EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


November 20, 2006

'I can't see out my windshield when it rains'

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Larry Rubenstein

Q: I have a 2005 Honda Civic and a problem with my wiper blades. As the blade goes across the windshield, it puts a film over it which makes it difficult to see, especially at night. I replace my blades every year and the problem still exists. It is worse at night, especially when cars are coming toward me. Is there a product that cuts through tree sap, oil slick from other cars, etc.? I would like to drive at night when it rains and because of the "film" that is on the windshield I can't.

A: A product that has always worked well for me is Bon Ami. Before you do that though, I recommend you call one of the major windshield companies to be certain you don't have a plastic coated windshield. You should also check for a clear shield, which is a liquid applied to the vehicle at the factory before it is shipped. It's the responsibility of the dealer to make sure all the coating has been removed. If you live near a glass company, you may want to stop by and ask someone there to evaluate the condition of your windshield.

Q: I drive a 2001 Mazda Tribute V6 automatic with on-demand four-wheel drive. It just passed 30,000 miles. A few weeks ago, it was in for a routine oil and filter change at my local Mazda dealer. The service writer told me that it would need front brakes over the next 1,000 miles or so. When I asked for an estimate, it was $465. Even though the rotors show no evidence of scoring, I was told that in effect my Tribute has "throw away" rotors. Is that true, or could they be looking to make extra money on the brake job? I have owned cars for almost 40 years and unless I let the brakes go too far, the first pad change always included just turning the rotors and replacing the pads.

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