Wiper blades are made of a durable rubber, meaning they are designed to naturally wear over time from wind, snow, dust, and rain. However, as much as you can have your friendly mechanic change them, you can easily change them on your own. Below is a quick-help guide on how to properly change the windshield wipers on your vehicle.
When You Should Change Your Wipers
Are you noticing that your windshield wipers breaking down and think you may need to install new ones? Follow our steps below to see if you need your wipers replaced:
1. Drying or Cracking
Inspect your wipers for any cracks or degenerative properties. Often enough, old wipers that need to be replaced crack and become hard, signaling it’s time to install new ones.
If you notice that your wipers are leaving streaks of water on your windshield, the rubber has much less grip, meaning it’s time to replace them.
What to Know Before Installing New Wiper Blades
Before you begin the installation process, there are a few things you should do.
1. Know Which Part of the Wiper You Need to Replace
Windshield wipers come in three basic parts: the plastic or metal blade that’s attached to the lower arm, the rubber blade that’s attached to the windshield, and the lower wiper arm. When you change your wiper blades, you’re only changing the rubber blade, so know if you need to replace any other additional part of your windshield wipers if they’re damaged from driving.
2. Measure Your Wiper Blade So You Know Which One to Buy
Before you go out and purchase your new windshield wipers, it’s important that you actually know which size to get. You can easily do this by measuring your old blades to get a replacement that fits. However, make sure you measure both sides, don’t assume they’re both the same size. Once you’ve noted the measurements, go out and purchase them, they usually only cost $15 each. Plus, installing them on your own will help you save a few bucks, rather than having your mechanic do it.
3. Get the Right Tools
The three basic tools you’ll need to install your new wiper is a tape measure, screwdriver, and needle-nose pliers.
How to Install New Wiper Blades
Now that you know when to change your blades and how to prepare, you can actually install the best windshield wipers. Follow these five simple steps to do so.
1. Lift Up the Wiper Arm
Before you do anything else, make sure that your car’s ignition is turned off. Then, raise the metal arm of the wiper so it is no longer resting on the windshield. The arm will be able to rest in place perpendicular to your windshield. Make sure it is secure before letting go, however. If the wiper is spring-loaded, the arm could snap back into place with such once that it can crack your window.
2. Remove the Old Blade
Once the arm is in the right position, you can unhook the old blade. Look for the meeting point of the rubber blade and the metal arm. At this junction, there should be a little, plastic stopper which holds the blade in its position. To remove the old blade, press this stopper and then unhook the rubber blade. Not all windshield wipers are the same. Some have pins to hold the blade in position, instead of a hook. Simply remove the pin to take out the old blade.
During this process, you must be careful so you do not accidentally damage your windshield. Keep one hand on the wiper arm and ensure it stays away from the glass. You can also place a folded towel on your windshield to protect it just in case the blade snaps back.
3. Attach the New Blade
Now, you can finally install your new windshield wiper blade. Gently slide the new blade onto the arm at the same end where you removed the old blade from. Then, with great care, twist the new blade until you hear or see the hook snap into place. This is how you will know the new blade is secure. After, you can lower your wiper arm back into its resting position against the glass.
Repeat the exact same process for the second windshield wiper blade. Double check that you are using the correct size blade for each wiper.
5. Test the Blades
To ensure your new wiper blades are functioning as they are supposed to, give them a basic test. Spray your front window with the garden hose or squirt out some windshield wiper fluid. Then, turn on your wipers to see if they work.
Changing your windshield wiper blades is easier than you think. Even if you’re not the handiest person, you probably won’t need your mechanic to get it done. Plus, with help from this guide, you now know how to measure, install, and test out your new wipers!