Replace Windscreen Wipers
There’s always a time, that light blub moment when you remember the need to replace your windscreen wipers…it generally tends to be when it starts to rain!
Ok so you know they’re cheap, you know they should be easy to install, it actually looks simple enough, but are you still using those rackety, old, worn out, useless pieces of rubber, and more importantly, can you remember how to replace them?
“To replace windscreen wipers is something easily forgotten”
But today it’s warm outside, it’s dry, so this blog is an easy to follow 10-minute guide to help you replace windscreen wipers, saving you money and time.
Step 1: Remove the old wipers
The first step to replace windshield wipers is in getting those shabby old wipers off, off, off.
Word of warning though, take extra care when removing them. Your wiper arm is made of metal and your windshield is made of glass, and if the two come together… a scratch isn’t the only thing you may have to worry about.
To replace the old windscreen wipers, pull the entire assembly away from the windshield, it should naturally prop itself in the raised position.
Holding the wiper with one arm, find where the small tab meets the metal arm and depress the tab on the underside of the wiper using your other hand.
With the tab depressed, slide the wiper off the arm by pulling the centre toward the bottom of the wiper arm.
Step 2: Don’t crack your windscreen
I don’t know if you’ve ever realised, but in order to keep your wipers pressed to the windscreen during a storm or when driving at speed, the metal wiper arms that hold the wipers in place are usually spring loaded.
This also means that when you replace windscreen wipers without the soft rubber wiper on the end, if you’re not careful, the metal arm can and will do some serious damage to your windscreen!
Prevention is better that cure, so to stop the wiper arm from snapping back and hitting your windshield, carefully rest the replacement windscreen wiper against the windshield while you are getting your new wiper ready to install. Even if you grab hold of it, play it safe and place the arm in the down position with the wiper blade against the windshield to keep it from snapping back.
Step 3: Lining up everything
The next step for some may seem a little daunting; so first take a look at the empty wiper arm and the new wiper, and focus your attention particularly on the attachment point.
It may be hard to picture how it all fits back together. The key to getting it done fast is to line everything up before you trying to click it all back into place.
If you look at the side of the wiper where it attaches to the metal arm, you’ll see that one end of the plastic clip is flat and the other has a curve across the top.
Rotate the plastic clip, until this curve is pointing toward the wiper blade. Now hold the wiper upside down next to the metal wiper arm, where you’ll see that the curve in the arm (hook shape), matches the curved top of the plastic clip.
Step 4: Click the New Wipers Into Place
With everything lined up you can now fit it all together, and here’s a little trick.
With it all lined up, lower the wiper over the wiper arm, placing the arm between the sides of the new wiper with the open end of the “hook” facing the plastic clip.
Move the hook over the plastic clip, and then pull the wiper firmly upward so that the clip’s rounded edge slides into the hook. Then just take some time to double check and make sure everything has been assembled nice and tight.
Finally, carefully lower the wiper back to the windshield.
Repeat the process for the other windscreen wiper, and hey presto as Gordon Ramsay says, – “Windscreen wipers replaced – done!”
To your vehicle health
By Philip Xavier
Looking for an MOT West London anybody?
We all love a good deal, and currently there are a tons of garages offering cheap MOT specials online for customers. But how do you go about spotting a genuine deal from a scam?
“It’s not the MOT test fee, but repairing the “fails” that usually costs a fortune.”
Companies can only charge up to the official maximum for an MOT. (The maximum test costs are £54.85 for cars or motor caravans and £29.65 for motorbikes. For a full list, see the Gov.uk website).
For example while some garages may promote MOT West London, with specials to win new clients over and build lasting relationships, (based on good service and a positive first experience), others might have a more short-term objective in mind, and unfortunately your £24.99 MOT deal may just end up costing you thousands in repair costs.
Still, getting your MOT done in a local garage does bring convenience, as you can get all the necessary repairs done in one place – and the re-tests are usually free.
So how do you separate the genuine deals from the phonies and avoid unnecessary repairs?
For example if your looking for and MOT West London, check that the garage is on Good Garage to ensure it’s trustworthy, its great website because the reviews are based on real customer feedback and experience.
Second, conduct a do-it-yourself MOT check of the avoidable fails.
Forty percent of MOT’s fail first time, and far too many are due to a simple avoidable reason. Don’t worry, most of this is common sense not mechanical sense. Some of the fails you can sort yourself, others will need professional help. Either way, sorting out some basic work pre-test will usually end up being cheaper, and either way at least you’ll be prepared.
How To Beat The Most Frequent Fails
Without further ado, here’s my guide to helping you beat the most frequent types of MOT fails.
Lights: Are your lights fully working?
Have someone sit in your car while you walk around checking every light. Front, rear, headlights and dipped, hazards and indicators. If any aren’t working properly, buy a new bulb for a few quid and replace it. It’s easy in most cars although a few manufactures do make it slightly more complex.
Suspensions: Check your suspension.
While a full suspension check is difficult, in order to see if your shock absorbers have gone, quickly apply your weight to each corner of the car and then release. The car should quickly settle back into place – if not you may have a problem.
Brakes – Is there tension on the handbrake?
This is not so easy to do yourself, and it will need a professional mechanic to fix. If your brakes feel loose and unresponsive, or the handbrake slides up without resistance and can’t be reached at a certain level, it’s likely you have a issue with your brakes that will need attention.
Tyre’s: Check your tyre pressure.
To check your tyre pressure, look up what pressure they should be and fill ’em up at the petrol station. Check your tyre tread, which is the depth of grooves for road grip. The legal minimum is 1.6mm for a car tyre (enough to let surface water slip through).To measure, use the quick 20p tyre test detailed on the Tyre Safe website. Pop a 20p coin on its edge into the main grooves of the tyre tread. If the outer rim of the coin is hidden, your tyres should be legal. If you can see it, well its probably new tyre time.
Windscreen: Is your windscreen damaged?
Damage to the driver’s central view should be no larger than 10mm, and within the whole of the swept area, it should be no larger than 40mm. If it is, it make sense to have it fixed pre-test (often this is included in car insurance policies). Windscreen wipers? Front wipers are checked in the MOT test and need to clear the windscreen in conjunction with the washers.
Exhaust: Is your exhaust leaking?
To check, start the engine (in a well-ventilated place, at normal temperature) and from the rear of the car listen for any unusual noises or abnormal smoke. If you can hear unusual noises this may indicate a leak, which you should have looked at and fix pre-MOT.
License Plate: Can you read your license plate clearly?
Make sure that your license plates are clean and easily legible from 20m away.
Fluids: Are all your car fluids topped up?
Check the brake fluid, windscreen washer and oil reserves.
The rest: An all-over once-over. Make sure that your fuel cap is secure, that your mirrors are in good condition, and that all your seat-belts are fully functional.
New MOT checks were introduced in March 2013 under EU rules which were already in place in Northern Ireland. These include some extra checks on categories already part of the test, including electronic warning lights, speedometers and electronic handbrake checks.
But as always, if you need any help or guidance please feel free to get in touch.
To health and vehicle happiness
Your fearless mechanic