Most of us promise that we will not wait until the next rainy season or for winter to hit with full force to replace our worn out wiper blades. However, for a large percentage of us in and around Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, and Port Orange, FL, the only reminder we get is when the daily summer thunderstorms hit and our wiper blades can’t keep the windshield clear. Of course if you bring your car into New Smyrna Express Service, there’s to worry about, as our technicians will let you know if the time to replace your wiper blades has come and take care of the job for you.
Doing It Yourself
For those of you who are used to doing most, if not all of your own work, chances are good your wipers will remain untouched until they are nothing more than dried out strips of all but useless rubber. You can get ahead of the game by simply picking up a pair of wiper blades the next time you happen to be at your local parts store to keep on hand in your vehicle. You will find that your blades may last anywhere from six months to a year, depending on where you live.
In the Port Orange, Daytona Beach, and New Smyrna Beach areas, the merciless summer sun can cause your blades to dry out and become brittle in just a couple of months. The good news is that both complete blade assemblies and replacement rubber blades are relatively easy to change. In most cases, you are better off replacing the entire blade assembly as this helps to keep firm, even pressure along the entire length of the blade.
Signs to look for:
- Streaks/smears on windshield
- Screeching during use
- Rubber is visibly worn
Tools you’ll need:
- Slotted screwdriver
- Needlenose pliers
- Tape measure
Types of Wiper Blades
No matter what type of car, truck, van, crossover, or SUV you drive, it will most likely have one of these three types of windshield wiper blade assemblies.
- The Hook Slot Connector:
This is the most common type of wiper blade. It is also the easiest style to change. Start by lifting the wiper arm away from the windshield and letting it lock in place when perpendicular to the windshield. Bear in mind the arm is spring loaded and if the metal arm swings down and hits the windshield, the damage can be severe. The blade is held in place by a locking tab in the plastic mount. You need to push the tab to release the blade and then slide the entire blade away from the hook to remove it. Install the new blade by reversing this process and pushing it into place until you hear the mount snap into place.
- The Pin Style Arm:
This style is similar to the hook slot blade, but instead of using a latch to hold the blade onto the arm, it uses a pin going through both sides of the arm and the blade. Using a screwdriver you can pry the pin out while wiggling the blade. Install the new blade and push a new pin in until you hear it lock into place.
- The Straight End Connector:
This is an older style wiper blade mount and one that is by far the most challenging to replace. If you are lucky there, is a tab sticking out the end of the blade. Use a screwdriver to release the blade and slide it off the end of the arm. Then slide the new blade into place until it is firmly locked in.
The other version of the straight end connector is held in place by a pair of tiny little screws that are often frozen in place. They are easily broken so care must be used during the removal process. Remove the screws and then the blade. Install the new blade using the new screws that come with it and tighten snugly in place. Do not over tighten them as this can make them impossible to remove.
For safety’s sake and that of your windshield, never leave the arm in the upright position, not even for long enough to grab the replacement blade from the workbench behind you. One bump and the spring loaded steel arm can punch a hole through your windshield.
Once the job is done, you will have a crystal clear view of the road no matter how bad the summer storms around Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, and Port Orange, FL happen to be.
Written By: Jeremy Kiel