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Michelin: Advancing Mobility Through Design
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MICHELIN Stealth Wiper Blades
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WIPER BLADE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1) What are the wiper blade sales trends among do-it-yourselfers?
  DIY activity within the wiper blade segment continues to be strong as today’s wiper blades are easier than ever to install. Approximately 60 percent of consumers select and install blades themselves.
 
2) Where can consumers purchase the new MICHELIN Stealth™ wiper blades?
  The Stealth™ hybrid blade is available exclusively through COSTCO in Canada. Other MICHELIN blades are available at retail outlets including Zellers and MICHELIN Tire Dealers.
 
3) What year did Michelin begin marketing wiper blades under license?
  MICHELIN-brand wiper blades have been available for retail purchase since 2004 and the frameless (beam) all-weather wiper blades were launched in 2006. The Stealth™ patent pending hybrid technology blade is being launched in fall 2010.
 
4) How many different sizes are available?
  MICHELIN Stealth™ hybrid wiper blades are sold in sizes ranging from 16-28 inches with universal connectors to fit over 98 percent of the passenger cars and trucks currently on the road in North America.
 
5) My vehicle is currently equipped with a different style blade. Can it be switched?
  Yes. MICHELIN Stealth™ all-weather wiper blades fit over 98 percent of the passenger cars and trucks currently on the road in North America.
 
6) I’ve never thought of wiper blades as high-tech. What are some of the technology advancements in recent years?
  Some of the new wiper technologies developed include improved rubber compounds, changes in wiper blade construction and more secure connection methods or arm types. Improved rubber compounds allow the rubber to remain flexible, function longer, have improved wear characteristics and resist UV and sunlight exposure better without compromising wipe performance. Wiper blade construction has evolved from traditional blades to frameless wipers, and now to hybrid blades that combine the best features of both designs.
7) What makes the Stealth Hybrid Blade different?
  Wiper blade construction has evolved from traditional blades to frameless wipers, and now to hybrid blades that combine the best features of both designs. The patent-pending MICHELIN Stealth™ hybrid design blades provide clean, powerful and consistent wipes all year round. Plus, just like snow or frameless wipers, the advanced design helps to prevent the structure from clogging with ice and snow.

MICHELIN Stealth™ hybrid wiper blades offer:

  • Smooth, quiet operation in all weather conditions, helps prevent the clogging of snow, ice and debris that can occur with conventional blade designs.
  • Superior flex design provides superior windshield contact than frameless blades, providing clean, powerful and consistent wipes year round.
  • Built-in spoiler converts air flow over vehicle into downward force to help maintain blade contact and reduce lift and vibration, especially in windy weather and at highway speeds.
  • Protective cover reduces chance for ice and snow build-up, enabling superior winter performance.
  • The MICHELIN EZ-LOK® connector system quickly and easily connects to 98 percent of vehicles.
     
8) I’ve never installed a wiper blade before, is it difficult? Where can consumers go if they have installation questions?
  Michelin’s proprietary EZ-LOK Connector System™ makes wiper blade installation fast and easy. There are step-by-step instructions on the package and at www.michelinstealthblade.com.
 
9) Some vehicles are equipped with two or three different blade sizes, where can I find out what size to buy?
  Michelin has handy reference guides both in-store and online to help motorists select the correct blades for their particular vehicle’s make/manufacturer, model and year. For online information, visit www.michelinstealthblade.com.
 
10) Isn’t the six-month replacement recommendation as outdated as the need to change your engine oil every 3,000 miles? Isn’t the reality most cars today can double that?
  Even though a MICHELIN Stealth™ hybrid wiper blade will last longer than competitive blades, life expectancy depends on many factors in the environment and cannot be predicted precisely. It is recommended to check and replace worn blades every six months.
 
