Windscreen wipers are one of those things you take for granted – until they stop working.
The most common problem with windscreen wipers is worn out or damaged wiper blades – the rubber bits that sweep across the windscreen. These are the bits that you may need to replace, from time to time.
Windscreen wipers are also part of the MOT test – they must clear the windscreen effectively. Failure to do this means your car will fail its MOT until they are replaced.
How do I know what wiper blades to buy?
The main thing is to get the right type of replacement blades with the right type of fitting. There is a simple way to do this:
- All branches of Halfords (and most other decent car accessory shops) have a catalogue for windscreen wipers. Find your nearest store and find this catalogue. (Halfords also has an online version)
- Look up the make, model and age of your car in the catalogue.
- Choose which wipers you need to replace (front nearside, front offside or rear) and make a note of the code for that size of wiper.
- Go to the windscreen wiper selection and find the right wiper. Usually, they come singly – one in each box. Each box should also contain one or more plastic fittings, which are used to fit the wiper to the metal wiper arm.
You may find a choice of very cheap and not quite so cheap wiper blades. The more expensive ones are typically a brand name, such as Bosch. My experience is that the more expensive wiper blades tend to come with plastic fittings that are easier to use and more closely match the original ones on my vehicle.
The really cheap wiper blades tend to come with ‘one size fits all’ plastic fittings that sometimes don’t work as well or are very fiddly to fit. Anyone else had this problem?
Fitting new windscreen wiper blades
Fitting new wiper blades varies between cars but is not generally difficult – they just clip in and clip out.
However, if you are not comfortable changing wiper blades yourself or would just like a hand, Halfords do offer a fitting service at most stores. For a few pounds, they will come out to your car and fit the right part, there and then.
If it’s your first time or if you are in a hurry, it could be money well spent.