As the rainy season approaches here in Vancouver, more and more drivers are noticing the difficulty of driving in wet conditions. Good tires are important for driver confidence but there are small things you can do that go a long way in improving driver safety. Here are some of the products we recommend for enhancing your visibility in the rain which makes for a safer and more pleasant driving experience.
This very affordable product is one of the easiest ways to improve visibility, particularly at highway speeds. Simply clean your windshield and apply this product when your vehicle is dry and wipe off with a clean towel afterwards. Aquapel forms a chemical bond with your windshield and repels rain to form beads of water that easily glide off as you drive. We found in many cases that at speeds above 100 km/h, the wiper blades are hardly required!
Even at lower speeds, the beading of the water reduces the patchiness and smearing of rain that you typically find on older windshields. Aquapel claims that the application lasts up to 6 months, but we found that in Vancouver weather this is likely a conservative estimate. As a side benefit, this product even enhances your dash cam's visibility, particularly in parking mode! It does this by helping water roll off the windshield simply due to gravity, rather than having it pool in front of the lens which results in a blurry image.
2. TRICO Force High Performance Wipers
The TRICO Force line of wiper blades are one of the most advanced wiper blades on the market. Every aspect of this wiper blade has been designed to perform well at incredibly high speeds. In fact, it is the factory wiper blade for certain European exotic vehicles that need a powerful wiper to match the high speeds that can be achieved.
Perhaps the most distinguishable feature of the Force wipers is the patented spoiler which is able to utilize wind and turbulence to achieve a more effective wipe. Conventional wipers have a tendency to lift at these higher speeds and will not offer the same contact force as these high performance blades. Not only that but the robust superstructure means that this wiper can hold up in harsh Winter conditions with snow and ice. Lastly, the special HighGlide rubber used is designed to reduce chatter for a smoother and quieter wipe. The TRICO force is simply the best-of-the-best when it comes to wipers. We recommend this wiper not only for exotics and sports cars, but for commuters who spend a lot of time on the highway as well. The high speed stability and pressure of this blade ensures maximum performance and driving safety.
3. TRICO Tech Flexible Beam Wipers
The Tech is a premium wiper blade from TRICO that doesn't offer the same high speed capabilities as the Force blade but still outperforms the vast majority of factory blades. Many of our customers wait until their factory wiper blades simply become too unbearable due to noise and inability to clean effectively to replace them. However, an affordable performance wiper like the TRICO Tech will offer benefits even when compared to brand new conventional metal frame blades.
The low profile design utilizes dual-point couplers which eliminate streaking and are more suitable for the curvature of windshields on modern cars by applying consistent pressure throughout the length of the blade. This particular blade has also been durability tested to do its job, even after 1.5 million cycles. The small investment to upgrade to the Tech blade adds value in the long run as it will outlast most conventional and factory wipers thanks to its superior engineering. We recommend this blade for daily drivers that spend most of their time in the city.
BONUS TIP: Super Fine Steel Wool
Poor windshield visibility can occur overtime due to build up of various particles such as bugs and pollutants that end up making your life more difficult! Often times, these contaminants in the windshield aren't removed by regular car washing due to the softness of the wash mitt. A cheap and easy way to effectively clean your windshield would be to use some super fine steel wool to remove all the grime and build up over the years.
You can purchase this at any hardware store and it's incredibly easy to use! Simply apply moderate pressure in a circular motion which will give your windshield a throough cleaning. The super fine steel wool is soft enough not to scratch your glass windshield and leaves it feeling nice and smooth afterwards. This is a helpful step for prepping your windshield for Aquapel and further enhances your wet weather driving visibility!