Compare Bosch vs Alca, Bosch vs Valeo and Bosch vs Goodyear Wiper Blades
Valeo Hydro Connect
Country of origin – France
The most expensive dough windshield wipers, the price of which is comparable to the original. The only ones made in the home of the brand. Placed in a solid cardboard box with all the necessary data. According to the brand, the wiper uses rubber containing ethylene-propylene rubber (EPDM), which is used in conveyor products. The design has an aerodynamic spoiler that helps to press the wiper at speed.
Production – Serbia
Old-timers of the market and probably the most common imported windshield wipers that participate in each of our tests with consistently high results. Switching to soft plastic packaging is clear evidence of savings. In the sample purchased, the shell was noticeably shabby around the edges. The same AeroTwin windshield wipers made in Belgium are packaged much more thoroughly. Otherwise, Bosch continues to show off the original two-component rubber construction (the rubber composition is different on different sides of the wiper) and an aerodynamic spoiler for pressing the wiper to the glass.
Country of origin – China
windshield wipers under a brand that is well known to all motorists for car tires. Releases their subsidiary Goodyear Car Accessories. The packaging is the most expensive in appearance and feel, in the form of a tube made of thick transparent plastic. The only windshield wipers with the elastic band protected by a separate cover. In terms of manufacturing quality, they do not differ from more eminent analogues. The design also has a spoiler, and the rubber is graphite coated. Considering the level of the brand and the quality of workmanship, the price, obviously formed in the country of production, is pleasantly surprising.
Alca Super Flat
Production – China
Cheapest dough wiper. The brand is positioned as German, which is strongly emphasized by German words and the colors of the German flag on the packaging, as well as the mention of this country even in the name of the official website. In fact, Alca is simply registered in Germany, and all production is concentrated, as a rule, in China, which makes it possible to declare an attractive price. The wiper has a high-quality molded packaging made of transparent plastic with an abundance of information. The only sample without an aerodynamic spoiler, but a graphite rubber coating is claimed.
Installing and testing
Since our test is a consumer test, we will not be guided by any GOSTs or subject the windshield wipers to specially invented tests. The main task is to evaluate the quality of cleaning in real conditions during several months of a cold winter.
Four windshield wipers were installed in pairs on two editorial cars, after which they periodically changed places (fortunately, they turned out to be interchangeable in size) to reduce the impact of a particular windshield.
All windshield wipers were mounted using a hook-type mount, with three of the four having protective pads on the mounts. Only the Alca wiper did not have a casing – the pores of the nozzle will become clogged with road dust. Moreover, it was possible to put the wiper on the hook only by making an effort: the leash turned out to be noticeably wider than the narrowed channel of the nozzle. A few months later, in order to remove the wiper, I had to literally knock it out.
The Goodyear broom guard cannot be installed due to a kink in the carrier (left). The most convenient installation for Bosch wipers (right).
Not everything is fine with the Goodyear wiper. The mechanism has a completely removable cover – it turned out to be impossible to install it back. Car leashes in the area of the nozzle have a curved shape, which is incompatible with the straight cover of tire brand wiper blades.
The most competent mounts are for Valeo windshield wipers and especially for Bosch. Made in the form of an opening “hood”, they are easy to install, clearly fixed and securely closed with a protection.
The work of the janitors did not reveal a clear leader, but literally in the first minutes it identified an outsider. Bosch and Valeo windshield wipers showed the best results. Serbian-made German windshield wipers have demonstrated perfect glass cleaning along the entire length of the wiper in one up and down pass.
Left photo: Alca (left) and Bosch (right) first stroke. Photo on the right: reverse pass, extensive Alca smears (left) and clean glass after Bosch (right)
The Valeo wiper left blots: in one cycle, half a dozen thin strips remained on the glass in the upper cleaning zone, which, however, the wiper worked on the second cycle and did not allow in the future.
Goodyear’s wiper can also be positively evaluated, which left a solid smeared strip right in front of the driver’s eyes on a sweep up, but gathered up and cleaned it clean on the return pass.
Left photo: Valeo (left) and Goodyear (right) first pass. Photo on the right: Goodyear (right) left streaks at first, which were removed on the way back
The Alca wiper didn’t do the job right from the first stroke: a poor fit, a huge uncleaned area in the center, right in the area where the leash was pressed, and smeared streaks all over the rest of the surface. I had to move it to a second machine, where the result was similar: the wiper, wipering off large drops, smeared moisture on the glass. To continue the test, we even bent the leashes on the passenger side, but this did not fundamentally improve the situation.
