Even if your vehicle is off-road-ready from the factory, going off-pavement requires the requisite set of accessories. That means protective skid plates, snorkels for easier breathing and occasional water-crossing, and, depending on the destination, light bars. Plus, off-road-rated tires, of course. BFGoodrich could already help out with that last part. But the tire company recently revealed another accessory aimed at off-roaders: specially-designed windshield wiper blades.
BFGoodrich now offers windshield wiper blades designed around off-roading
Strictly speaking, BFGoodrich didn’t necessarily design these new windshield wiper blades itself, Autoblog reports. The Off-Road Wipers (actual product name) appear to be made by Pylon, which is described as “an official licensee” of the BFGoodrich name. The biggest nod to the tire company is on the wiper blades’ backs, which bear a BFGoodrich T/A KO2 tread pattern, Motor1 reports.
However, these new wiper blades aren’t just a name-drop. For one, instead of bare plastic, the blade assembly has a rubber shell. Also, the wiper blades feature what BFGoodrich calls “Scrub-X Extreme Weather Performance.” The company claims it helps the blades clear dirt, bugs, and similar grime more efficiently.
It’s unclear exactly what this ‘Scrub-X’ is, but to my ears, it sounds a bit like the rain-repelling RainX. Expedition Portal even describes it as “water-repellant technology.” Though it could also have something to do with silicone; silicone blades leave water-repellant coatings on windshields, The Drive explains.
Speaking of rain, BFGoodrich’s off-road wiper blades reportedly repel rain and prevent snow/ice build-up, Jalopnik reports. Plus, they have what BFGoodrich describes as a suspension system to improve blade contact with the windshield.
Are they worth considering?
While BFGoodrich may not have made these windshield wiper blades itself, Pylon has several decades of experience with them, Autoblog reports. The company even makes blades for Michelin.
The BFGoodrich Off-Road Wipers are compatible with a range of off-road SUVs and trucks. However, at $79.99 for a set, these wiper blades are fairly pricey. And as of this writing, not every blade size is available. If you’re buying replacement wiper blades for a 2020 Toyota Tacoma crew cab, for example, you’ll have to wait until summer 2021.
Given how new these wiper blades are, it’s difficult to tell how effective they are compared to ‘conventional’ models. As we previously mentioned, paying more for blades doesn’t necessarily give you a clearer view. For casual off-roaders, a set of cheaper blades “should be just fine,” Motor1 reports. But if you like the design, the Off-Road Wipers should serve you well.
You should check your windshield wiper blades before going off-road
That being said, if you plan on going off-road, we strongly recommend inspecting your windshield wipers, blades and all. Visibility is vital when you’re operating a motor vehicle, especially once the pavement ends. So, make sure your wipers are clean and straight. Plus, top up your washer fluid and bring some extra along.
Depending on how old your blades are, you may have to replace them. If you’re noticing excessive streaking, skipping, and/or squeaking, they’re ready to be replaced, The Drive reports. For those interested in off-roading, beam-type wiper blades clog more easily than hybrid or conventional/traditional ones, Roadshow reports. And if you’ll be driving in cold climates, consider investing in winter-specific blades, The Drive reports.
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