Wiper refills


#1

Out of frustration and curiousity… how come I can no longer buy wiper refills in stores anymore? For decades I (and millions of others) successfully replaced them; now suddenly they are gone. Why?


#2

There is hope!

Have you checked with an “independent” auto parts store, one that’s been around since before the auto parts super stores? I have such a store near me (It’s now affiliated with a franchise name.) that takes pride in stocking the myriad of w/w inserts. I refill mine at about half the cost of new blades. They stock front, rear, wide, narrow, everything!


#3

I can get refills online. What are the widths of “N”, “U”, and “W”?


#4

For my wifes Lexus I either have to buy OEM wiper arms…or replacement blades. I checked EVERYWHERE around here…no one carries them anymore. I finally bought them on-line through a on-line dealer. Also bought a new air filter and cabin air-filter. Prices were very reasonable.


#5

I believe “N” is a very narrow blade/refill. That’s what my van uses on the rear. I’m not sure on the others. You might get some help by searching for Anco wiper refills or Trico wiper refills. Can you determine your manufacturer? Some have separate metal stiffeners and some have them inseparable from the refill. I wonder if a manufacturer’s toll-free number would walk you through it?

That’s why I say myriad of refills. It gets to be fairly easy (possible) when you can look through them, but tough on the internet.

I wish I could be more help. My local store is Schell Auto at (989) 733-8031. They maybe can help, but I think they are used to “matching them up.”


#6

One more thought…

Maybe you could order complete blade assemblies (of your choice of manufacturer) on-line once and at the same time have them tell you which refills to order in the future or go ahead and order spare refills with them.


#7

Part of the reason is that car makers sub-let the wiper blades to various manufacturers and attempting to guess which refill is which would be a crap-shoot at best if looking up by application. Very few customers, like you and me, actualy have the ability to match up and replace our own. My night job for four years was at AutoZone where they sell a choice of refills and even then it was a circus of torn packages of wrong guesses and non existant sizes after an hour of trial and error. Selling the whole blade became the norm for all of these reasons but my AutoZone and Checker still have the few choices of refills for those of us inclined to try. Here at my day job, a Ford dealer, we’ve taken to selling only blade assemblies for simplicity’s sake.


#8

Since my original posting I learned that here in Houston, O’Reilly carries refill inserts.

With my having 3 different vehicles, what used to be a simple procedure has turned out to be a pain, but I think I got it under control now. I’ve even had to make a spreadsheet listing which sizes go where.

One blessing is that the boxes for ANCO blades actually tell you the refill size. My loyalty now belongs to them.


#9

MITMark,

That sounds good. I’ve never heard of O’Reilly. It must be a chain of stores down there. Sounds like you’re up to speed on the complexity of wiperness.

I’m happy to hear your faith in humankind has been somewhat restored. You sounded kind of distraught. Go Anco! Go MIT!


#10

Refills for rear blades on newer Toyota’s are dealer only purchases…not available in any local auto supply store…


#11

It will probably take them a while to catch up on the availability of your wipers if they are specific to a newer vehicle.


#12

mshugna,

It will probably take them a while to catch up on the availability of your wipers if they are specific to a newer vehicle.


#13

It is just too much hassle to correctly match and install the refills and most cars have different sizes left and right so the immediate purchase price of complete blades is less than two pairs of inserts. I guess there is some satisfaction in mastering the technique of installing the inserts. But no one is usually looking so I just pop in the blade.


#14

I’ve never heard of O’Reilly…FYI. O’Riellys was a small independant with a few stores in Springfield, MO. The way I heard it was they had a choice. Close all stores or go BIG. They went big and now have stores in several states. Even though they can be considered a chain they keep name brand parts such as Wix, Moog, etc. Big box parts stores keep a lot of “salt water salvage” IMOO.


#15

O’Riellys used to be associated with American Hot Rod.Rest in peace Boyd Coddington.


#16

Rod Knox,

You are correct. My car has 2 different sizes.

My independent auto parts opens Anco insert packs and sells them individually. It takes just a couple of minutes to pop them in for half the cost of new blades. You are right again. It makes me feel good all over. I “repair” over “replace” every time I can.

I was growing up when this was considered to be normal behavior. I guess without even knowing it, I was leaving a smaller carbon footprint, as the tree-huggers call it. I try to keep all my stuff out of landfills as much as possible.


#17

meaneyedcatz,

Thanks for the info, very interesting. This is a fortunate situation for DIY’ers and Techs.

My small town had several hardware stores go out of business when WalMart came to town. The “Big One” was when the guy that ran the only remaining hardware, an Ace Hardware (they stocked EVERYTHING, even buggy whip brackets) retired and Ace wouldn’t let anybody run the store in its same old building. It closed one sad, cold day. Now, try WalMart for all your needs. The closest real hardware store is a 30+ mile round trip.

I shop the independents whenever possible. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone!


#18

We find so many ways to have our vanities and egos stroked. Some worthwhile, some not. And today it is very fashionable to do so ecologically. If only I could imagine what the next fad will be and capitalize on it as so many are cashing in on being GREEN now.


#19

I think the only association was O’Rielys was one of their sponsors. I never heard of them before watching the American Hot Rod ad. They’re NOT in the New England or NY that I know of. We have ADAP, PepBoys, Advance Auto and NAPA for the national chains.


#20

I never considered WallMart a hardware store.