How to use Amazon reviews when buying a replacement wiper blade

Using Amazon reviews when you’re looking to buy a new wiper blade is a good thing since you’ll be drawing on the experience of lots of people.

But there are a few pitfalls you want to avoid.

Reviews focused on functionality

In an ideal world a customer review would shine a light on many different aspects of the product, but with the biggest emphasis on whether the product does what it’s supposed to.

For an all-weather blade this would be something as simple as “does it fit the car as announced?”, “does it keep the windshield clean?” and “how long does the blade last?”

For speciality blades, such as winter blades for instance, it’s even more important that it does what it says on the tin – aka working well in winter conditions.

And a useful review would go into details about the specific brand, model and year of the car as well as the driving conditions under which the blade was operated.

But unfortunately not every review is built like that.

Take this 5 star review for instance: “These work excellent

I have no doubt that the reviewer likes these blades, but I have no idea how long he have used them for, under which conditions he have been using them, and on which vehicle.

And the same kind of thin reviews can be found at the other end of the spectrum.

Like in this 1 star review: “Does not wipe from day one

Again, I have no doubt that this reviewer does not like these blades, but I lack the same kind of information that the 5 star review was missing.

Reviews focused on something else than functionality

Some reviews will focus on delivery times, delays and packaging conditions.

These are all important things, but unfortunately they make it more difficult to see the “real” rating of a product.

I’ve even come across 5 star reviews because Amazon handled a refund fast.

Complaints about not fitting car properly

These can be hard to spot as you would have to spend time investigating if their claims could be true.

Take  a look at this one: “Not as advertised – A Sham

It’s clear why this reviewer is not happy with her purchase.

I took the time to add a 2010 Kia Soul to my Amazon Garage and then I went to take a look at the 11″ ANCO 30 blade that this review was for.

And this is my result:

This does not fit your: 2010 Kia Soul

ANCO 30 - this does not fit your 2010 Kia Soul

So here we have a 1-Star review for an 11″ blade despite the fact that Amazon only specifies 20″ and 24″ as fitting the driver and passenger side.

But, here’s another 1-Star review: “Not Fit Correctly

I added the 2003 Jeep Liberty to my Amazon Garage and the 11″ blade is listed as fitting the rear.

But when I check the same car on ANCO’s own blade finder, then the blade is not listed.

So in this case the review is correct, but it actually only says something about the quality of the Amazon Part Finder – not the quality of the blade itself.

Verified Purchase

Amazon reviews come in two different flavors – those labelled “Verified Purchase” and those not labelled at all.

Both of these have their own issues.

On those not labelled you have no idea where they bought their blade, so it makes it harder to trust.

It’s especially troublesome as reviews are tied to a specific length of blade.

This means that someone leaving a review, positive or negative, for a specific blade could easily leave the review for the wrong length.

Those labelled “Verified Purchase” on the other hand can give you a false sense of trust.

You instinctively believe with a verified badge, but unfortunately it says nothing about the quality of the review.

 

 

 

New Part Finder at Amazon

Amazon-part-finder-select-a-year

Amazon just changed the way their Part Finder looks.

And you will experience it in two different ways depending on how you access Amazon.

When you go to the windshield wiper blade section on Amazon (or any automotive section with car-specific components) you’ll be met with a popup window that looks like this:

If you follow a link to a specific windshield wiper blades then you’ll be greated with a bar near the top of the screen.

The way the popup and the top bar works is identical.

Here’s a walkthrough I did for my 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Select Year – in my case it’s 2006

Select Make – in my case it’s Suzuki

Select Model – in my case it’s Grand Vitara

Hit the Go button

In my case I was on a product page with a blade that didn’t fit my car, so I got this warning message.

Just click on the Blades link.

In my case that got me to a page exclusively with wiper blades that fits my car – you can tell you’re in the right place because of this line near the top:

Here I just clicked on one of the new Rain-X Repel blades and got this neat green checkmark above the product image that confirmed that this blade does indeed fit my car.

So, there you have it, the new Amazon Part Finder.

How to make sure your new wiper blades fits your vehicle – before breaking the wiper arm in frustration

I think we’ve all tried it; gotten ourselves a pair of brand new windshield wiper blades only to find out that they don’t fit our car *after* breaking the packaging.

I did that with my previous car – a Suzuki Liana (aka Aeiro).

The rear wiper blade had started to show signs of wear and left streaks on my rear window, so I went out to get a new blade.

There’s an auto accessory shop nearby, so I made a quick stop there to buy myself a replacement blade.

On the stand with the windshield wiper blades they had blades from Bosch and Valeo, so I looked through the size charts to see if I could find a good match.

I didn’t find anything for my Suzuki, so I went to the counter for some assistance.

They looked and looked and looked some more in their computer system and ended up selling me a Valeo blade that would ”definitely fit your car Sir”.

Later that day when I was going to replace the blade I was in for a big surprise – the blade they guaranteed me would fit my car didn’t fit at all.

So, back to the store to get my money back – and still with a worn rear wiper blade smearing my rear window.

Have you been in that kind of situation while getting new blades for your car? – frustrating isn’t it?

Well, if you follow this guide you’ll definitely reduce the risk of anguish considerably.

  1. Use the Amazon Part Finder first

    The database behind the Amazon Part Finder is huge and covers all major windshield wiper brands and possibly all car makes and models.

    Starting your search for new blades there will give you a broad selection of blades to choose from.

  2. Read the reviews on Amazon for the blades that matches your car.

    If you want to be thorough then read the reviews for all the different sizes of the blade you’re planning to purchase. This is especially true if the size you need is either really short or really long as these tend to have fewer reviews compared to “normal” sized blades.

    Disregard the 5-Star reviews where the stars are given exclusively for “speed of delivery” – and ignore the 0-Star reviews where “doesn’t fit my Audi A4” is given as reason and you check and find out that the blade isn’t even listed as fitting an Audi A4.

  3. Double-check the size in the size charts on the manufacturers website.

    There’s always the possibility of errors occurring in the Amazon database, so checking again can save you from getting the wrong blade.

Amazon Part Finder guide added

I just wrote this guide on how to use the Amazon Part Finder to narrow down the selection of windshield wiper blades to just the blades that fit *your* car.

Lot’s of windshield wiper manufacturers have similar parts tools, but they only cover their own products.

Then there are other online wiper blade or car part shops that cover multiple manufacturers, but just the products in their own shop.

And finally there are other online car parts portals that does what Amazon does – covers multiple manufacturers and links to multiple vendors.

The guide I wrote only covers how the Amazon Part Finder works, but I’ll gladly make guides to using other part finder tools if the interest is high enough.

I just wrote this guide on how to use the Amazon Part Finder to narrow down the selection of windshield wiper blades to just the blades that fit *your* car.

Lot’s of windshield wiper manufacturers have similar parts tools, but they only cover their own products.

Then there are other online wiper blade or car part shops that cover multiple manufacturers, but just the products in their own shop.

And finally there are other online car parts portals that does what Amazon does – covers multiple manufacturers and links to multiple vendors.

The guide I wrote only covers how the Amazon part finder works, but I’ll gladly make guides to using other part finder tools if the interest is high enough.