Introduction

Pages 301 and 302 (2006 Owner’s Manual) give you some good information on how to change the ICON-style wiper blades. But not the whole picture. This DIY is meant to show you how the inserts are installed, so that you can remove and replace them without making mistakes that could send you shopping for a second set of blades, or a new wiper assembly. (If you have to ask what the dealer price on a wiper assembly with a blade in it is,… you don't want to know.)

Note: pics are from an old DIY elsewhere, the pics are due to be updated. Help out this guide by taking new pics!

Parts

The wiper blade is the entire assembly attached to the wiper arm (#30, #31 in the illustration). Though many feel you should just replace this, the OEM Acura ICON-style blades have replaceable inserts ("Blade, Rubber" according to the parts guide) that are easily and economically replaced. Anyone can do it, no special skills or tools are required.
  • The wiper blade is the entire assembly attached to the wiper arm (#30, #31 in the illustration). Though many feel you should just replace this, the OEM Acura ICON-style blades have replaceable inserts ("Blade, Rubber" according to the parts guide) that are easily and economically replaced. Anyone can do it, no special skills or tools are required.

  • The parts "Blade, rubber" are identified as #21 and #23 in the parts illustration.

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The first thing the manual tells you is to lift both arms, and remove the wipers. Like a lot of wipers, this is "locked" onto the arm by sliding the wiper assembly from the base of the arm into a crooked end, where it snaps in place. Depress the spring tab towards the wiper arm, and gently slide the wiper down towards the base of the wiper arm. Instead of leaving the wiper arm up where a bump or unforeseen factor could slam it down on the window glass, wrap the end in a soft towel or rag, and let the arm down gently. There. Isn't that better? Instead of leaving the wiper arm up where a bump or unforeseen factor could slam it down on the window glass, wrap the end in a soft towel or rag, and let the arm down gently. There. Isn't that better?
  • The first thing the manual tells you is to lift both arms, and remove the wipers. Like a lot of wipers, this is "locked" onto the arm by sliding the wiper assembly from the base of the arm into a crooked end, where it snaps in place. Depress the spring tab towards the wiper arm, and gently slide the wiper down towards the base of the wiper arm.

  • Instead of leaving the wiper arm up where a bump or unforeseen factor could slam it down on the window glass, wrap the end in a soft towel or rag, and let the arm down gently. There. Isn't that better?

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Now you're ready to get to work. No doubt you've examined your NEW blades inserts, and see that there are two ends marked, "TIP" and "LOCK." Note the difference. The blade inserts have a groove or slot running the length that will take the metal or plastic reinforcement splines. (Your replacement inserts probably did not come with new splines. You'll reuse the ones in your current blades.) Below this groove is another slot which runs all the way through on one end, and on the other has a little ramp leading to a separate pocket. This is the "lock" feature of the wiper blade.
  • Now you're ready to get to work. No doubt you've examined your NEW blades inserts, and see that there are two ends marked, "TIP" and "LOCK." Note the difference.

  • The blade inserts have a groove or slot running the length that will take the metal or plastic reinforcement splines. (Your replacement inserts probably did not come with new splines. You'll reuse the ones in your current blades.)

  • Below this groove is another slot which runs all the way through on one end, and on the other has a little ramp leading to a separate pocket. This is the "lock" feature of the wiper blade.

  • Since you haven't removed your old blade insert, you can't see what that second slot mates with. Along the interior length of the wiper blade is a series of brackets which this slot slides through. The separate pocket on the "LOCK" end stops on the teeth of the last bracket on either end of the wiper assembly.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
Start with the passenger side blade, which is 400mm. It's a little easier working with a shorter wiper blade before tackling the 650mm driver side blade. Removing a used blade can be difficult as it has no doubt lost its slipperiness. You could spray some ArmorAll cleaner in there, but unless your wiper assembly is really dirty, you oughtn't need to.
  • Start with the passenger side blade, which is 400mm. It's a little easier working with a shorter wiper blade before tackling the 650mm driver side blade.