11) What are the warning signs that a blade is worn out?
  The most common warning signs signaling time for replacement include dry, cracked or split rubber or damage to the wiper arm assembly (e.g. bent or broken metal) which can result in streaking, chatter or scratching of the windshield.
  • When wipers streak instead of fully clearing the windshield, it can be a sign that exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, tree sap, road tar, and automotive chemicals like oil, brake fluid, coolant, and road grit has caused the rubber to harden or crack.
  • When blades skip and vibrate, display a choppy wiping action or smear water, this is called chattering, and can be caused by extreme hot or cold temperatures or extended periods of non-use.
  • As blades age, old or worn rubber will not move quietly across the windshield; squeaky blades are another sign it is time for replacement.
  • When the blades smear water instead of clearing, causing cloudy and impaired visibility, this is often caused by blade edges that have worn and are no longer sharp. In those cases, they may be rounded in shape or appearance.
  • Another sign might be when the blade has lost contact with the windshield due to damage to the wiper arm assembly itself. This can be caused by automatic car washes and aggressive removal of snow and ice.
     
12) What climates and/or conditions tend to shorten blade life?
  Rubber is the most important part of a wiper blade and the sun’s ultraviolet rays, automatic car washes and extended periods of non-use can all take their toll on blade life. Damage to a wiper arm, often a result of automatic car washes or aggressive removal of snow and ice buildup, can cause the blade to lose contact with the windshield, negatively impacting performance.
 
13) Snow and ice buildup are obviously tough on wiper blades. What recommendations does Michelin have for removing them that help avoid damage?
  The first thing to observe when attempting to remove wipers in freezing conditions is to see if the blades are frozen to the windshield. Gently pull up on the wiper to see if it is frozen. Using force can cause the rubber to tear resulting in permanent damage. If the wipers are covered with snow, run water or washer solvent over the wiper to melt the snow or gently brush aside the snow so that the wiper is visible. The water can also be used to free the rubber from the glass safely without tearing it or damaging the wiping edge. The windshield can also be allowed to warm up with the defroster on the highest setting.
 
14) Is wiper blade wear determined by the mounting position?
  Wear is not determined by mounting position. Wear is determined by frequency of use and environmental conditions. This is why different customers might experience different levels of performance and life expectancies.
 
15) How does the spoiler work on the MICHELIN Stealth™ blade?
  The spoiler directs the wind down on the wiper blade for greater down force and improving the wiper pressure on the windshield for better performance. The spoiler also eliminates wind lift and reduces snow and ice buildup.
 
16) Why does a Stealth™ hybrid blade cost more than a standard wiper blade design?
  MICHELIN Stealth™ hybrid wiper blades offer a variety of features and benefits that distinguish it from other products currently in the market and provide an excellent value. It has been engineered and manufactured in line with Michelin’s high quality standards and proprietary technology that improves performance and helps extend blade life.
 
17) Are any of the blade parts made from recycled materials? Can any of the blade parts on a MICHELIN blade be recycled after use?
  All of the blade parts are made from new materials and can be recycled after use.
 
18) What materials are used to manufacture the MICHELIN Stealth Hybrid blade?
  The MICHELIN Stealth Hybrid blade is composed of rubber, plastic and steel components which are not hazardous and can be recycled after use.
 

More information on Michelin
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelin.ca) employs more than 22,000 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in 17 locations, including three plants in Canada.

More information on Pylon Manufacturing Corporation
Pylon Manufacturing Corporation (www.pylonhq.com) is a leading automotive aftermarket supplier with nearly 40 years of experience, specializing in the design, engineering, manufacture and marketing of wiper blades. Located in Deerfield Beach, Fla., Pylon is an ISO 9001-certified division of the Qualitor, Inc. family of automotive companies. Pylon is the exclusive licensee responsible for the manufacture and marketing of MICHELIN® premium wiper blades.

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For more information, visit www.MichelinMedia.com or contact:

Nadine Lussier
Michelin Canada
Office: 1 450 978 4766
Mobile: 1 514 912 1849
nadine.lussier@ca.michelin.com

Stephanie Brinley
EMC Strategic Communications
Office: 1 248 816 0108
Mobile: 1 248 703 8172
stephanie@emcstrategic.com

 

 

 
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