Needs Replacing

As this topic has come up once or twice in the Facebook groups of which I am a member, I thought I would write a post on how easy this is.

The first time that this cropped up I had two 300CEs, both of which needed new headlamp wiper blades. A quick call to my local MB dealer revealed that they are available for the princely sum of £25 per side. £100 on headlamp wiper blades? No thanks!

A quick chat with my local mechanic suggested what could be the answer - take the old ones apart and replace just the rubber. It has to be worth a try for the sake of £100...

This has just cropped up again - and I got to it just in time for one of the blades!

My local guy didn't have any replacement rubber, so I called a local motor factor (who shall remain nameless!) in my nearest town, almost nine miles away. They assured me that they had the item in stock, so I said I would see them later that day.

When I arrived, they had no record of my call, asked me if it was definitely them that I called and not their competitor round the corner (whom I didn't even know existed, so how could I have called them?!) didn't have any in stock and could order them for me from the north of England if I liked.

Well I didn't like, so I went around the corner to try the other company, got served immediately (the other lot had kept me waiting for a couple of minutes despite the fact that there were five guys all standing behind the counter chatting and ignoring me!) and came away with just what I wanted for £5.99. That leaves me £44.01 to the good... Should buy me a beer or two - or a fifth of a front wing.

Anyway, to cut to the chase!

Gently pull the wiper blade away from the headlamp glass...

Removal Stage 1

... and carefully remove the blade from the arm. It is partly retained by a small hook at the end of the arm - circled in red. (This is the other side, obviously).

Removal Stage 2

Having removed the blades from the arms, it is time to dismantle the blades.

Old Blade

Carefully slide the old rubber blade and its plastic carrier out of the wiper arm. Be especially careful with the lower part shown in the next picture as it is the only part not being replaced and I strongly suspect that it is this part that makes up the bulk of the £25 replacement price! Fortunately, mine at least are not brittle - but I still take extra care with these bits.

Blade Separated

There is a choice at this point. You can either reuse the plastic carrier...

Plastic Carrier

... or replace the plastic carrier along with the rubber. I reused my plastic carrier as the rubber seemed a tighter fit in the slot, but I guess a drop of glue in the slot to hold the rubber in place would probably do the trick if your rubber blade is loose. Don't add any glue at this point.

Replacement Blades

Either way, cut a piece of the shiny new replacement blades to length and slide whichever carrier you are using into the arm. This is probably the most awkward part of the job. If you have not got a clean cut in your plastic carrier it may be hard to get the carrier to slip into the arm. I pinched the plastic carrier slightly with a pair of pliers to make them a little narrower so that they would slide in more easily. Patience and several attempts will be your friends here. You may find it easier to remove the rubber blade from the carrier, fit the carrier to the arm and then slide the rubber into the carrier. This is the time for a spot of glue if you think that the blade is too loose in the carrier. Obviously don't get glue between the carrier and the arm or this will be the last time you do this job before shelling out for new arms!

Whatever you decide to do here, be careful with those expensive arms! Perseverance not force will fix this - and they will eventually slide in.

Arm with carrier fitted...

Arm With Carrier Fitted

... and with the blade fitted in the carrier. We are now ready to refit these to the car.

Arm With Carrier And Blade Fitted

As the Haynes Manual would say, "Assembly is the reverse of disassembly" (to which my mate would always ask "How do you un-hammer something?")! However, if you have had to use a hammer so far in the process I will take no responsibility for the state of your headlamps or their wipers! Actually, I take no responsibility for anything said in this post: it is simply an article about the way I did this and is not intended to be the definitive way of doing the job. Or, in other words "If it hasn't worked for you or you have broken something, it's not my fault!!!!"

Simply slip the reassembled wiper arm over the little hook in the end of the arm attached to the car:

Wiper Arm on Car
Wiper Arm Replaced

When your car looks this again (on both sides!) you can relax and feel smug at the amount of money you have saved yourself. The whole job took me approximately 30 minutes.

The Finshed Result

Financial Facts And Figures