REPLACING WIPER BLADES
See Figure 1
For maximum effectiveness and longest element life, the windshield and wiper blades should be kept clean. Dirt, tree sap, road tar and etc. will cause streaking, smearing and blade deterioration, if left on the glass. It is advisable to wash the windshield carefully with a commercial glass cleaner at least once a month. Wipe off the rubber blades with the wet rag, afterwards.
If the blades are found to be cracked, broken or torn, they should be replaced immediately. Replacement intervals will vary with usage, although ozone deterioration usually limits blade life to about 6 months. If the wiper pattern is smeared, streaked or if the blade chatters across the glass, the elements should be replaced. It is easiest and most sensible to replace the elements in pairs. If the proper source can be found, it is only necessary to replace the rubber blades or inserts; replacing the metal blade holder is not necessary, unless it is damaged.
- To replace the blade elements, raise the wiper arm assembly all the way off the glass. It will stay in the upright position. If needed, pivot the blade assembly until it is easier to work on. Removing the blade holder or arm is generally not necessary.
- Identify the end of the blade with the double tabs; the narrow part between the bulges will be clipped into two holder or fingers at the base of the metal blade holder.
- Support the wiper assembly with one hand (to avoid bending it) and pull the rubber insert out of the holder with the other hand. The only real force needed is to release the tabs from the metal fingers. Carefully extract the rubber blade.
Later models use two small metal bars or ribs which fit into the edge of the rubber blade to stiffen it. Do NOT lose or discard these ribs; they do not come with new blades. If the stiffeners are bent or deformed, they may be straightened with gentle pressure.
- If stiffening ribs were removed from the old insert, install them into the replacement. They must be correctly placed and completely within the slot before installation.
- Slide the new insert into the blade holder, making sure that the blade (and ribs) track(s) correctly through each set of fingers.
- After passing the blade through the last holder, align the locking tabs with the first set of fingers. Pop the lock tab through the fingers with a short, sharp tug. A bit of push from the bottom of the blade is also helpful.
- Check the blade carefully for any part that did not correctly seat in the holders, particularly at the lock tabs. Metal ribs must be fully concealed and inside the holders as well. If anything doesn't look proper, remove the blade and start over.
- Wash the windshield thoroughly with a quality glass cleaner. Many wiper related problems start on the glass, not on the wiper blade.
- Pivot the wiper blade into the proper position and lower the arm to the glass.