So last week, I blogged about using a coupon at DeNooyer Chevrolet to get some discounts on an air filter, a cabin filter and a new set of windshield wiper blades. Everything was fine … until I used the windshield wipers.
The passenger wipers worked fine. The driver’s-side wipers, however – didn’t work correctly. The blade needs to be flush against the glass, but for some reason that blade had a plastic curve on it. So when the wipers were activated, the passenger side wiper cleaned away all the rain from the windshield – but the driver’s side wiper only touched the lower and upper edges of the windshield – leaving a vision-blurring middle area where the blade didn’t even touch the glass.
That’s not effective. It’s straight-up unsafe.
And I have to fix this.
So I went online … a 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier takes 26″ wiper blades. And according to AutoZone, they had a set of blades that would fit my car. Let’s see, there’s Bosch, there’s Rain-X – ooh, the Rain-X blades have a rebate on them.
Let’s do this.
I drove over to AutoZone and asked the attendant if AutoZone installs wiper blades after they’re purchased. “Yes, we do, sir.”
I showed him the Rain-X blades and asked if they would fit my car. “Yes, those will fit, sir.”
Okay . Out comes the credit card.
The attendant and I leave the AutoZone and walk to the parking lot, where Lightning’s Girl is waiting patiently. The attendant takes the old driver’s blade off. Then he tries to put the Rain-X blade on.
Oh. I should note that the Chevrolet Volt uses a pinch-type attachment, so the Rain-X blade needs a pinch-type adapter (which comes in the package). The attendant attached the adapter to the blade … then tried to attach the blade to the wiper arm.
After about five minutes of fiddling with the wiper arm and having no success, he said, “Let me get the other guy.”
The “other guy” came out with a different set of Rain-X blades, which were to be attached on another driver’s Toyota. He popped them on the Toyota in about 20 seconds flat. Then he walked over to help the first guy in attaching my new blades.
He fiddled with the adapter. He fiddled with the wiper arm. At one point he almost had the wiper attached – and it fell off. Ugh.
“You think we should get the boss?” the first attendant said.
“No, man,” the second guy replied. “I’ll make it fit.”
The last thing I needed to hear at that moment was the auto mechanic’s creed when the parts don’t comfortably fit. “Maybe your boss knows a trick that can help,” I replied.
Sure enough, the boss came out. And he looked at the connection they had made. And he looked at the wipers. “Go get a set of Bosch 26’s,” he said. “And refund this guy the difference.”
Great $15 back to my credit card. I’m good with that.
The boss quickly unpacked the two blades, attached the adapters, and snapped both blades in like he was stacking Dixie cups. “Try those out, sir,” he said.
I got in the car, started Lightning’s Girl up … and lo and behold, the wipers cleaned off my windshield with no missing spots. Whee.
So let’s get a few things straight. I’m glad that I have fresh blades on my car. I’m not thrilled that it took two different shops and nearly a half-dozen guys – three from each location – to get two fresh working wiper blades.
Oh well. At least I have them.
Good thing I didn’t ask how many AutoZone employees it takes to change a light bulb. 😀
Installing wiper blades can be tricky. I know this because I just do it myself.
Yes DIY but can be tricky
Yes, and like many things I do myself, I’ve made some really dumb mistakes. The nice word for this is “learning.”
Just an FYI: the Bosch blades are actually better. Ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jQs3OI6Gvo&t=603s&ab_channel=ProjectFarm
Oh and you really should be able to change your own blades; it’s not hard. It does sound like the wiper arm has a problem, though, as the ‘curved’ blade should have worked – if it had enough pressure on it. But hey, I’m just an engineer not a tow truck driver or parts store clerk. :p
If it’s any comfort, I had a very similar experience yesterday, at Advantage.
It took two employees, and it was a frail, middle-aged female clerk who ultimately (put me to shame, and) got the job done.