Friday, November 4, 2011


One of the challenges with living in the desert is the sun.

Its wonderful most of the time.  It also shortens the life of most everything made from petroleum products including windshield wipers.

It doesn't seem to matter how much or how little I spend on a set.  They never last a whole year.

They bake in the sun to a hard crisp and their life is over.

The latest set I had on the Ken Carr car made it 18 months.  That's almost a record.

Replacing them makes me feel stupid.  I can't seem to locate the same type each time so figuring out how they go on is an adventure every time.

I've switched out other people's like a rockstar.  I swapped out Anthony's in August with no problem.  Switching out my own is an adventure every time.

The light above my license plate burned out at some point this summer and I got pulled over for it a few weeks ago.  I had to go to the auto parts store to get a new bulb (by the way, I didn't get a ticket, the officer was kind to me and told me to get it replaced without giving me a citation).  I bought new wiper blades at the same time I purchased a new license plate illumination bulb since I had to make a trip to Autozone anyway.

The replacement of the bulb was easy.  I did a Google search and there was a video that showed how to do it on a Mazda RX-8.  The internet is good for things like that.  I got it done in about five minutes during a recent lunch break at Fox 11.

There is a big storm coming this weekend so I knew I had to get the wipers changed.  I had been stalling because I knew I'd struggle through it.

I got home from work tonight and since it wasn't very cold out I thought this was the best time to do it.  I grabbed a flashlight and screwdriver and headed out to the car in the parking lot of my apartment complex.

Removing the old ones is always easy.  I don't need to have them off in good condition and they come off quickly.  Putting the new ones on is where I always have trouble.

The wipers I purchased this time, Bosch Icon, had a different looking clip and look than the last ones I purchased.  This is how they're described directly from the Bosch website:  "The most powerful wiper blade series ever!  For more than 75 years, motorists have relied on Bosch wiper blades for superior performance, the latest in design and technology, and more great benefits. Beam technology, dual rubber process, Quiet-Glide™ micro-finish wiping edge and DirectConnect™ one-step installation system are just a few of the reasons that motorists prefer Bosch Wiper Blades."

A lot of fancy talk for "we tried to make fancy wiper blades but Ken, you're going to have trouble putting them on".

I couldn't figure out why the driver's side didn't fit flush on the window.  Then I realized there's a second part next to the attachment clip that I had to release.  20 minutes of messing with it uncovered that mystery.

I thought the passenger side would be easier if I pried it up with a screwdriver since it had taken so long to figure out the driver's side.  Not so much.  I ended up breaking the clip that attaches it to the arm.  That was $20 dollars down the drain.  It was unrepairable.  The next part of the adventure was locating an open auto parts store at 11:15 p.m.  I had to get another wiper otherwise the wipers would be totally unusuable and with a winter storm hours away that would have made driving home from work on Friday require my sticking my head out the window in the pouring rain.

I enlisted Anthony's help to search the internet.  He found an auto parts store I could get to within fifteen minutes.  I made it to the Autozone at 22nd and Swan just twenty minutes before closing.  The guy seemed sympathetic to my plight but it cost me 20 more dollars to buy another wiper.  He also asked me why I had trouble.  I told him I broke the clip.  He then asked me if I should be changing wiper blades at night.  I wanted to strangle him.

I got it home, worked on putting it on, had to come back upstairs to my apartment to retrieve a flashlight, and it still took me another ten minutes of messing with it to get it on.

If you ever need a mechanical type to put on a wiper blade I'm a rockstar... on yours.  Just don't ask me to show you on my own car or you'll run away screaming.

Update on 11/6:  Turns out the story wasn't over.  I turned on the wipers yesterday and this weird plastic clip thingy was causing the passenger side wiper to not seat flush on the window.  I have made the executive decision to remove the clip that is supposed to make it more attractive.  Hey people at Bosch, thanks for the lame design flaw.