You know what is a constant and reliable source of annoyance? A minor annoyance, I suppose, but also a potent one. It’s when you have a pine needle or some similar crap stuck between your wiper blade and your windshield, and you turn on the wipers, which causes the unwanted, trapped object (usually a stupid pine needle, but it could be a leaf or a flower petal or a faerie wing or some other similar shit) to leave an annoying, arc-shaped streak on the windshield, usually right smack dab in the middle of your field of vision. It’s so irritating. And it happens all the time. And it’s not just me kvetching about this, look, here’s many others griping, too. Everyone hates this. So why hasn’t there been a solution for this, beyond having to stop and get out of your damn car in the rain and lift the wiper and smack the pine needle out of the way, like some sort of filthy animal? I have no idea why. But I think I have an idea about to handle this, and that’s why I asked you here today. Let’s get to it.
In case you’re from, say, a suburb located on the far side of South Mars and you’re not familiar with this problem, I made a little animated GIF for you to illustrate it. Just to be sure you’re not distracted by any specific car, I used the most common, ignorable car I could think of as the model here, a 1979 Klondike Pelican 1800:
You get it, right? The windshield streaks made by the debris like a pine needles? Of course you get it. As we established, this is an incredibly common annoyance. So, what’s the simplest way wiper design could be changed to free mankind once and for all from the tyranny of the Crap Stuck Under Your Wipers? Well, I have two ideas. Let’s look at Solution One:
This solution would add a solenoid to the conventional wiper mechanism that would allow the wiper shaft to be raised a bit from the windshield. I’m thinking the solenoid would be actuated by a button on the dashboard or wiper stalk, so the driver can “thump” the wipers up and down at whatever pace they desire, or, if they choose, they can hold that button down and keep the wipers raised as they drive, letting wind free anything that may have come between wiper and blade. [Ed note: This GIF is pretty suggestive, are we allowed to show this? – MH]
I’m imagining a pretty powerful solenoid for this purpose, so it could also be used to break wipers free from being iced to the windshield in winter, and for making satisfying-sounding thonks against the windshield that could be employed while listening to loud music so everyone knows how much you’re into it. It could also be a fun way of getting people’s attention without resorting to your horn, too, or even be something that could happen when you click your car’s remote locking. Really, there’s all kinds of reasons to integrate a thump mechanism into windshield wipers.
Now, if that feels too complex for you, or if you’d like a simpler solution that could be retrofitted to pretty much any car, how about this:
This would just be a simple grooved rubber strip, backed with strong adhesive, that you’d place at the base of your windshield, right about where your wipers normally park. As they rotate in their wiperly arcs, they’d go over the rubber strip, which should effectively remove any debris from the blades. Will this cause more blade wear? Probably a bit, sure. Will some marginal wipers have trouble getting wipers over even a thin rubber strip? Maybe? But I think for the most part, this could be pretty effective, and could be fitted to pretty much any vehicle cheaply and easily.
Hell, they could sell this stuff by the roll at auto parts stores! Maybe even with different types of textures that prove better for specific types of debris or grit or foliage? There’s something here, I’m sure of it, and I bet 3M will have this product on shelves in two months and I won’t even get a gift card in the mail. Thanks a lot, 3M.
So what does everyone think? Would either of these work? Have any preferences? You own ideas? We’re a think tank here at The Autopian, so let’s talk this out and free the world of this annoyance, once and for all!
You’re welcome, humanity.
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Okay i cant find the appropriate area for the introduction of this requires a reach around approach.