GM Buick/Oldsmobile/Pontiac/Full-Size 1975-1990 Repair Guide

Windshield Wipers


See Figure 1

Intense heat from the sun, snow and ice, road oils, and the chemicals used in windshield washer solvent combine to deteriorate the rubber wiper blades of your windshield wipers. If you live in a big city, smog will also deteriorate the rubber rapidly. The rubber refills should be replaced about twice a year or whenever the blades begin to streak or chatter.

Normally, if the wipers are not cleaning the windshield properly, only the refill has to be replaced. The blade and arm usually require replacement only in the event of damage. It is not necessary (except in new Tridon refills) to remove the arm or the blade to replace the refill, though you may have to position the arm higher on the glass. You can do this by turning the ignition switch on and operating the wipers, when they are positioned where they are accessible, turn the switch off.

There are three basic types of refills and your Buick, Olds or Pontiac could have any kind, since aftermarket blades and arms may not use exactly the same type refill as the original equipment.

Some types, such as Anco use a release button that is pushed down to allow the refill to slide out of the yoke jaws. The new refill slides in and locks in place. Some of these refills are removed by locating where the metal backing strip or the refill is wider. Insert a small prybar between the frame and metal backing strip. Press down to release the refill from the retaining tab.

Another type, such as Trico, is unlocked at one end by squeezing two metal tabs, and then sliding the refill out of the frame jaws. When the new refill is installed, the tabs will click into place, locking the refill.

The third, or polycarbonate type is held in place by a locking lever that is pushed downward and out of the groove in the arm to free the refill. When the new refill is installed, it will lock in place automatically.

Regardless of the type of refill used, make sure that all of the frame jaws are engaged as the refill is pushed into place and locked. The metal blade holder and frame will scratch the glass if allowed to touch it.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Popular styles of wiper refills.