HOW TO CHECK WIPER BLADES AND ARMS FOR FAULTS
A blade like this needs renewing - Hold down spring for wear
Windscreen wipers are very important for safe driving in bad weather. Worn wipers can make a car very unpleasant and difficult to drive in heavy rain. Furthermore, worn or faulty wipers will also mean the car will fail the MOT road-worthiness test. Wiper parts are not expensive and by checking them yourself you can save a lot of unnecessary expense and make sure your car is safe to drive in all weathers.
When wipers won't wipe Wipers which do not clear the screenproperly are not just annoying they are dangerous too. So if your wipers are giving problems, don't delay — fix them now .
When to do this job Before the annual MOT test. When you are getting the car ready for winter If the wipers cannot clear the screen properly.
Tips: What this job involves
- Checking the wiper blades for splits and wear.
- Examining the wiper arm for alignment.
- Fitting new wiper blades .
- Fitting a new wiper arm.
- Do not use ordinary detergent in the washers as it does not clear road grime.
To do this job Tools: Large pliers; selection of screwdrivers
Materials: Methylated spirit; new wiper blades or rubber refill; replacement spring or new wiper arm Time: Half an hour Degree of difficulty: One of the easiest jobs on the car.
Do the wipers work smoothly and clear the windscreen?
Do they park in line with the bottom of the windscreen?
First check that the windscreen in clean and clear of all Squashed insects and dirt.
Wet the screen and turn the wipers on — watch them as they go across the screen. They should travel smoothly and should clear the screen without
smearing or juddering. Make sure you keep the screen wet while the wipers are on to avoid straining the wiper motor or wearing the blades. Also make
sure that the screenwashers have an additive in the water, either one of the main brands available from accessory shops, or in remote locations meths which acts as antifreeze as well as a screen cleaner.
If the wipers leave streaks or do not clear the screen, check the wiper rubbers if they are cracked or frayed , they must be renewed .
When the wipers judder across the screen or fail to clear the edges, the problem may be faulty wiper arms or an invisible film of grease on the screen, Try cleaning the screen with methylated spirit and a cloth If this does not work then the arms are faulty either the hold down spring is weak or broken, or the arnot lying parallel to the screen. Springs are available separately but it is best to buy a new arm. On the other hand, you can easily bend the arm so that it lies at the correct angle on the screen. To do this take the wiper blade off the arm and rest the arm on the glass. If it is not parallel with the surface of the screen twist It carefully with pliers until it is. Try the wipers again. If there is no improvement you must change the wiper arm.
Noting to hand ? Screen clean A good (if unlikely) way of cleaning your windscreen is to use toothpaste. Rub it on to a lightly dampened screen, spreading it all over, and then wash it off with clean water. The toothpaste acts like a mild abrasive cleaner and takes off the film of dirt and grease on the screen.
Points to watch Do not be tempted into buying cheap wiper blades They are never stiff enough to work properly and usually lift right off the windscreen
Never fit non-standard wiper arms. The length of wiper arms is critical and you might end up scratching the windscreen surround Never oil the wiper arm spindles with ordinary lubricating oil as it will rot the rubber inside.
No matter how good your wipers are, they will not be able to clear baked on filth from the screen .