Blog Car Care Advice How to Change Windshield Wipers: 3 Wiper Types + FAQs
Car Care Advice

How to Change Windshield Wipers: 3 Wiper Types + FAQs

Looking for a mechanic near you for maintenance or repair? AutoNation Mobile Service brings the shop to you. Get a free instant quote today.
Get a Quote

Picture this: Rain is coming down hard, but it’s alright, as every swipe of your wiper blades gives you a clear view of the road ahead.

Can’t picture that? 
Then it’s time to consider a wiper blade replacement.

Visibility is an important safety component to consider when driving. Your wiper blades and windshield wiper fluid are essential to ensure good visibility during bouts of rain.  

In this article, we’ll cover all things windshield wipers. We’ll explain how to change windshield wipers, get the right-sized wiper blades, position your blades for replacement, and discuss 3 windshield wiper FAQs

This Article Contains

Let’s get started.

How to Change Windshield Wipers (Step-by-Step)

There aren’t significant differences when changing different blade types, but the detachment and attachment of each kind of blade might differ slightly. 

Before starting, you’ll need: 

Here’s a rundown on how to change your cars windshield wipers:

  1. You’ll need to measure the entire blade of your current wipers and then purchase new wipers from an auto parts store. Once you’ve purchased the right-sized wiper blades, you can start removing the old ones.

    Got your new windshield wipers? Go on to the next step. 
  1. To get your wiper blades in position, switch on your wipers and stop them once they point to the car roof. Lift the wiper blade so it’s perpendicular to your windshield.
  1. Depending on which type of wiper blade you have — hook-mount, clip-on, or pin-mount — you’ll need to detach it appropriately (we have more details in the following paragraphs.)
  1. Once they’re detached, replace the worn wiper blades with the replacement blades. And voila, you’ve successfully replaced your cars windshield wipers. 

Tip: A good idea is to squirt some washer fluid and test if your replacement blades are working properly.

Now, let’s discuss certain aspects in more detail. 

How to Get the Right Sized Wiper Blades

You’ll need to measure both wiper blades as they might be different lengths. Refer to your owners manual or use a tape measure to find the size from one end to the other. Your new blades must match the measurements precisely.

Don’t have your owners manual or a tape measure?
No worries! An auto parts store should have a catalog or electronic system listing which wiper blades are compatible with your vehicle.

Want to know the best way to position your blades before replacing them? 
Continue reading.

How to Position Blades for a Wiper Blade Replacement

Get into your car and squirt the washer fluid to lubricate the windshield. Then start your wipers and stop them once the blade reaches the highest point (pointing to the roof).

Holding the windshield wiper arm below the blade, slowly pull it up and away from your windshield.

Keep lifting the entire blade until it’s perpendicular to your windshield and snaps into position. Waiting for the snap is essential since wiper blades are spring-loaded and can snap back against your windshield. 

Tip: Laying a towel or thick blanket on your windshield underneath the blades is a good idea to prevent damage.

Does your vehicle have hook-mount blades? 
Here’s how you’ll change them. 

How to Change Hook-Mount Wiper Blades

Hook-mount blades are the most common. These blades have a J-shaped hook on the end.

Search for a small tab or clip where the wiper blade attaches to the arm. Then press the small tab to loosen the wiper blade

Tip: Some wiper blades without clips snap right into the hook on the arm.

The blade needs to be parallel to the windshield wiper arm. This next part can be quite a handful, so have both hands free. 

Use one hand to hold the blade and the other to support the arm. Then, pull the blade down so it slides out of the hook. Dispose of the old wiper blade properly

Tip: Old wiper blades might be tough to remove. Lightly tapping on the top of the old wiper blade with the back of your screwdriver should loosen it. Once you remove the old blade, throw it away. 

Locate the metal adaptor clip on the back of the blade. Position the adapter parallel to the blade. Then hook the end of the wiper arm around the adapter and push the blade up and away from the windshield. 

Once you hear the distinct snap, carefully lower the new wiper against your windshield and do the same with your other wiper

Tip: Don’t forget to change your rear wiper blade!

Next, let’s go over how to install windshield wipers that clip on. 

How to Change Clip-On Wiper Blades

Clip-on wipers have a button or clip on the top side of the blade arm.

Locate the locking button on the top or side of the blade arm. Press the button with your finger or a flathead screwdriver to release the wiper blade. Then, pull the blade straight up and out from the wiper arm. Throw away the old blade once it’s detached. 

Position the wiper so the blade faces the glass, and slide your windshield wiper replacement on the end of the wiper arm. Once the wiper blade clicks in, carefully lower it against the glass. 

Have pin mount windshield wiper blades instead? 
Here’s how to switch them. 

How to Change Pin Mount Wiper Blades

Pin-mount wiper blades attach to the sides of the blades rather than the top.

Locate and open the plastic or metal latch on the wiper blade and pull it off the pin. The latch should be right where the blade connects to the end of the wiper arm.

Pull the latch up to release it from the wiper arm. 
Slide your wiper blade toward the windshield to remove it from the pin. 

For pin-mount blades without a latch, rotate your wiper around the pin until the rubber faces away from your windshield. This’ll ensure your blade slides off the pin.

Ensure you properly dispose of the old windshield wiper blade before moving on. 

Open the latch on your new wiper blade and position the new wiper so the rubber blade faces your windshield. Then you’ll slide the pin through the same-sized hole on the side of the latch. 

To finish, press the latch on the new blade down until it clicks, and carefully lower the new wiper blade back against your windshield.

We’ve covered how to replace different wiper blade types. Let’s go over some FAQs.

3 Other Windshield Wiper FAQS

Here are the answers to three more windshield wiper questions: 

1. When Should I Change My Windshield Wipers?

Good visibility is crucial to all drivers. However, most wait too long before installing a new blade. 

You should replace your wipers every six months— especially if your vehicle is parked outside often and you live in hot, arid, or dusty conditions. 

Tip: Your wipers can last longer if you clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank. Additionally, you should wipe the rubber insert with a moist cloth to remove any debris. 

2. What Signs Point to Faulty Windshield Wipers?

There are a few clear signs you should keep an eye out for. 
They are:

3. How Do I Take Better Care of My Wipers?

Here are a few tips to ensure proper maintenance of your windshield wipers:

Wrapping Up

Taking care of your windshield wipers should be included during routine maintenance since they ensure good visibility. If you haven’t got the time or don’t feel confident enough to install windshield wipers yourself, you can always call auto repair experts, like AutoNation Mobile Service, for assistance. 

AutoNation Mobile Service technicians are available seven days a week, and all repairs — from checking tires to replacing your windshield wiper fluid reservoir — come with a 12-month / 12-000 mile warranty

Contact us for a windshield wiper replacement,  air conditioning service, or any other car repair via our online system, and our expert mechanics will come straight to you.