Ford Taurus/Sable 1986-1995 Repair Information

Windshield Wipers


For maximum effectiveness and longest element (refill) 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 glass. It is advisable to wash the windshield carefully with a commercial glass cleaner at least once a month. Clean off the wiper blades with the wet rag afterwards. Do not attempt to move the wipers by hand; damage to the motor and drive mechanism could result.

To inspect and/or remove the wiper refills, place the wiper switch in the LOW speed position and the ignition switch in the ACC position. When the wiper blades are approximately vertical on the windshield, turn the ignition switch to OFF .

Examine the wiper refills. If they are cracked, broken or torn, they should be replaced immediately. Replacement intervals will vary with usage, although ozone deterioration usually limits refill life to about one year. If the wiper pattern is smeared or streaked, or if the blade chatters across the glass, the refills should be replaced. It is easiest and most sensible to replace the refills in pairs.


See Figures 1, 2 and 3

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 on new Tridon® refills) to remove 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 .

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: If necessary, the entire blade and insert may be removed from the end of the arm

If your vehicle is equipped with aftermarket blades, there are several different possible types of refills. Aftermarket wipers frequently use a different type blade or refill than the original. Here are some common aftermarket blades, though not all may be available for your car.

Most Anco® styles use a release button that is pushed down to allow the refill to slide out of the yoke jaws. The new refill slides back into the frame and locks in place.

Some Trico® 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.

Other types of Trico® refills have two metal tabs which are unlocked by squeezing them together. The rubber filler can then be withdrawn from the frame jaws. A new refill is installed by inserting the refill into the front frame jaws and sliding it rearward to engage the remaining frame jaws. There are usually four jaws; be certain when installing, that the refill is engaged in all of them. At the end of its travel, the tabs will lock into place on the front jaws of the wiper blade frame.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Wiper blade replacement-Trico®

Another type of refill is made from polycarbonate. The refill has a simple locking device at one end which flexes downward out of the groove into which the jaws of the holder fit, allowing easy release. By sliding the new refill through all the jaws and pushing through the slight resistance when it reaches the end of its travel, the refill will lock into position.

To replace the Tridon® refill, it is necessary to remove the wiper arm or blade. This refill has a plastic backing strip with a notch about 1 in. (25mm) from the end. Hold the blade (frame) on a hard surface so 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.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Wiper blade replacement-Tridon®

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. If the metal blade holder and frame are allowed to touch the glass during wiper operation, the glass will be scratched.