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
- How to Change Windshield Wipers (Step-by-Step)
- How to Get the Right Sized Wiper Blades
- How to Position Wiper Blades for Replacement
- How to Change Hook-Mount Wiper Blades
- How to Change Clip-on Wiper Blades
- How to Change Pin Mount Wiper Blades
- 3 Other Windshield Wiper FAQS
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:
- New windshield wipers
- Cleaning cloth or towel
Here’s a rundown on how to change your cars windshield wipers:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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?
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.
- Streaks and smears on your windscreen: If wipers leave streaks of water or smears after using them, even when you use windshield washer fluid, replace them.
- Wipers don’t reach as far: If your wipers aren’t reaching certain parts of the windshield anymore, it could be because of a bent frame or old rubber.
- Physical damage: Your wipers can be fragile and damage easily, so if they’re displaying signs of damage like cracks, or uneven edges, it’s time to replace them.
- Noises: If you hear chattering or high-pitched squeaks as your wipers move across the windshield, that’s a sign that you have worn wiper blades.
3. How Do I Take Better Care of My Wipers?
Here are a few tips to ensure proper maintenance of your windshield wipers:
- In snowing or freezing weather: Use a windshield cover and pull the wipers away from your windshield overnight. This ensures less defrosting time in the morning.
Additionally, use an ice scraper to remove winter road salt from your wiper arms and blades to decrease natural corrosion.
- Keep them clean: Wipers handle a lot of debris, so if they go uncleaned, the gunk can affect how well they can clean.
- Clear your windscreen: Clear any leaves, monster-sized bugs, roadkill, or branches before engaging your wipers. Also, always lubricate the windshield before turning on your wiper blades.
- Fill up your wiper fluid: Ensure your wiper fluid is full, and always have glass cleaner in the car. This is for when you’re on the open road with faulty wiper blades and need to clean your windshield before driving.
- Be wary of rough drive-through car washes: Going to a car wash can damage your windshield wiper blade, especially if the equipment is too harsh.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell beforehand if the equipment is harsh, but you’ll notice the damage afterward. We advise sticking to hand car washes as it’s more gentle on your windshield wiper blade.
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.