Designed to Fail: Wiper Blades

There is no question we live in an age of booming technology and innovation. I am always amazed at the pace we see new inventions emerging, but what I don’t see as much of is an improvement on things that we have to use every day. This is not to say it doesn’t happen, but there are some key things that could use improving that I am not seeing improved on. Rather than try to sum up all of these in one post – because there are too many and I know I will think of many more to come – I will start with one of my favorite ones to hate. Windshield wiper blades.
We have readers from around the world – not only apparent in the comments but I have seen it in my site stats – so you may have different names for these devices. I’ll stick with what I call them, wiper blades. I swear these are designed to only work past a reasonable return period to your local store than to annoy you for as long as you can take it before you can no longer justify not replacing them again. My tolerance lasts typically through the periodic rainstorms, but come fall/winter I am forced to succumb to the need to actually see where I am driving.

I swear Murphy had wiper blades in mind when he came arrived at his philosophies in life. Which blade is most likely to go out first? The driver’s side of course. Where does it fail? Directly in your primary line of sight of course. At what point does it fail? When it is swiping back of course (not when it starts to clear the window, that is a perfect pass, just when coming back so you can’t see while waiting for the blades to come back).

Those ever-present streaks from old blades are often worse than just never using them and trying to see through the accumulating raindrops. Have any of you used the Rain-X or other branded “miracle” cures for seeing even in the rain? I have. They seem to work for a bit making the rain sheet off your window so you can see a bit better. What happens when the solution wears out though and you have to turn on those blades? Mega streaks to end all others. Argh!

Do I ask for too much for a wiper blade made of some material that both works and lasts a decent amount of time? This is obviously an industry that survives on forcing you to replace their product with regularity. There are some products out there that are supposed to be better, but the price point drives away the common consumer, namely me. What is their motivation to make an affordable better product? None whatsoever. So don’t hold your breath expecting any improvement in this area.