Automotive windshield wipers have rubber blades that effectively remove rainwater, dust, and grime from the glass. They naturally wear out and should be replaced every six months. Otherwise, visibility may be reduced, which can cause an accident. In this guide on how to replace windshield wipers, we’ll explain how to change the rubber wiper element, which is part of an assembly also consisting of a lower wiper arm and metal or plastic blade.
Replace the rubber blade regularly or whenever you notice squeaking, slapping, or chattering sounds when they’re in use. If your wipers are leaving streaks on the windshield, wipe them off. This can give you another month or two before they need to be replaced.
Purchase New Wiper Blades
Windshield wiper blades are sold in just about any auto parts store. Many types are available. You must choose the right ones for your car’s make and model, as you’re likely to encounter multiple brands that supply wiper blades for your vehicle. Go with the most reputable one and be sure to find a blade that’s the correct length (left and right wiper blades are often different sizes). If necessary, refer to the printed guide in the store’s wiper blade section.
Change the Blades
You typically don’t need any tools to replace your windshield wiper blades. For most cars, just proceed with the following steps:
- Position the Blades: Gently pull each metal wiper arm on the windshield so it stands upright at 90 degrees. Spring tension usually holds it up. But before releasing it, make sure the arm doesn’t snap back.
- Remove the Old Wiper Blade: Check the owner’s manual for steps on removing the blade. The method can vary from one brand to another. Look for a small plastic stopper that holds the blade and press it, while holding the wiper away from the windshield. The blade should unhook.
- a. Some blades use pins instead of a hook. For these, use a small flathead screwdriver to lift the connecting pin. Then you can slide the blade off.
- Lay the Arms Down: A flat metal hook on each blade will now be exposed. It’s best to wrap a clean rag around each in case the arm snaps down onto the glass, which can crack it. Once it’s wrapped, lay the arm down gently.
- Unpack the New Wiper Blade: With your windshield protected, remove the new blades from their packaging. Return the blades arms to their perpendicular position.
- Install the New Blade: Assuming you have a common “hook-slot” blade, place it into the same end of the arm as the old wiper. Slide the arm until the tab snaps into place. You can now place the wiper back on the windshield. If there is a pin type connection, align the hole with the pin to snap it in place.
Once you install both wipers, they are ready to clean your windshield. Use some glass cleaner or, if your sprayer tank is full, just turn on the car and give it spritz. Then let the wipers go. If your windshield is soiled, apply automotive glass cleaner manually with a clean rag and water. Why not start off with a clean slate and get the most out of your wiper blades?
Shopping Around for a Used Car?
You now know how to replace windshield wipers, whether you’re enjoying your ride or are looking for a used car. At Hawthorne Auto Square, we have a large inventory of low-mileage vehicles and can help with your trade in. We also offer stress-free financing for all types of credit, fast approval, and a six-month warranty. Visit our Los Angeles used car dealership, call 866-707-7664, or contact us online to learn more.