Clear visibility is key to a safe drive. Whether its raining, snowing or you just have a dirty windscreen, having wiper blades that aren’t doing their job can be a hazard.
There are many different types of wiper blades available to you, for example, standard wiper blades, flat wiper blades, and spoiler wiper blades. Please be aware that not all wiper blades will fit your car so please ensure if ordering that it will be correct type for your model.
Standard Wiper Blades
Standard wiper blades are the most common type of windscreen wiper, and are still fitted to the majority of new vehicles. They are usually attached to the vehicle using a hook shape wiper arm fitting. Sizes range from 10″ to 28″ and it is not uncommon to have different sizes fitted to the drivers and passengers sides of the windscreen.
Spoiler Wiper Blades
These types of wiper blades feature a Full Spoiler that runs the length of the blade. This helps to keep the blade closer to the windscreen at higher speeds and is usually designed for the drivers’ side only. Again they are usually attached to the vehicle by means of a hook shaped wiper arm fitting.
Flat Wiper Blades
Flat wiper blades feature a totally new style and technology and are fast becoming the standard fit on new vehicles. These types of wiper blades do not have a metal ‘coat hanger’ shaped frame. Instead they have a tensioned metal strip running within the rubber structure of the wiper blade. This design allows for a flatter aerodynamic shape which reduces wind noise. The internal metal strip applies constant pressure along the length of the blade and has a built in spoiler. Being smaller than a conventional wiper it also provides less obstruction to the driver’s field of vision.
When to Replace Wiper Blades
It’s advised that windscreen wipers should be replaced every 12 months to avoid excessive wear. However, there are some warning signs that show your blade needs replacing:
- Juddering on the screen, or excessive noise.
- Blades are worn down or torn when you run your finger along them.
- Streaks and un-wiped areas are left on the windscreen.
How to fit your wiper blades
Take a look at your vehicle. Can you access the wipers easily? Are they hidden under the hood line? To make changing them easier, you may have to turn on the ignition, turn on the wipers and shut the ignition off when the wipers are at their highest point.
The method of installation depends on the style of wiper arm. The styles below covers most vehicles.
Side lock Style
How you remove side lock wipers will depend on what kind of wiper is currently on your vehicle. If it is an original equipment style use a flat screwdriver, and press the spring lock down in the middle of the wiper and slide the wiper off the arm.
If it is a universal style wiper with an adapter, removal will still vary between manufacturers, but generally, you will use a flat screwdriver to pry off the plastic adapter from the wiper arm pin.
Once the old wiper is off, compare it to the new wiper to ensure you have the proper length.
Installing wipers on a side lock wiper arm will vary slightly between manufacturers. With Trico Exact Fit and Bosch Micro Edge Excel, simply slide the new wiper over the pin, and push down until it locks in place. For most other designs, slide the wiper over the pin, and snap the locking adapter in place.
The hook is the most common wiper arm style on modern cars, and also one of the easiest to work with.
To remove the wiper, simply push up on the tab under the wiper, and it will unlock from the hook. Slide it back to remove the hook from the adapter, turn the wiper blade up, and then slide the wiper blade forward off the arm.
Some manufacturers use a slightly different type of adapter for the hook style arm. You may need to use a screwdriver to pop a tab up in front of the hook. This tab stops the wiper from sliding back off the wiper.
Once the old wiper is off, compare it to the new wiper to ensure it is the proper length.
Slide the wiper arm through the wiper blade, place the arm into the adapter behind the hook, and slide it forward into the hook until you feel it lock in place.
To remove the bayonet style wiper, lift the locking lever or tab, and pull the wiper off the arm. Remember to not let the wiper arm snap back against the wind-shield.
To install new wipers, pull the tab back, slide onto the wiper arm until the tab locks in place.
With some bayonet-style wiper blades, you may need to install the adapter onto the wiper arm first, and then install the wiper blade onto the adapter.
It is important to check once you have fitted your new wiper blades you cannot easily pull them off.
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