Should You Try to Save Money with Cheap Windshield Wipers?

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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You.

If there’s one thing a car has to have, it’s windshield wipers. This indispensable piece of your car does a lot to keep you safe. It’s kind of hard to drive when you’re blindfolded, and if your windshield is coated with rain, that’s how it feels.

The thing about windshield wipers, however, is that they regularly need to be replaced. They’re also not cheap. Anybody that has browsed the wiper aisle at their local Auto Zone can attest to this. Dropping $70 on a pair of wipers is not uncommon.

windshield wipers

So what can we do to be as frugal here as possible? Are there steps we can take to ensure that we are making wise financial decisions here?

Let’s take a look.

Buy quality wipers. Every time. 

There are some things that are worth saving money on. And there are some things where your best bet is to just go ahead and pay quality prices for. Windshield wipers are one of the things that I think you should spend the extra amount to ensure that you’re buying a quality piece of gear.

Not only will this save you money in the long run because your windshield wipers will last longer, but you’ll also stay a lot safer as well. The last thing you want is to be driving through the middle of a nasty rainstorm late at night only to discover that your windshield wipers (or one of them) have recently decided not to work anymore.

When it comes to wipers, I personally am a fan of Rain-X. There are plenty of other nicer wipers out there as well, and your local car store guy is going to have his own personal favorite as well. That’s fine. Just spend the extra money and get something that’s actually going to work.

Don’t run your windshield wipers to move snow or ice if you can help it. 

Your windshield wipers are able to squeegee water off of your windshield because of a very flimsy little piece of rubber that perfectly hugs the windshield to brush everything away. If you try to run that little piece of rubber over a sheet of ice or a bit of snow that’s stuck to your windshield, you’re going to end up potentially damaging that little piece of rubber.

You can easily end up causing part of it to get a little nick or be bent back awkwardly, making it so that your wipers will no longer be able to wipe as well as they would have originally.

To prevent this, scrape your windshield off as best as possible to make sure that there’s no ice or snow before you ever start driving in the morning. You’re also going to want to make sure that you have the snow off of the roof of your car, too, so that you don’t end up with a huge sheet of snow sliding down over your windshield as the car interior heats up.

Once again, this is a frugal step that’s also a safe step.

Stick your windshield wiper blades up if you know that snow or ice is on the way. 

You’ve probably seen people do this before. The reason you want to do this is to keep ice from freezing your wipers down solid. Not only are you unable to use your wipers when they’re stuck underneath a sheet of ice, but the chances of their getting nicked or bent back weirdly increase as well.

You’ll help to increase their lifespan if you take this simple preventative step when impending weather is on the way.

Wipe away all those excuses.

Another thing that I would like to add is that it is not worth trying to be frugal by trying to stretch the lifespan of your wipers as long as possible if you know that they need to be replaced.

Please don’t put yourself and your passengers into a hospital and a rehab facility for the rest of your lives because you were hoping to squeeze an extra month out of your wipers. Replace them when they need to be replaced.

Again, some things are worth being frugal with. Some things are not. Windshield wipers are one of the things that you do need to stay alive when you’re driving. You wouldn’t buy a discount parachute. Don’t do the same with your wipers.

What do you think about all this? Do you splurge on high-quality wipers? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below.

And for more tips on how to save money with your vehicle, make sure you check out the following posts:

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to and Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Should You Try to Save Money with Cheap Windshield Wipers?
Picture of Aden Tate

Aden Tate

About the Author Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to,,,,, and Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

8 thoughts on “Should You Try to Save Money with Cheap Windshield Wipers?”

  1. I couldnt agree with you more.
    Also using a great windshield wiper fluid is important, imo.
    I recently purchased an additional set of wipers on sale to put back for later to be able to save forward, so to speak. I have them in a snap down tote with my other future vehicle essentials along with oxygen absorbers in a coolish, dry n dark storage area.
    Visibility is extremely important!!
    Thanks for this srticle.

  2. I get the best quality I can when replacing wipers. Also I back into my winter parking spot so the early morning sun will start clearing my windshield. I have heated rear windows. And heat the car a bit to makesure the windows are clear. I don’t leave my vehicles running unattended. It is a high vehicle theft state. I use an ice melt spray and where fluid fluid in winter. I learned to not clear ice or snow with my wipers… learned the hard way…

  3. In the book Tightwad Gazette they write how you can clean the wipers to extend their life by using a super fine grit sandpaper and lightly run it over the blade to clean them. It might extend the life of them.

  4. I concur with Rain-X wipers. And don’t forget your rear wiper if you have one. When I had to work in an office, I always swept the snow off the roof before leaving work. Bad enough dealing with others who did not and having to deal with their snow flying off as they passed you.
    Of course if a bad storm was in the forecast, I’d burn a day off. I’d have gone a day without pay to avoid being on the road. When the weather person says “stay home if you absolutely don’t have to be out”, stay home. The cost of vehicles is not cheap these days and an accident will likely result in higher auto insurance.
    A quick sanding is a short term, quick fix. Budget permitting, having a spare set of wipers is not a bad idea.

  5. Good wipers are essential here in NW Florida! I also apply Rain-x to every window & exterior mirror on our vehicles every few months. Really helps with visibility in the afternoon thunderstorms

  6. I agree with one caveat. I live in Arizona, which translates to poor rubber (and plastic) lifespan because of bright sun, plus heavy monsoons that cause excessive wear. So I always bought the ones that were ten dollars apiece because they’d only last a year anyway. It worked just fine. That said, now that I have parking that is covered all the time, I might think about getting nicer wipers.

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