Sunday, May 17, 2015

Citroen Berlingo wiper blade changing, a warning

Wiper blade fittings

People are nervous about fiddling with cars nowadays. Manufacturers know that if anything is too easy then the dealer network will be deprived of income. Thus, while cars are generally less in need of a Sunday morning tinkering and the Haynes manual isn't the essential purchase it once was, when things go wrong, it's off to the garage.

Some jobs though, should be easy. Easy enough to do at the side of the road is normal clothes if required. Headlight bulbs for example. When one goes, it would be nice to swap it over in a handy pub or supermarket carpark. Sadly, not. Modern vehicles can be a pig of a job and require weird bulbs that cost a million pounds a pop.

Likewise, windscreen wipers. They wear out, especially if a nearby building site is producing dust to turn your windscreen into sandpaper. Being a handy sort of chap, I though this wouldn't be a problem so nipped in to Halfords, looked at the book and bought a pair. I'd spotted that the car was fitted with new fangled (to me) low-profile single blade types and thought I'd got the right set.

Right up until I got back to the car where I spotted that instead of an identical pair, I needed a 16 and a 26 inch blade. Back to the shop where I queued up behind one of their technicians who had experienced the same problem when fitting a set for a customer. The new price was a few pence higher but the assistant let me off.

Anyway, now with my mis-matched set I headed back home. Then I tried to fit them.

Surprise! The centre fitting isn't the traditional hook and bar thingy that's fiddly but easy to do. No, it's a mega-easy, one-button change fitting. See above (middle wiper) not the one I'd got from following the Halfords book. Grrr.

Back at the shop, they were swopped for yet another set with the correct fitting. These were 12 quid more expensive so they didn't let me off this time.

Fitting was simple. Press the square button to release the old wipers. Don't let the metal arm slap against the windscreen or it will break. Take new wiper out of box, try it, wonder why the result is sloppy.

Take adaptor out of box and reaslise you need to use this. Clip it on the wiper then slide the lot into the metal arm. Good as new. No tools required at all. No wonder the Halfords fitting charge is only 3 quid - if I wasn't so sure of my own abilities, it would have been worth the money to sort the problem in the first place...

The big shock was the price though - £35.98 for a set of front wipers. That's going to see people using their old set until the MOT man makes them change it. You almost hanker for the days when you could buy the rubber inserts and just change that bit!


Dodgy Geezer said...

...You almost hanker for the days when you could buy the rubber inserts and just change that bit!...

You still can. Get them off ebay...

Phil Parker said...

You can get the rubber inserts from Halfords - but not for modern wipers without the traditional supporting frame. I think the support is hidden in the rubber blade.

Big Al said...

Another trick is to put wiper arms in service position. Turn ignition on, then off and flip wiper stalk down. Arms park at high point of sweep. If you fold arms back without doing this they hit the painted back edge of the bonnet.