Second month and first frosts
A month of operation of windshield wipers on cars and the first zero crossings changed the alignment a little. Valeo and Goodyear windshield wipers took the leading positions. The French one turned out to be the most resistant: no matter how we scratched it on the frozen glass and no matter how much dirt and sand it was poured over, the cleaning of the entire area was always excellent.
It was as if the Goodyear windshield wipers had run in – they stopped allowing annoying smeared stripes, in the rain they ideally worked out the entire surface of the glass, only sometimes cleaning the edges a second time.
In the photo of the frosted glass, you can clearly see how the Bosch wiper begins to work with fan crushing with the sound of a ratchet. In the cold, the same thing happened on clean glass.
Miracles after a month of operation occurred with a Bosch wiper. We don’t know what kind of spoiler was used in the design, but at highway speeds, when swung up, the wiper began to “take off”, that is, in places it came off the glass. We even began to suspect that the loose leash fastening was to blame, however, when everyone checked and swapped Bosch and Goodyear windshield wipers, the situation did not change. The American windshield wipers still performed well, but the German windshield wipers began to fail on the upward stroke, leaving wide streaks along the edges, although they wiped off all the moisture on the return pass.
Photo on the left: Alca and Bosch windshield wipers are susceptible to tanning in the cold. Right photo: A tanned Alca (left) left a huge stain
Alca windshield wipers turned out to be the most sensitive to the first frosts. Rubber, dubeya in the cold, arched in the center and generally stopped cleaning the center of its zone, leaving a huge wet spot in the middle of the glass. As soon as the car got into the sink, into the heat, its properties returned to the warmed and soft cleaning surface and the wiper more or less tolerably cleaned the glass. All this speaks of saving on the quality of rubber.
By the beginning of February, the Bosch AeroTwin windshield wipers continued to upset us – they began to scrape and vibrate on the glass, creaking terribly precisely on the upward stroke. We noted the periodic squeak of Bosch windshield wipers in past tests, but in laboratory tests it was not critical. But in real life, the unbearable creak just drove me crazy. At the same time, we did not figure out what its frequency and intensity depend on, although we changed the compositions of the washer fluid, rearranged the windshield wipers in places, checked the work at different speeds – but in principle did not lubricate the gum with special compounds in order to maintain equal conditions for all test participants.
Valeo and Goodyear wipers keep working
The only explanation is only one: the specific softness of the lower layer of rubber, which tanned in the cold. Firstly, on the return pass, when the hard side of the Bosch wiper came into action, the glass became clean – that is, there were no particular complaints about the operation of the wiper, and secondly, as soon as the weather was more or less warm outside, the creak began to pass .
Photo left: Alca wipers leave a huge smudge in cold weather. Photo on the right: Alca smears over the entire area, Bosch smears began at the edges
The operation of the Alca wiper continued to depend entirely on the weather conditions – during the thaw, the janitor smeared moisture on the glass and, heating up in the rare sun, even quite tolerably coped with the work, and in cold weather it became hard and, consider, completely ceased to perform its functions.
More and more respect was earned by the Goodyear wiper, which, at its not the highest price, was inferior to the Valeo wiper, which worked like a clock, only because of rare minor flaws.
Fourth month and test results
By the beginning of spring and the first heat, which was overshadowed by the revelry of the coronavirus on the planet, everything finally fell into place in our test.
Four months of a frankly mild European winter survived without problems only two windshield wipers – Valeo and Goodyear. At the same time, from the moment of installation until the end of the test, there were no complaints at all to the French janitor, except for a considerable price – excellent quality of work.
Goodyear leaves only a small stripe at the top
The Goodyear Frameless wiper took a little time to grind in, the attachment casing is slightly flawed, and in difficult conditions it periodically makes mistakes, which it earns on repeated passes. Taking into account the fact that the wiper of the American brand is half the price (!) of the French brand with minor flaws, we recognize it as the winner.
Left photo: Alca on the left, Bosch on the right. Photo on the right: on the left is clean glass after Bosch, on the right is dried stains after Alca (inside view)
The main surprise of the test is the Bosch AeroTwin wiper, which in four months caused us the whole gamut of emotions. The windshield wipers falter at high speed and in cold weather with the soft side of the gum up and almost completely correct when going down. For four months of work, the janitor began to smear water a little along the lower edge of the glass, cleaning the rest of the surface clean. At an average price, Bosch windshield wipers could be safely recommended for purchase, if not for their tendency (and in our case, almost a month and a half of sound bullying) to an unbearable squeak.