wipers maintenance

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May 4, 2003
southeast US
I found this great BITOG thread on wipers maintenance from 2010, but could not reply to it to bump it. New BITOG thing?

Anyhow, I maintained cars for decades now, but I didn't know the proper wipers maintenance!

Here it is:
Windshield wiper blades/elements are frequently replaced unnecessarily. Because of the
environmental conditions vehicles can be operated in, a film can build up on both the
windshield and the windshield wiper elements that will cause poor cleaning/streaking of the
windshield, and in some instances, a chattering condition as the wipers blades travel
across the windshield.
Replacement of the wiper blades/elements is normally NOT required to correct streaking
issues. A simple NORMAL MAINTENANCE cleaning of the wiper blades/elements and
windshield is all that is required.
If the wipe pattern appears to be streaky or if there is chatter and no damage to the wiper
blades/elements is obvious, the following steps should be performed:
1. Use a soft cloth or sponge & squeegee and MOPAR Windshield Washer Solvent (p/n
04318067AB, 16 Oz. bottle or p/n 04318068AB, 32 Oz. bottle), MOPAR Glass Cleaner
(p/n 04897623AB, 16 Oz. bottle) or a solution of 50/50 alcohol and water, to wash the
2. Raise the wiper blades off the glass and clean the wiper blade elements (rubber insert)
with MOPAR Windshield Washer Solvent or a solution of 50/50 alcohol and water and
a soft cloth, paper towel or sponge.
3. Return the wiper blades to their normal operating position and function the washer
system. If the wiper blades/elements are not streaking the windshield or chattering,
replacing the blade assembly(ies) is not necessary. If the wipe pattern is still
objectionable, repeat step 2 several times. If the wipe pattern is still objectionable,
replace the wiper blades/elements.

Speaking of wipers. Rock Auto is running a sweet special right now on wiper blades. Just picked up three sets for our three vehicles at super inexpensive prices. Might want to check out your application. No codes to put in.
Yeah. i sometimes clean my blades. i find it better to buy cheap blades and replace them more often.
What kind of alcohol works best? Whiskey? Gin? Vodka?

But seriously, does 50/50 mean rubbing alcohol with a percentage close to 50%? I've seen higher concentrates and lower at the store.
Years ago CR magazine claimed the life span pf a wiper to be 6 months, during a long term study.
I've been getting my summer blades at Ollie's Bargain Outlet for years now with good luck. Blades went up to $3.00 each.
True, the Chrysler document doesn't specify the type of alcohol: ethyl, methyl, isopropyl, etc. I just used 70% rubbing alcohol on mine. A lot of black stuff came out the rubber blades. I think the way it works, alcohol removes the superficial layers of oxidized, hard rubber. Now, I need to wait for a rain to see the effects of cleaning (if any).
Originally Posted By: HangFire
There's no finer arena to exercise BITOG-style OCD-ness than windshield cleanliness.

It is hardly OCD to improve visibility................. it is an important safety factor.
I don't like cleaning the wiper blade's rubber with alcohol as it tend to strip the rubber of it's flexing ability especially when the temperatures drop. And of course the wiper blade companies want you to use alcohol. This kills the rubber and they get to sell more wipers blades.

And yes, there is nothing like new wiper blades!

Any product will remove the blackness from the wiper rubber. I used to use ammonia which kept the rubber pliable but also stripped the rubber of it's elastomers.

I am currently using silicon spray to clean and keep pliable for the colder months. Not silicone lube but, silicone spray! I use CRC(red can) from Walmart. I don't know if this is the ideal product either but, right now, it's working best for me along with Rain-X on the glass!

Just the Rain-X alone is good but, with the silicon to aid with old(er) wipers, has really added to my better vision at night and with the rainy evenings.

It has helped me to drive and see more clearly at night and during foul weather. I think that those my age will attest to this!

Maybe not!
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Where is this empirical data that alcohol removes hard, oxidized rubber, that ammonia strips elastomers and keeps rubber pliable? I consider this talking beyond what you know.

I think these solvents clean the rubber, and nothing more.
I just clean ours with the squeegee when the windows get cleaned. Just replaced the wipers and they were defiantly shot but still worked good. Can't remember the last time I replaced any wipers.. probably 3 or 4 years!
Originally Posted By: Kestas
Where is this empirical data that alcohol removes hard, oxidized rubber, that ammonia strips elastomers and keeps rubber pliable? I consider this talking beyond what you know.

I think these solvents clean the rubber, and nothing more.

If you could strip off the oxidized rubber, then it would likely lose the sharp edge that cleans properly.

I looked over a streaking wiper. I cleaned it to the point where it was spotless. The issue didn't seem to be cleanliness or oxidation, but that the rubber as a whole had hardened. Of course if it's been around long enough, it might start shedding in addition to being hard.

Also - I rather like using refills. They're kind of hard to find these days. I find that the wiper arms are usually in good shape, but the plastic adapter is what wears out if kept around too long. I've got a bunch of old complete assemblies that I suppose I could reuse.
I just received all new wipers today for 3 vehicles, 2 of them (SUV's) also have the rear wiper. Gets me the cost of a 10 & 12 inch rear wiper. I'm going to R&R all this weekend and just have a fresh start for when the rain arrives, if it ever does as Calif. is still dry and burning in some areas.
Going to try Trico Exact Fit wipers this time. For some reason I have a feeling they won't all be an exact fit. And I don't know why I went cheap this time... oh well, going to try since I already have them.
Just didn't feel like doing any more cleaning, plus 2 are coming apart at one end. I cleaned them with PB Blaster last couple times.
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Originally Posted By: stevejones
Costco runs a sale on USA-made Goodyear blades every so often. I stock up & replace every 6 months or so.

They're running this sale currently in October. Each wiper is $7.99 with a $3 instant rebate at the register here in Los Angeles.
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