PIAA Silicone Windshield Wipers 
Over the last few years, I occasionally have heard good things about PIAA Silicone Windshield Wipers. However, for the longest time I could never quite pull the trigger on a purchase due to the price premium over conventional wipers. Well, a couple months ago I finally ordered a set and I can say that they definitely work as advertised.

So what’s special about silicone wipers? Well, the main benefit is that as the wipers wipe across your windshield they deposit trace amounts of silicone oil. For comparison, silicone is the active ingredient in RainX. So as you might guess, these wipers maintain a water-repellent coating on your windshield just like RainX. Ironically, RainX brand wipers are NOT silicone! (Perhaps due to a patent.)

I can say that PIAA’s wipers are as easy to install as regular wipers. The only extra step is to use a special wet-wipe on the windshield before using the wipers. I presume this is an initial application of silicone oil to bootstrap the silicone application and perhaps reduce initial wear on the wipers by providing lubrication.

I did experience a “break-in” period of sub-par performance. The first few times I used the wipers in the rain, I noticed a few annoying smudges forming on the glass. It appeared that there were a few “hot spots” where too much mechanical pressure was causing the silicone to be deposited too thickly. However, after a couple weeks the wipers “broke in” and the smudges are now gone.

As for the water repelling, the wipers do a great job of maintaining the silicone application. It’s essentially as good a continuous fresh RainX application, yet without the annoying halos at night that I have experienced with RainX (though that could be from over-application on my part). Raindrops bead up nicely and quickly blow off the glass at highway speeds.

One interesting observation is that the wipers don’t wipe quite the same way as rubber wipers. The silicone wipers seem to leave a slightly noticeable film of water on the glass as they wipe. However, this very thin film immediately evaporates. I’m not sure what causes this. It’s noticeable, but not annoying and it doesn’t have any significant effect on visibility.

So in summary, I can definitely recommend the PIAA silicone wipers. At this point the only thing that could sway my recommendation is the longevity of the wipers. However, I haven’t been using them long enough to evaluate that aspect. I recommend ordering them online to save money.

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