Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ranting at Ford -- again -- and crappy wiper blades

I had a terribly slow drive in to work this morning due to the snow coming down. My usual 20-30 minute drive turned into over 1½ hours.

Anyway, unless I had the heat cranked and directed at the windshield, the snow was building up on the wiper blades and then icing up. This didn't help to keep the visibility. I've been meaning to get winter wiper blades since last winter, and today I decided would be a good day to finally get around to that.

After sitting down at my desk, I did a quick Google on "winter wiper blades 2008 ford escape" to get an idea of what's available. I had plans to walk over to the nearby Canadian Tire at lunch and pick some up.

Much to my dismay, I found message threads that seemed to indicate that such a thing does not exist, for the 2008 Ford Escape.

What the hell? No winter wiper blades for an SUV sold in Canada?

I continued to read more threads from people who said they even contacted Ford, and were told that they don't exist. In fact, aftermarket wiper blades in general are difficult to find.

One thread did indicate that there was a Trico brand winter blade available. I checked out their web site and found that Canadian Tire sells that brand, but not the particular "winter blade" required for my truck.

So, I hopped onto Twitter and post a quick rant:

"How is it possible that winter wiper blades don't exist for a 2008 Ford Escape, or any vehicle for that matter, sold in Canada? Hello? Snow?"
A few minutes later, I get a reply on Twitter:
@twister65 Let me see if I can get an answer for you.
I was puzzled. Who was this guy?

I clicked his name. "Head of social media at Ford..."

Interesting. Whoodathunkit. Ford is actually involved in social media and monitoring it? I sent him a quick thanks. We'll see what he can find out -- but I'm not holding my breath.

I walked over to Canadian Tire at lunch to see if they had anything. I looked up Ford Escape 2008 in their little wiper blade catalog. Out of the eight or so brands that they carry, there was ONE for a 2008 Ford Escape. One. Armor All EDGE Silicone Wiper Blades. $25 per blade. Ouch. Although they weren't specifically "winter" wiper blades, they did indicate that they were good for snow and sleet, etc.

What other choice did I have? None. One of the workers there asked me if I was in a hurry for them. He said that they were going to go on sale next week or the week after. He couldn't tell me how much they were going to sell for though. I thanked him, but said I couldn't wait.

So back to work I walked, in this crappy weather, and down into the underground parking to put them on. It was easy enough. They included 3 different adapters.

I hopped into the truck and turned on the wipers, then sprayed the windshield with windshield wash.

Streaks. Two large, unwiped, streaks. Right in the center of the driver and passenger side windshield. WTF?

I took them off and double-checked to make sure I had them installed correctly. Yep, they were. Turned on the wipers again. They cleaned the unwiped part off. Sprayed the windshield again. Streaks... again.

I'm hoping that there's some kind of settling while they press against my windshield up until I leave to go home. I kept the old wipers just in case. I really don't want to have to pull over on my way home to switch them back.

At $25 per blade, you can bet that they'll be going back if they don't work.

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  1. Sorry you seem to be having such a hard time, Scott. Here's a link to the wiper section of the Ford Canada Parts & Service site:

    And if you'd like to call them directly, they can be reached at 800-565-3673 (FORD).

    I hope this helps.

    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company

  2. As I mentioned on Twitter, it's a disappointment not to have more options. After spending ~$700 in the fall to replace 1-year-old defective tires on my Escape -- with perfect tread and apparently no warranty -- my confidence in OE parts is pretty weak.

  3. I am soon-to-be in need of wiper blades for my 2008 Ford went into Wal-Mart and didn't find 2008 in the wiper selection guide...figured it was not quite up-to-date. I picked what was recommended for the 2007, went out to my vehicle and tried replacing them. What a surprise! My next stop was to the FORD dealership - the parts guy told me that replacement blades were $25 each. HELLO??? I pay $5.50 for ANCO Premiums at Wal-Mart. "Oh, but they are 'special' wiper blades..." No, I'm sorry...I'm needing a new pair at 10,000 miles...just like on my other cars.

    C'Mon FORD...I know you need money...but wiper blades???

    Mr Ed

  4. Be sure to check out my follow-up post.

    Although they're not cheap ($25, same as Ford's), the Trico Neoform blades are definitely good blades. I can't honestly say I've ever paid under $10 for wiper blades, for any vehicle I've ever driven.

  5. I just went to replace my blades on my 2008 Escape (bought it used, last year) and much to my dismay, I am unable to use any other brand of blade replacement other than what Ford sells @ $21 a piece. this is due to the design of the blade handle/clip on them. WTF? Why in the world can't they just design them standard like most other vehicles? When the time is right, I'm trading in this vehicle before I end up in the poor house as Ford nickle and dimes us all to death :(

  6. My FORD is broken down again...Had to be towed for the 4th time. 2008 Escape is junk. Towed twice for Transmission problems, and twice because Anti-Lock Brakes cutting in while driving. That is, foot on the gas pedal cruising along and brakes lock up!!! I've also had problems with slow leak; keyless entry defective; back door and hatch defective; air/ventilation defective - works only on highest speed; interior lights defective. I would NEVER advise anyone to own a FORD !

    Donna I

  7. Stumbled on your blog searching for Escape wiper blades. I picked up some Michelen wiper blades today at WalMart for our 2008 Escape ($12 each). After minimal swearing I was able to figure out how one of the connectors that Michelen provides does work for the Escape. So thankfully it's possible.

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