Keeping Your Windshield Squeaky Clean

windshield It’s fascinating to note that windshield wipers for our Cobalt — and many other cars — aren’t given much ink in the owner’s manual. Basically, the manual for the 2005 gives about three pages to wiper issues. That’s not much ink, is it? Indeed, the key safety systems in the Cobalt include not only the usual ones — brakes, good tires and wheels, quick, responsive steering and a good transmission — but should also include good visibility. The key to good visibility is a good set of wipers. Let’s look at the windshield wiper system a little more closely and start by acknowledging that it is a complex system that does a simple single task — keep the windshield clean, a feature that provides safety in snow, rain, fog and other lousy weather. The system consists of:

  • A motor assembly
  • Power switch
  • Power supply
  • Wiper arm
  • Wiper blade

Given the reliability of today’s cars, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have a problem with the motor assembly, switch, power supply or even wiper arm. You will find most of your problems with the windshield wiper blade. The reason is simply this: the wiper blade is made of rubber or a composite rubber/plastic material and it’s exposed to: Ultraviolet light from the sun

  • Sunlight itself
  • Acid rain
  • Air pollutants
  • Particulates

All of this work against the windshield wiper blade. And, while many people feel that wiper blades can last for a year or more, safety advocates urge you to change them every three to six months. In this way, you will always have a fresh edge or fairly fresh edge to keep your windshield clean. Changing a wiper blade is next to adding washer fluid, one of the easiest chores for a car owner. It is a two-partner — the first involves diagnosing the condition of the blade; the second is changing it. The first part involves the following: Looking at just how well the wiper is working

  • Checking to see if it is streaking or clattering
  • Checking to see if it’s just a buildup on the edge that a cleaning will take care of cleaning the edge with a mild detergent
  • Seeing how the wiper blade works

If this fixes the problem you’re all done and you can go watch the football game (assuming you do the work on a Sunday). If the streaking a clattering continue or the blade is torn up, you will have to replace it. This is straight forward, too. It involves: Checking your owner’s manual or a parts book at your local Pepboys for the part number Searching the aisles of your local auto supply store — Pep Boys or AutoZone — for a pair of new blades Finding and paying for the new blades

  • Standing the wiper arm up so you can replace the blade
  • Finding and pushing the wiper arm release lever and sliding the wiper blade off
  • Opening the replacement wiper arm where you will likely find the wiper arm and two release lever assemblies
  • Choosing the correct release lever assembly
  • Pressing it onto the center bar of the new wiper arm
  • Sliding the wiper arm back on the wiper blade
  • Testing the wiper to make sure it works

You should notice a dramatic increase in your visibility with new wiper blades and you’ll probably wonder why you hadn’t changed them before. One suggestion with the new blades and to get them to last as long as possible is this: use a windshield washer fluid such as RainX that is not only a windshield washer fluid, but also a windshield wetting agent that also restores, somewhat, the edge of the new wiper blade. One thing that you notice in any owner’s manual is how well written and organized it is. Sometimes, though, things seem to fall in this regard. Given the importance of the wiper, you would think that all references to the wiper blade, including:

  • Clatter
  • Streaking

Other problems would be in one place in the manual, but for the Cobalt, references to the wipers and changing blades and other wiper-related issues were in three different spots. It would be much better to put it all in one or two pages. Remember, too, this is a 2005, and by now Chevrolet may have solved this issue.

17. January 2013 by webmaster
Categories: Auto Glass Repair | Leave a comment