Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tank 288 - 23 August 2K11 - Whatever Happened to Windshield Wiper Refills?

This morning, I managed to avoid the Fas Mart near my home and instead refueled at what apparently is the world's second slowest gas pump at a Wawa on the other side of the Interstate. I chose this Wawa because 1) it wasn't the Fas Mart, and 2) going there would only cost me time at one stoplight and not 2, as the other Wawa (less than 1/2 mile away from this one) would have done, seeing on how it was on the other side of the road.

So this tank I only went 405.3 miles, with 10.687 gallons of gas, made for a mileage number of 37.92 miles per gallon. Not too shabby, and it brought my average for the year up to37.85 miles per gallon, a mere 0.02 miles per gallon lower than my highest annual mpg average that was achieved in 2007.

Of more concern for me today is that yesterday I went to the auto parts store and bought one low-beam headlight, or "lamp" as they say, probably because they can charge more for "lamps" instead of "light bulbs." While I was there, I remembered that my windshield wipers were showing signs of age, leaving more streaks than clear areas on the windshield.

So I walk over to the windshield wiper section and, as usual, am overwhelmed at the variety and types of wipers. And costs! There was a brand of windshield wiper there that was $49.99 for a single wiper blade arm! Needless to say, I concluded that safety is not my top priority and I quickly concluded that the $10 option was more thanm suitable for my needs.

As I was driving home, I remembered my purchase experience and didn't recall seeing just wiper refills on display, only the wipers with the whole metal arm apparatus attached. Seems like such a waste to replace the whole lever part when just the rupper wiper part is worn out.

When I was younger, I remember being able to buy just the rubber blade parts and slide them into the existing arm frames. But yesterday's trip to the auto parts store, I don't remember seeing just the rubber wiper blades. So I wonder now if this is some sort of scheme that the manufacturers thought up to get a little more profits from the gullible consumers such as myself? Are the plain old rubber blades kept in the magic world behind the counter, where only the chosen can tread?

Also a sad revelation from yesterday's trip to the car parts store is that I apparently have decided that my car is now too old to care about. I only replaced one windshield wiper, and one headlight lamp bulb. Screw symmetry. I hardly look over to the passenger side of the windshield anyway.

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