How to Change the Wiper Blades on Your Car
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
Wiper blades are made of rubber, so they naturally wear out after several months of wiping snow, rain and dust from your windshield. You could take your car to the mechanic to have them changed, but it’s just as easy to change them yourself. The fitting process is identical for the vast majority of cars on the road.
1. Know what part of the blade to change. Windshield wipers are made with three basic parts: the lower wiper arm that extends from the base of the windshield, the metal blade attached to the lower arm, and the rubber blade that actually wipes the windshield. When your windshield wiper blades, you’re really only changing the rubber blades that get worn down by water and inclement weather.
2. Buy replacement blades. To find out what size replacement blades you need, measure the old rubber blades using a ruler or measuring tape. Write down the exact measurements, then go to an auto parts store and buy rubber blades in those exact sizes.
- Don’t assume that the left and right wiper take the same size blade. One side is often an inch or two shorter than the other.
- Wiper blades usually run about $15.00 a piece. You’ll save the cost of labor by installing them yourself.
- Some wiper blades have pins to hold the rubber wiper in place, rather than a hook.
- Make sure one hand is holding the wiper away from the windshield during this entire process.
- You may want to protect your windshield with a folded towel, just in case you the arm snaps back while you’re trying to change the wiper.
5. Insert the new wiper. Slide the refill wiper into the same end of the arm where you pulled the old wiper out. Gently pivot the new wiper until the hook snaps into place to secure it. Lay the wiper back against the windshield.
6. Repeat with the second wiper. The procedure is exactly the same for replacing the second wiper. Just make sure you use the correct size for each side.
Know When to Change Wipers
Examine the wipers for cracks. Old windshield wipers become hard and cracked over time, especially in hot, dry climates. If your wiper seems to have lost it’s rubbery spring, it’s probably time to replace it.
Pay attention next time it rains. If your wipers leave streaks of water across your windshield that aren’t much easier to see through than pounding rain, their rubber has probably lost its grip.
Consult your car’s user manual for more information about what type of replacement wipers to buy.