Flat wiper blades tested

Bosch blades
14 Sep, 2010 12:12pm Kim Adams

Should you stick with conventional blades on older cars, or upgrade to new flat designs? Our test reveals all.

In the world of windscreen wipers, flat’s where it’s at! Most modern cars are designed to take the latest flat, one-piece blades, which have a sprung metal spine that presses the rubber against the screen. We tested these in Issue 1,128.

If you have an older vehicle, you can still get flat blades, but a large adaptor is required to fit them to old-style wiper arms. Do they work as well? Or are you better sticking with conventional superstructure designs when you replace your blades? We test the best of both kinds. Bosch won our test of original-fit flat blades, so will it wipe up again?

The Test:
Our 2006 model year Toyota Yaris test car caused a few problems for our wipers, as it combines a massive 60cm blade on the driver’s side with a tiny 35cm one ahead of the passenger. As always, though, wipe quality was a key part of our assessment, and we rated all our blades at motorway speeds using the screen washers. We also wanted them to be quiet, and measured noise while they swept a dry windscreen for a minute.

There were several solutions for fitting aftermarket designs to the Yaris’ wiper arms, so a comprehensive set of instructions was essential. Ease of installation was just as important, with the best products incorporating the correct adaptor, ready attached to the blade.

Price played a relatively small role; wipers are essential safety items, so we don’t think it’s worth skimping on cost. The figures quoted exclude delivery charges, and are for a pair suitable for our test Toyota. You can save a lot of money by shopping around online.

Contacts:

Astra  01952 608600  www.astraautomotive.co.uk

Autobulbs Direct  0844 884 2888  www.autobulbsdirect.co.uk

Champion  www.federalmogul.com

Halfords  0845 762 6625  www.halfords.com

TP  0871 918 2712  www.carparts-direct.co.uk

Wiper Blades (Valeo, Bosch)  01299 251130 www.wiperblades.co.uk

Verdict

It’s a clean sweep for German producer Bosch, which narrowly takes the victory with its competitively priced conventional blade. On the screen, it was edged out in terms of performance by the flat-blade Valeo Revolution – but not by enough to overcome that £6 difference. Another retro-fit flat design completes the podium: the Wiper Blades product beat our Best Buy on price, but couldn’t repeat the feat on the windscreen.

1. Bosch Super Plus
2. Valeo Compact Revolution
3. Wiper Blades Universal Retrofit Flat Aero Blade
  

Disqus - noscript

In August you reviewed 10 all flat/beam wiper bladesd under the title "Wiper blades tested".

In September you have another review entitled "Flat wiper blades tested" & the first & third blades recommended are not flat/beam blades at all.

While it's useful & sensible top test all blades against each other for best performancer & value ... you might have put your titles the other way round!

Also, I posted on this earlier & the post has mysteriously disappeared!

MikeM
PS, yes, Valeos are good performers

After reading this review I purchased the Bosch Super Plus wiper blades for my 05 Mini Cooper and have regretted it ever since. They are incredibly noisy, even when it is raining! Previously I had Valeo Silencio Wiper Blades (BMW OEM stock) and they were much quieter and appeared to be much better built.

But don't take my word for it, see for yourself how noisy they are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

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