Wipers: A Sales Window of Opportunity

Wipers: A Sales Window of Opportunity

Let’s face it: Wipers are generally – and unfortunately – replaced only when the motorist can’t see through his or her windshield. Nevertheless, wipers are a fast growing category and offer some nice margins, particularly among premium lines.

With just a little extra sales and marketing push in this area, the typical jobber can achieve higher profit margins and greater DIYer exposure in today’s windshield wiper replacement market.

Windshield wiper replacement represents a huge market that could even be even larger if more consumers paid closer attention to the condition of their wiper blades. However, most consumers are not aware of the average life span of a wiper blade until it’s too late.

Most consumers will wait until their blades are falling apart, chattering or streaking horribly before it dawns on them that the blades need replacing. (You’d swear they think their blades should last as long as their new car warranty). However, for optimum performance and driving visibility, blades should be replaced every six months or 6,000 miles.

The next time a customer comes in for an oil filter, spark plugs or other maintenance parts for his vehicle, ask the customer about the last time the blades were replaced. Inform the customer about the dangers of wiper blade neglect while pushing the benefits of regular blade replacement. Not only will you get an extra sale, the DIYer will think you’re concerned about his or her safety, as well. After all, 90 percent of all driving decisions are based on a clear, unobstructed view of the road ahead.

Ask your installer customers to do the same. The next time they have a vehicle in for repair, ask them to check the condition of the blades. It doesn’t take a lot of time and effort but in the long run, the results can be good for your bottom line.

Even if consumers live in a place where it never rains, environmental elements alone are the major reason behind a blade’s short life. Ozone, airborne contaminants, oil, sunlight and road film all help to weaken the wiper’s functionality. Exposure to sunlight and ozone causes the wipers to age, even if the wipers aren’t used much.

Freezing temperatures, common during this time of year in many parts of the country, make rubber hard and brittle, which increases the tendency to crack or tear. Hot weather can warp rubber and prevent the blade from wiping cleanly.

Heavy use is hard on the blades, too. Dust, abrasives, road grime and even bug guts wear away the cutting edge the blade needs to wipe cleanly. Even road dirt acts like an abrasive to wear away the flat surface necessary for a good squeegee effect. Also natural rubber deteriorates over time. As the blades age, they lose much of their flexibility and are less able to wipe cleanly. They may develop a permanent set (called "parked" rubber) or curvature which prevents full contact with the windshield.

Not all vehicles are easy for installing wipers, so store personnel should try to make themselves familiar with some of the more common installation problems. In fact, many people delay replacing their wiper blades because of the difficulty in using the adapters most blades come with and which are needed to fit an assortment of wiper arms.

How well a particular set of blades performs is also important. The blades are part of the windshield wiper system, which includes the wiper arms and holders.

Today’s windshields are more sloped than ever before for improved aerodynamics. But a sleek "cab-forward" windshield with a lot of glass area directs more wind against the wipers which can force the blades away from the glass at high speeds; that is, unless the wiper system and blades are designed to resist lift. Replacement blades and other wiper system components should be properly designed to equal or exceed the anti-lift performance of the original parts. On newer vehicles with steeply-raked windshields, wind lift at high speed can be a problem if the correct replacement blades are not installed. For these applications, recommend anti-lift blades that incorporate aerodynamic features to keep blades in firm contact with the glass at all speeds.

You May Also Like

Auto Care Association Certified as a Great Place to Work

“This prestigious award is a testament to the association’s commitment to creating an inclusive, supportive and dynamic work environment for its employees,” Auto Care said.

The Auto Care Association announced it has been certified as a Great Place to Work.

“This prestigious award is a testament to the association’s commitment to creating an inclusive, supportive and dynamic work environment for its employees,” Auto Care said in a news release.

With a remarkable 95% of employees affirming that the Auto Care Association is a great place to work, the organization stands out significantly above the national average. This recognition is based on direct feedback from employees, provided as part of the Great Place to Work’s rigorous, data-driven methodology.

HD Repair Shops Report Increases in Counter Sales, Labor Rates

The data comes from a Fullbay report published in partnership with ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Council.

Heavy Duty Repair
Applications Open for Federated Car Care Scholarships

Interested students should complete and submit their applications at AutomotiveScholarships.com by March 31.

BendPak Names Expert Automotive Primary Distributor in Las Vegas Valley

Under the agreement, Expert Automotive Equipment will offer and support equipment sold under the BendPak, Ranger, Cool Boss and Autostacker brands.

Expert Automotive
Auto Care Association Leaders Visit Northwood University

Auto Care President and CEO Bill Hanvey was the guest lecturer for several Northwood automotive aftermarket courses at its Midland campus.

Bill Hanvey Auto Care Northwood

Other Posts

MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Achieves UAF Gold Lifetime Trustee Status

The designation goes to “outstanding donors who significantly support the UAF’s mission.”

MEMA UAF Gold Lifetime Trustee
ASE Ed. Foundation, Auto Dealer Associations Tackle Tech Shortage

Three student competitions are currently scheduled for 2024, with more being planned.

ASE Education Foundation Auto Dealers
Northwood U Announces 2024 Class of 20 Under 40 Honorees

The program recognizes NU alumni who are ambitious professionals doing great things in their careers, organizations or communities.

Northwood University 20 Under 40
Two NexaMotion Units Expand Product Offerings, Open New Locations

Transtar Industries and C&M Auto Parts are expanding.

NexaMotion Expanding