shorts. If the wiper pump...