With the clocks going back, winter can be a dangerous time to be on the roads, even for the most experienced driver, so to help them stay safe this winter garages should offer a free winter wiper blade check, according to wiper specialist, Trico
“Whatever the weather conditions or treatment of the wiper blades, we estimate that the general effective life of a wiper blade is approximately six to twelve months,” explains Trico Product and Brand Manager, Sam Robinson, “which means that to ensure maximum rain clearing effectiveness and visibility, they should be changed at these intervals.”
To help technicians, Trico has compiled a helpful ‘six-point check’ that garages can use to easily assess blade condition and identify when a wiper blade needs replacing, thus ensuring that the vehicle leaves with its blades and windscreen in the best condition.
1. WIPE CHECK
Using the washer spray or a mister bottle to spray the glass, operate the wipers and check there are no missed areas, water smears, or multiple streaks that impede vision. Any light misting remaining after the wipe should disappear quickly (within 1-2 seconds). Naturally, blades that leave streaks/smears/misting should be replaced immediately.
2. LIFT THE BLADES FROM THE SCREEN
Care should be taken as the wiper arms on many modern cars will hit the underneath of the bonnet and not lift. In these cases, switching the ignition on, then off and then pressing the wiper stalk down once will often move the blades up into their service position, where they can then be lifted up. If this does not work, consult the manual.
3. BLADE EDGE CHECK
Gently clean the rubber blade edge with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any dirt or residue. Check along its length for any imperfections in the rubber, in particular check at either end that it has not ‘split’. Ensure that the rubber element returns to a central position and is not flipped over and ‘set’ in one direction. If the blade fails any of these checks, it should be replaced.
4. SAFE & SECURE FITMENT
Check the blade is securely fixed to the arm. The blade should rotate freely, parallel with the wiper arm, to allow it to flex over the screen, but there should be no wobbling or movement perpendicular to the arm. This movement can be a sign of wear from the blades flipping over and could eventually cause the blades to come apart during use. If the blade shows excessive movement, replace it immediately.
5. SCREEN CLEAN
Ensure the windscreen is thoroughly cleaned using warm water or specialist glass cleaning fluid. In particular pay attention to the areas at the top and bottom of the wipe area, as dirt and debris collects there. Also check the glass for any cracks or chips, these are a safety hazard in their own right, but can also damage the wiper blade rubber.
6. LOWER THE BLADES
Lower the wiper arms gently back on to the screen. If the wipers have failed any of the checks, fit new blades as a matter of urgency to ensure the clearest possible view when driving.
Trico has a range of products with something to suit every motor factor, retail store and workshop – from short “multi clip” ranges giving 95 per cent vehicle coverage with just 14 parts, through to speciality performance blades and wide ranges of direct fit Original Equipment replacements. All wiper blades within the Trico ranges are manufactured to the same exact standards as our OE blades that we supply to vehicle manufacturers worldwide.
Sam concluded: “For more than 100 years, Trico has been a global leader in wiper technology, providing the motoring public with reliable, innovative wiper blade products that deliver the optimum performance when they need them most. To support the six-point check and further boost wiper sales, Trico can also provide attractive new display stands, merchandise and special promotions.”