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TRICO FORCE Wiper Blades


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    • By Counterman
      It pains me to admit it, but snowy weather is just around the corner. And with that winter weather comes seasonal challenges – as well as sales opportunities.
      In all my years behind the parts counter, there were two types of days that I would dread: heavy snowfall and heavy rainfall. Why? Because in either case, I knew that the store was going to be chock full of customers who have been putting off buying new wiper blades.
      I also knew that since my store offered free wiper installation – like most stores do these days – I would end up soaking wet from the rain, or frozen stiff from the snow and ice while I worked on the vehicle in the parking lot outside.
      I don’t know about you, but I found that upselling a customer in this position was exceedingly difficult. They’re usually in a rush, and are more likely to say, “Just give me the cheap ones,” or, “I’ll get the better wipers next time.” We’ve all heard those objections before. How do we overcome them?
      Don’t Wait, Ask!
      I would talk about wiper blades at every opportunity with customers. It was sort of my own way to kill time while I was waiting for the computer to open up the catalog. I would ask, “So, how are your wipers holding up? Did they keep the windshield clear when it rained last week?” Doing this would help to jog their memory, reminding them that their wipers were streaking, chattering or just simply failing to clear the windshield. They might not have walked into the store expecting to buy wipers, but they were more receptive to the idea once I helped them to remember that they needed them.
      This scenario happened day in and day out, and best of all I was able to upsell a number of those customers into a nicer set of beam-style wipers or convince them to pick up a gallon of washer fluid as well. These may seem like small victories, but they add up to a healthier profit margin for the entire store. I remember that our margin would dip on those really snowy or rainy days, mostly due to the smaller margin we made on the wiper blades by themselves.
      Installation Tips
      I installed a lot of wiper blades in my years behind the counter. Customers often would comment on how quickly I’d get it done, but it became more muscle memory than a conscious effort over time. We all know that wipers are easy to install, but customers don’t always know how to do it. If we can step in and install them – and get the customers on their way quickly – that’s a win-win for everyone.
      When it comes to installing wipers, there are a few things I’ve learned. First, most wiper blades will come with a small alcohol wipe inside the packaging. Don’t throw it away! Use it to wipe off any dirt or debris from the windshield where the wiper blades park. This part only takes a second or two, but it goes a long way toward ensuring that those new wiper blades won’t smear tree sap, dirt, mud or whatever else may be on the glass all over your customer’s field of vision.
      Second, when you lift the wiper arm up to access the blade, note any resistance or corrosion along the hinges. If those hinges start to bind up, it may not be able to apply adequate pressure to press the blade against the windshield.
      Finally, don’t forget about the rear wiper! SUVs, wagons and hatchbacks probably will have a small wiper for the rear glass, and these can easily be forgotten by the customer. As a matter of fact, I had a number of customers who didn’t know how to turn the rear wiper on in their vehicle, and they’d owned it for years! They really appreciated it when I took a moment to show them how to use it, and I hope they remembered what I’d said the next time it rained!
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    • By Counterman
      Bosch has introduced Bosch 360, a new custom-fit wiper-blade combo package for sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and crossover vehicles (CUVs).
      Currently available on 
      link hidden, please login to view, the new offering from Bosch includes vehicle-specific wiper blades for front-windshield and rear-window applications in a single, convenient package for the most popular foreign and domestic SUVs and CUVs on the road today.  With the introduction of Bosch 360, Bosch states that it becomes “the first automotive parts supplier to address a long-standing problem for SUV and CUV owners by eliminating the need to purchase two or three wiper blades separately.” The all-in-one solution also helps vehicle owners adhere to consistent, regular vehicle-maintenance schedules and it helps SUV and CUV owners avoid a common mistake: forgetting to replace their rear wiper blade. 
      Bosch 360 features Dual-Strike technology, a double-steel clamping construction to handle harsh driving conditions for superior blade robustness and durability. In addition, Bosch 360 wiper blades are made with HydroDefense technology, which precisely applies liquid graphite to each blade’s rubber element to combat daily wear from salt, bugs and road debris for all-season versatility.
      “At Bosch, we’re constantly working to respond to our customers’ needs,” said Thu Teesdale, director of product management and marketing at Bosch. “Bosch 360 represents the latest example of our efforts to bring innovative new solutions to the automotive aftermarket by making purchasing decisions easier for busy families or individuals who drive SUVs and crossovers, two of the highest-selling vehicle segments today. By packaging high-quality and reliable driver, passenger and rear wiper blades together for specific vehicles, we have also set a new standard of quality, safety and convenience for our customers.”
      For more information regarding Bosch and its products, visit 
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    • By Counterman
      FRAM and TRICO – part of First Brands Group family of companies – have donated $40,000 to the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation to benefit the families of firefighters who are supported by the charitable organization.
      The donation was made at the No One Left Behind Spring Tribute Golf Tournament.
      First Brands Group Senior Director of Sales Nathan Giles and Director of Sales Erick Esparza were onsite to present CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation President/CEO Kevin O’Meara with the check on behalf of FRAM and TRICO during the post-tournament reception.
      “We are proud to partner with such a remarkable organization,” said Giles. “The impact that the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation has on area firefighters and their families cannot be overstated, and we are truly honored to be able to support its lifechanging mission.”
      During the presentation of the donation check, O’Meara voiced his gratitude on behalf of the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation.
      “This generous donation will go a long way in helping our firefighters and their families in their time of need,” he said.
      More than 140 golfers participated in the team tournament on May 16 at Half Moon Bay Golf Links. The event was held to benefit firefighters and their families who have suffered a debilitating injury, loss of life, were burned on duty, have an illness or need financial assistance.
