Windshield Wiper Replacement Options
On past vehicles, I’ve never really had too much trouble finding a windshield wiper replacement that worked well. I’ve tried numerous options over the years: OEM and various aftermarket brands and models. Normally, aftermarket options are effective at wiping the windshield clean, are sufficiently quiet, and last at least six months to a year. A quick search on a forum related to the specific car make and model you own will typically produce a search result full of recommendations for wiper replacements that have worked well for other forum members.
Unfortunately for my 2003 Toyota 4Runner, this has not been the case. I tested wiper blade after wiper blade, all which would not effectively clean the windshield, make noises during operation, and/or not last more than a few months. This has been a frustration even with the many recommendations for wiper blades on the T4R.org forums. Even there, the recommendations are all across the board.
What Makes the Perfect Wiper Blade?
To me, the perfect wiper blade all boils down to several factors:
It should apply moderate and uniform pressure over the entire blade. Many blades I’ve tested barely wipe away anything because there was not enough pressure on the windshield. Other times, uneven pressure was applied and as a result, some spots were left dirty because there was no contact between the wiper and windshield.
As mentioned above, uneven pressure of the wiper blade is not desirable. In addition to its ineffectiveness at wiping away debris, it can cause the wiper blade to jump or skip, causing an annoying chatter as the blade travels across the windshield. Some blade materials also tend to squeak a lot, which can drive some people insane.
Another aspect of noise has to do with the material. Sometimes the rubber used is much too hard or too soft, both which can create unwanted noise and/or cause durability issues with the wiper blade.
Windshield wipers should normally last at least six months and even up to one year. Of course, this depends on how much and how heavy the use is. You may need to experiment with different wiper blades to get that perfect blend of durability and performance.
The Best Windshield Wiper Blades for the 4th Gen 4Runner
Over the many years of owning my 2003 Toyota 4Runner, I’ve gone through my fair share of windshield wipers. I’ve tried various aftermarket ones made by Bosch, Anco, and Rain-X. These aftermarket blades have always failed my test for noise and effectiveness, although they do seem to last more than six months.
I’ve also gone with OEM wiper blade replacements, which many people recommend. I believe this is the case because they are so cheap. However, my beef with these replacement inserts are that they are a PITA to replace and if you’re doing this on wiper arms that are aged, you’re bound to break the delicate arm apparatuses. But yes, they are cheap, are quiet, and work okay. They do tend to be less durable compared to aftermarket wiper blades.
Finally, I came across a recommendation online for some Goodyear Hybrid wiper blades. So, I tried my luck with these and found that they fit all three of the criteria I look for. They apply good and even pressure across the windshield, are quiet, and last a long time. They are also incredibly easy to install.
After using these wipers for almost a year now, I can confidently say that they are the perfect wiper blades for the 4th generation Toyota 4Runner.
For 2003-2009 Toyota 4Runners, you need a 22″ wiper blade for the driver’s side and a 20″ wiper blade for the passenger’s side.
The removal of the existing wiper blades is quite simple: pull the wiper arm off the windshield, twist the existing arm 90 degrees from the wiper arm, then pull down from the wiper arm hook end to remove.
The new arm comes with a handful of adapters, but the only one you need is the one below.
Installation is the reverse of the removal, install the adapter on the new wiper blade and match up the u-shaped piece to fit within the u-shaped wiper arm end.
And that’s it! I much prefer replacing these wiper blades with aftermarket ones because of how easy and quick it is. And of course, they are quiet, work well, and many months later still going strong!