How to Use a Wiper Arm Extractor: Ensuring Smooth Wiper Maintenance
Taking care of your windshield wipers is crucial for clear visibility and safety while driving. A well-maintained wiper system ensures you have a clear view of the road in all weather conditions, helping prevent accidents and ensuring a safe driving experience. While changing wiper blades is a simple task that most car owners can handle, a common issue can cause frustration – the wiper arm getting stuck or immovable. If you’ve ever encountered this problem after attempting to disassemble the wiper arm, you’re not alone.
Understanding the Wiper Arm Extractor
The wiper arm extractor is a handy tool designed to release stuck wiper arms without damaging your vehicle. When the wiper arm is securely fixed on the axle with the help of a fixing nut, dismantling it can be a daunting task. The extractor provides a safe and effective solution by generating a force on the arm, lifting it from the axle.
Using the Wiper Arm Extractor
To use the wiper arm extractor, you first need to protect the surrounding area by placing a tarpaulin or an old sheet on the floor. Wrap appliances in newspaper or plastic film to safeguard them from any accidental damage. Inspect the wiper arm carefully for any holes or cracks, and if necessary, fill them with wood filler using a spatula. Allow the filler to dry, then sand it with fine grain to ensure a smooth surface.
Next, clean the wiper arm thoroughly using an alkaline detergent like Saint Marc, paying particular attention to joints and corners. After wiping it down, lightly sand the wiper arm with a fine grain to enhance paint adhesion. Dust off any debris with a damp sponge to ensure a clean surface.
Once you’ve prepared the wiper arm, it’s time to use the wiper arm extractor. The extractor consists of a frame with two L-shaped arms, which can be fixed or hinged to the top of the tool. They form an inverted U with the top of the tool, and a threaded pin with a handle is screwed onto the upper base. When locked, the extractor rests on the linkage axle while the L-shaped legs grip the base of the wiper arm.
Caution: During the detachment process, the wiper arm extractor can generate significant force, causing the tool and wiper arm to escape and potentially damaging the vehicle’s bodywork. To prevent this, screw the nut onto a few threads of the axle, ensuring that the arm remains captive on the axle once detached.
Types of Wiper Arm Extractors
There are different types of wiper arm extractors available, catering to various needs and budgets:
Basic Model: This simple yet effective model features fixed arms and fits most windshield wiper models. Available in car centers and online, it is budget-friendly, ranging from $10 to $20.
Articulated Model: With movable arms for enhanced adaptability, this versatile extractor can be used for various purposes, such as removing alternator bearings, pulleys, or sprockets. It can be purchased online and from car parts distributors, with prices ranging from $40 to $100.
Complete Set: Geared more towards professional use, this comprehensive set covers all configurations of various wiper arm brands. It includes different types of extractors, end-pieces, and an inertia extractor*. Prices vary from $150 to $300, available online and from distributors.
An inertia extractor^ consists of a shaft on which a mass slides. By throwing it rapidly against the handle, the speed of the latter, added to its weight, accumulates energy, and this force enables the recalcitrant arm to be lifted off.
By using a wiper arm extractor, you can overcome the challenge of stuck wiper arms and maintain your vehicle’s wipers efficiently, ensuring clear visibility and safety during your journeys. Remember, a well-maintained wiper system is an essential part of safe driving, so don’t overlook this crucial aspect of vehicle care.