I am curious and wonder if you guys know anything about this. Recently my husband and I tried to find replacement inserts for his wiper blades. There are none to be found these days. It seems you have to buy the entire wiper blade these days. Why is this? Any one have any ideas? We are paying more money and tossing more stuff in the trash, which we don’t like. Just so you know where we are,we live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Thanks for your thoughts.
Well there has been a shift to what I call an integrated blade, insert and blade made as a single unit. They seem to be more expensive, but, they also seem to work a little better with fewer streaks.
I like to buy “refills” for wiper blades and they are very difficult to find nowdays. I believe there is more profit in selling a complete blade.
You can buy the inserts, but after the time and trouble the replacement blade is the way to go.
I’ve never used replacement inserts. I’ve always just replaced the whole blade. By the time the wiper blade itself is worn out, the rest of the assembly is usually worn as well, the tension on the blade is less, etc. The extra cost is worth worrying about IMHO. I’ve been using Bosch Icons lately, I recommend them. Wipers are saftey item, not an area where it pays to be cheap.
$2 refills?? No profit in that…Also, product liability. People install the wrong ones or install them improperly and scratch their windshield and start whining they want a new windshield. Shelf-space is money…Stores reject low-profit items in favor of high-profit items…
There once were two types of blades, Trico and Anco. Today, every car maker has their own “special” blades. Many cars use two different sizes! Trying to sell refills into this market is impossible…
My local NAPA store carries them.
Installing wiper blade inserts was (maybe still is) a bit of work performed at the mechanics discretion when a customer came in for either an Inspection I or II. I have seen new mechanics take a half hour getting these things in, sometimes the simplest things stump people. The inspection instructions were to inspect and replace if required, you did not get paid more for doing it or less for not, also you were asked to aim the spray nozzels, lots of little things that got done on those 4 hour plus inspections for BMW.
Felicia, They’re Out There. I Have An Old Independent Auto Parts Store In The Nearest Town To Me That Carries Them All And There Are Many, Many Types And Sizes Of Inserts.
They even stock a little very narrow, unusual insert for my van’s rear window blade and great big (29" ?) blade inserts for the front. They’ll sell a pair or individual inserts. They sell inserts for all our Chrysler and GM vehicles.
I refill mine many times for about half the cost of the entire blades. They work as well as entire new blades. I agree that it’s a waste (money and materials) not to refill them.
Try older, established, independent auto parts stores, not chain stores. You need a store that sold inserts years ago and never stopped selling them.
As pointed out above, shelf space is money. There are many different lengths and widths of “refills”. I’m sure there is far less profit in them than in the complete units, especially those ridiculously expensive Bosch ones. For that reason, my local Autozone store carries them “in back”. You have to ask for them. I will continue to buy refills as long as they are available. I have yet to take more than a couple of minutes to install one, even in the rain. You have to remember to skip the “holder” on one end so that you can push the barbed holder into it from the other direction.
Thanks, I’ll remember to try NAPA stores.
When I’ve used a refill in an “old” blade the original performance was restored. In my view the rubber that contacts the windshield wears out but the blade is good for a long time.
Changing a complete blade is much easier for many people that installing a refill in an old blade. Therefore it is easier for a shop to change a blade and they can make a bit more profit on the part.
Buyers who refill their own blades have to be sure to get the narrow or wide variety and the correct length and that caused to many refill returns to be worth the money for the auto parts stores.
You can find inserts online. For example: http://www.jcwhitney.com/wiper-blade-insert/p2023618.jcwx If you order a few extra sets, you can save on shipping.
Thanks so much for all your thoughts. Quite a response. I see I am not the only one who found this perplexing. It looks like we just need to find the proper source.