Quentin Willson's guide to Checking and Maintaining Screen Washers
Running out of screen wash on a motorway can be incredibly dangerous. Yet checking the washer fluid level couldn’t be simpler. Open the bonnet and look for a white plastic container (sometimes with a blue or yellow cap showing a windscreen symbol). Take off the cap and fill up the level with screen wash solution mixed according to instructions on the bottle. Personally, I prefer to use concentrated screen wash rather than the ready to use stuff as it’s less likely to freeze.
If your washer jets dribble or aren’t hitting the screen in the right place try using a pin to clear out any muck. Also use the pin to adjust the jets by inserting it into the jet hole and levering it up or down. Test the washers a couple of times to see where the spay hits the screen and carry on adjusting the jets with the pin until you get it right. If the washer motor doesn’t work, check the fuse (the handbook will tell you where the fuse box is and which is the right one) and if that doesn’t work, ask a mechanic to check it out or, if you’re confident enough, gently pull off the wiring connector from the motor on the side of the washer bottle. Clean the connections with a wire brush or sand paper and test again. If it still won’t whirr, the motor’s probably shot.
Changing Wiper Blades
You’ll know when your wiper blades are worn out because they’ll smear your windscreen. In extreme cases really worn wiper blades can leave deep scratches in the glass, which can mean a costly new screen. Change both wiper blades every year -any good car accessory shop should carry a full range. Fitting is easy – pull the wiper arm away from the windscreen as far as it will go (don’t force it) and then you can slide the old blade off the arm.
Some blades are detached by pushing down on a small black tab and others lock into a hook at the end of the arm. Make sure when you put the new blades on the arms you hear a distinct click and that they’re firmly locked in place. Don’t forget to check the rear wiper blade too.