Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

Focus on wiper blades for winter

Original equipment wiper blade manufacturer, Trico, explains that now is the time to push wiper blade awareness and suggests that workshops offer a free wiper blade check.

As the clocks have gone back, it’s time for factors and workshops to think of the products that will sell the most during this time and how to capitalise on them. As the weather has gone from heatwaves to rain, it’s more important than ever for technicians to appraise and potentially replace the wiper blades, as they’re one of the most safety critical components on a vehicle.

Wiper blades are an excellent consumable to focus on when upselling, especially following the long, bright summer, because the UV rays from the sun could have damaged the rubber of the blade, so these will need checking to ensure they’re in optimum condition.

Trico is suggesting that workshops offer a free winter wiper blade check and has compiled a helpful checklist that they can use to assess the blade’s condition and identify if it needs replacing.

Clean screen
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 collect there. Also check the glass for any cracks or chips, as these are a safety hazard in their own right, but can also damage the wiper blade rubber.

Safe and 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. Naturally, if the blade shows excessive movement, replace it immediately.

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.

As blades are not only affected by rain and snow, but also the UV rays from the sun, Trico recommends that wiper blades are replaced every 12 months to ensure maximum effectiveness and visibility.

Wipe check
Using the washer spray or a mister bottle to spray the glass, operate the wipers and check that there are no missed areas, water smears or multiple streaks that impair vision. Any light misting remaining after the wipe should disappear quickly. Naturally, blades that leave streaks or smears should be replaced immediately.

The complete Trico range features conventional, beam, hybrid and specialty blades in all lengths, for both front and rear applications, under lines such as Trico Force, Exact Fit, Flex, NeoForm and TX.

Recently introduced are Trico Exact Fit beam blade kits, which is says are easy to stock, sell and fit, as just one SKU has both front blades for the vehicle.

Packaged in an eco-friendly carton box, the range is comprised of just 95 references – 73 direct fit kits for OE beam blade applications, and 22 ‘retrofit’ kits for hybrid and upgrade applications – in total covering more than 95 per cent of the beam blade vehicle parc. Due to Trico’s ‘superkit’ design that comes with an optional alternative connector, this is over 40 per cent less stock than competitor ranges which often require in excess of 150 SKU’s to attain the same coverage.