      The tournament began with a post-registration breakfast before a shotgun start accompanied by CAL FIRE Local 2881’s Honor Guard & Pipes and Drums. The event concluded with a silent auction, awards ceremony, check presentation and reception dinner.
      Firefighters from CAL FIRE Local 2881 formed the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation to engage in charitable and educational activities in support of the families of firefighters facing financial need. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit also assists burn victims while funding critical research around the occupational hazards facing firefighters.
      Learn more about the CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation at
      link hidden, please login to view.   To learn more about FRAM and TRICO, visit
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    • By Counterman
      I can start any story about automotive repair and talk about the mistakes I’ve made. Any technician who tells you they haven’t is lying, because we all do and it’s how we learn. Torque for me was no exception. My initiation came the way of the impact wrench. I’d seen other technicians use them with apparent success, but I didn’t have the feel for it, and after a brief bolt-snapping spree, torque became an important subject.
      That was 35 years ago and I’m still learning. Initially, I thought that a torque wrench would solve all problems. At the time, the only torque-to-yield bolts I dealt with were head bolts. Then, mid-way through my career, they were everywhere. By then I had learned enough (i.e. made enough mistakes) to realize that proper torque is more than just using a tool, and that understanding the relationship between torque and torque-to-yield was the only way to fully understand both.
      Torque, simply put, is a measurement that specifies how tight to make a fastener. A torque wrench, when properly used, is a tool that allows you to precisely secure a fastener to its recommended specification. Mathematically speaking, torque is force multiplied by distance. In other words, if a torque specification of 50 foot-pounds is called for, it will require 50 pounds of weight at the end of a 1-foot bar to achieve 50 foot-pounds of torque.
      European countries and their resulting service manuals use the newton-meter (N-m) specification instead of foot-pounds (ft.-lbs.), but most will list both side by side. If not, the internet is loaded with conversion calculators.
      What makes torque so important? When any bolt is tightened, it stretches. This is not an immediately visible effect, like stretching a rubber band, but the idea is the same. The metal of the bolt resists stretching and acts like a spring with a natural tendency to return to its original shape. The tighter you make the bolt, the more it stretches and the greater the “spring” pressure it puts on its mating component such as a nut or threaded hole.
      The force resulting from this pressure is called the clamping force of a fastener, and this is what keeps components tight and prevents the fasteners from loosening. When a bolt is under-torqued, the proper clamping force is not attained, increasing the likelihood that the fastener (and the component it’s securing) will loosen up.
      When a bolt is over-torqued, it is stretched beyond its yield point, and its integrity as well as that of its mating component is affected. It no longer has the ability to “spring” back to its original shape and provide the clamping force that it is designed for. The result – if not a broken bolt or damaged threads – is again the likelihood that the fastener and the component it’s securing will loosen up.
      A properly torqued fastener, with the exception of torque-to-yield fasteners, can be removed and reinstalled many times. As I mentioned earlier, properly torquing a fastener involves more than just a torque wrench, but before we get into that, let’s get to the topic at hand.
      TTY Fasteners
      Torque-to-yield (TTY) fasteners have an advantage in that they provide a more consistent and much greater clamping force than non-TTY fasteners. Since clamping force is what keeps a fastener tight, the likelihood of a TTY fastener loosening is greatly reduced, and smaller fasteners can be used as well while maintaining the proper clamping force. TTY fasteners commonly are used in areas that don’t require routine service, such as suspension components and cylinder heads.
      They often are referred to as “stretch” bolts. When they’re installed, they’re tightened or “stretched” right up to their yield point. To eliminate any confusion, a traditional bolt stretches and has a yield point, but since it has minimal elasticity, the window where the bolt begins to stretch and reaches its yield point is very small. As soon as the bolt is snug, it only requires a few degrees of rotation to reach its yield point.
      TTY bolts have a much higher elasticity, and they stretch considerably when installed. Once a TTY bolt is snug, it can require as much as 180 degrees of additional rotation before it reaches its yield point.
      An interesting note about installation can further illustrate the characteristics of a TTY bolt. When you tighten a traditional bolt, you thread it in, it stops and within a few degrees it’s tight. If you attempt to make it tighter, it breaks. When you tighten a TTY bolt, you thread it in, it stops and then you continue to tighten it the specified number of degrees to stretch it to its yield point. As you do this, it feels almost rubbery as it stretches.
      If you remove the TTY bolt and reinstall it, it won’t feel the same. It will feel like a traditional bolt because you’ve already stretched it to its yield point. It won’t stretch again or stretch anymore. Evidence that you cannot re-use a TTY bolt and achieve the same clamping force is proven by the difference in feel if you attempt to do this.
      I may be over-stressing this point, but I often see opposition to replacing TTY fasteners. I don’t know why. It’s a cost that should be passed onto the customer. TTY fasteners always must be replaced if loosened even slightly or removed. Since they’re torqued to the point of yield, they will not spring back to their original shape when loosened, so they no longer have the ability to stretch and apply the proper clamping force they are designed for.
      The torque specifications for a TTY bolt always differ. Standard bolts have a torque specification and that’s it. TTY bolts begin with a torque specification and then follow with a final angle of rotation. The final angle of rotation is the point at which you are stretching the bolt to its yield point.
      Even though the specifications and procedures are different, there are rules that apply to torquing that are the same for all fasteners. Clean the threads; lubricate only when and where it’s called for; use the correct fasteners and hardware; and always follow all manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. Torque slowly for an accurate reading, and don’t forget to get those torque wrenches calibrated from time to time.
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    • DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

    • By OReilly Auto Parts
      Free Wiper Blade and Bulb Installation | O'Reilly Auto Parts
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