  • Removing a used blade can be difficult as it has no doubt lost its slipperiness. You could spray some ArmorAll cleaner in there, but unless your wiper assembly is really dirty, you oughtn't need to.

  • Find the end of the blade where the insert is marked "LOCK." This is the end you'll remove it from.

    • Trying to slide the insert out from the "TIP" end will be frustrating, and potentially damage the brackets of the wiper blade!

  • The manual describes you peeling down the flexible end of the wiper blade, but doing so carelessly could rip it.

  • Instead, use an orangewood “cuticle pushing stick” (you can find them in most “big box” stores, in the Beauty section with other nail care items), or an IFixit Spudger and work it underneath the end of the blade insert on the "LOCK" side, so that you can grab it.

  • Now, gently tug on the insert until you can feel the lock "give" against the bracket. The insert should now slide out over the flexible end of the wiper blade.

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The insert should now slide out smoothly. Do not try to lift it out, but gently slide it out from the end of the blade.
  • The insert should now slide out smoothly. Do not try to lift it out, but gently slide it out from the end of the blade.

  • As you slide it out, you will see the splines (one on each side) coming free. Try to keep those in the insert until it's about 50% removed. You can then slide them out -- carefully! -- and set them aside.

  • Try not to drop the splines or otherwise damage them. They are not sold separately.

    • Since you have the blade insert fully removed, now's a good time to clean the wiper blades, inside and out. I like using a small interior detailing brush in the slot and brackets, but an old soft toothbrush will suffice.

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Insert the splines into the new insert. You may find use of a gentle clip to hold them in place will help. I slide the spline all the way to the end of the groove at the "Tip" end of the insert. This gives the insert some rigidity (stop giggling, boys) for initial insertion into the blade's brackets. Insert the insert with splines into the blade groove, starting with the "Tip" end of the insert. Slide it into  the "soft edge" end of the blade. Gently work the insert into the blade and move/remove the clips as you proceed.
  • Insert the splines into the new insert. You may find use of a gentle clip to hold them in place will help.

  • I slide the spline all the way to the end of the groove at the "Tip" end of the insert. This gives the insert some rigidity (stop giggling, boys) for initial insertion into the blade's brackets.

  • Insert the insert with splines into the blade groove, starting with the "Tip" end of the insert. Slide it into the "soft edge" end of the blade. Gently work the insert into the blade and move/remove the clips as you proceed.

  • I find that this is easiest way to do this is with the blade held vertically, sliding the insert in upwards while hanging down to the ground. This keeps the splines hanging down with the insert, but the clips are really helpful to keep the splines from just falling or sliding out of the insert.

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When you get to the end of the insert, the "lock" portion of that groove will resist against the last bracket. Gently push against this until you feel it lock.
  • When you get to the end of the insert, the "lock" portion of that groove will resist against the last bracket. Gently push against this until you feel it lock.

  • Examine the whole wiper blade. The insert should be locked into each of the brackets, without skipping any. The outer lip of the insert should be flush against the brackets, covering them from view.

  • At this point, the soft edge of the blade should "swallow up" the insert, or you can help it out with your spudger. You're wiper blade is ready to be installed; set it aside for now.

  • You're finished - with one blade. Now repeat with the other blade.

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  • Carefully lift the wiper arms from the windshield and snap the blades into the "U" end of the arms. If you cleaned these snap fittings earlier, they will go on quite effortlessly.

  • The shorter 400mm passenger side blade goes on the passenger side of the car, and the 650mm driver side blade goes on the driver's side. Just reminding you in case you lost track in all of the excitement.

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Conclusion

Keep the wiper blade inserts (the real rubber "blade" part you just replaced) clean to extend their lifetime. (Dirty blades scraping across your windshield will wear out quicker, and potentially damage your windshield.) When cleaning your windshield, use a clean part of the cloth with a windshield washer fluid on it to wipe the blade inserts clean of any accumulated dirt. Try not to use any cleaner that's super heavy with alcohol. Your windshield will love you for this extra attention.

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David Spalding

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