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Archive for Monday, October 8, 2012

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Fix-It Chick: Install new wiper blades

October 8, 2012

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It is a good idea to replace automotive wiper blades in the spring, before the rain hits hard, and again in the fall, when wintery ice and snow is just around the corner.

Step 1: Use the blade manufacturer’s reference guide at the local hardware or automotive store to determine the correct blade size(s). You will need the vehicle make, model and year to facilitate the process.

Step 2: Purchase complete blade assemblies. Skip the urge to save a few dollars by purchasing just the replacement rubber. Improperly fitted blade rubbers can cause serious damage to the windshield.

Step 3: Access the wiper blades by pulling the wiper arm out, away from the automobile’s windshield, at a 90-degree angle. For some vehicles, it may be necessary to turn the wiper blades on for a moment and stop them in motion, before pulling them away from the windshield.

Step 4: There are three basic styles of wiper blades: the hook arm, the pin arm and the bayonet arm.

  • To remove hook-type wiper arms, hold the blade perpendicular to the wiper arm and push the small clip or tab down into the blade assembly. Push the blade assembly down. The hook end of the wiper arm should break free from the blade, allowing the assembly to be removed.
  • For pin-type wiper arms, locate the pin on the side of the wiper arm and press it down with a small flathead screwdriver. Pull the blade assembly away from the wiper arm.
  • For bayonet-type wiper arms, lift the locking lever located at the center of the blade assembly. Slide the blade off the wiper arm.

Step 5: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the back of the new blade assembly package to install the wiper blades.

  • For hook-type wiper arms, hold the blade parallel to the wiper arm and position the hook inside the blade assembly. Push the blade onto the hook until it snaps into place.
  • For pin-type wiper arms, locate the mounting hole on the blade assembly and press the assembly onto the pin arm until it locks into place.
  • For bayonet-type wiper arms, lift the locking lever on the blade assembly and slide the blade assembly onto the arm until it snaps into place.

Step 6: Test the wipers to assure blades are properly adjusted.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at go@ljworld.com.

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