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Bosch and Reflex windshield wipers.

Joanne Elves/The Globe and Mail

Bosch and Reflex windshield blades

Available at: Automotive supply stores, Canadian Tire

Price: Starting at $19.99

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Streaks across the windshield. Why do they always happen right in the line-of-sight for the driver? And why do they always flutter or chatter while driving down the highway. Maybe you’re to blame.

Windshield wipers are not meant to last the life of your car. They should be replaced every six to 12 months if not sooner. Watch for damage including loosening at the frame and lifting at the edges. After a lousy winter of chipping ice off the windshield, look for cracks or tears in the rubber squeegee. Even if you don’t see wear and tear, if the wiper is leaving streaks or skipping – toss them.

The right blade can depend on the season. In the winter, consider a blade with a rubber sleeve that covers the metal frame. It’s supposed to stop snow and ice from building up between the metal components of the blade. Conventional blades are lightweight but can vibrate in the wind due to the exposed frame. Beam blades, a few dollars more, but are made of a single piece of metal and intended to improve the contact with the windshield.

Comparing the Reflex All-Season to the Bosch Icon, is almost a comparison of apples to apples. So far, they are performing equally. Ask me in six months.

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