Intense heat from the sun, snow and ice, road oils and the chemicals used in windshield washer solvents combine to deteriorate the rubber wiper refills. The refills should be replaced about once a year or whenever the blades begin to streak or chatter.
For maximum effectiveness and longest element life, the windshield and wiper blades should be kept clean. Dirt, tree sap, road tar and so on will cause streaking, smearing and blade deterioration if left on the windshield. It is advisable to wash the windshield carefully with a commercial glass cleaner at least once a month. Wipe off the rubber blades with a wet rag afterwards. Do not attempt to move the wipers back and forth by hand! Damage to the motor and drive mechanism may result.
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 lift to about one year. If the wiper pattern is smeared or streaked, or if the blade chatters across the glass, the blades should be replaced. It is easiest and most sensible to replace them in pairs.
WIPER REFILL REPLACEMENT
See Figure 1
For wiper blade and arm service procedures, refer to Chassis Electrical .
Normally, if the wipers are not cleaning the windshield properly, just the refill must be replaced. The blade and arm usually require replacement only in the event of damage. It is necessary (except on Tridon refills) to remove solely the arm or the blade to replace the refill (rubber part), 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 ignition switch OFF .
There are several types of refills and your vehicle could have any kind, since aftermarket blades and arms may not use exactly the same type refill as the original equipment.The original equipment wiper elements can be replaced as follows:
- Lift the wiper arm off the glass.
- Depress the release lever on the center bridge and remove the blade from the arm.
- Lift the tab and pinch the end bridge to release it from the center bridge.
- Slide the end bridge from the wiper blade and the wiper blade from the opposite end bridge.
- Install a new element and be sure the tab on the end bridge is down to lock the element in place. Check each release point for positive engagement.
Most Trico styles use a release button that is pushed down to allow the refill to slide out of the release jaws. The new refill slides in and locks in place. Some Trico refills are removed by locating where the metal backing strip or the refill is wider. Insert a small prytool blade between the frame and the metal backing strip. Press down to release the refill from the retaining tab.
The Anco style is unlocked at one end by squeezing 2 metal tabs, and the refill is slid out of the frame jaws. When the new refill is installed, the tabs will click into place, locking the refill.
The polycarbonate type is held in place by a locking lever that is pushed downward out of the groove in the arm to free the refill. When the new refill is installed, it will lock in place automatically.
The Tridon refill has a plastic backing strip with a notch about an inch from the end. Hold the blade (frame) on a hard surface so that the frame is tightly bowed. Grip the tip of the backing strip and pull up while twisting counterclockwise. The backing strip will snap out of the retaining tab. Do this for the remaining tabs until the refill is free of the arm. The length of these refills is molded into the end and they should be replaced with identical types.
No matter which type of refill you use, be sure that all of the frame claws engage the refill. Before operating the wipers, be sure that no part of the metal frame is contacting the windshield.