Maintenance

101: How To Change Wiper Blades

Dec 14, 2015

Windshield wipers will never win an award for star power. No one has ever watched a hot car roll by and thought, “woah, fresh wipers.” Let’s face it—many of us never think to change our wiper blades until the rain and snow starts coming down in sheets. But that’s the worst time to come to grips with cracked rubber skipping across a windshield or leaving streaks that inhibit visibility. It’s a good idea to replace your wiper blades every six months to a year. And even though you’ve done this many times before, a refresher never hurts. The most common type of wiper blade is the hook-slot connector. Instructions for changing them below. Other types of wiper blades include the pin-type arm. Click here to see how to change those.

01. Buy the perfect blades

The most important quality is fit. Make sure to measure both driver and passenger side wiper blades, because they’re often different. You can also search for the correct size on most auto parts websites by entering the year, make, and model of your car. 

It’s a good idea to change both wiper blades at the same time. Even if only one seems worn out, there’s a good chance the other isn’t far behind it.

02. Raise the wiper arms

Pull the wiper arm up and away from the car. Some will only come up two or three inches from the windshield. If this happens, don't force it. Try turning on the ignition, switching on the wipers, and then turning off the ignition with the blades in mid-swipe. 

Once you’ve raised the wiper arm perpendicular to the windshield, look for the locking tab to keep it there. It should be at the base of the wiper. You don’t want the metal hook slamming down on the windshield while you’re changing the blade.

03. Remove the old blades

Rotate the blade perpendicular to the arm. You'll find a tab that locks the blade to the arm. Pull it up or press it down to release the lock. Once the lock is released, shove the blade down toward the arm. You can then slide the blade out of the hook slot.

04. Attach the new blades

Start with the blade perpendicular to the arm. Insert the arm hook through the slot and around the blade fitting. Firmly pull up on the blade until you hear a click. 

Disengage the lock that keeps the arm upright, and slowly lower the arm back down. Give the wipers a test run to make sure they’re secure. 

One last note: Wash your windshield each time you fill up with gas. Scrubbing all the dead bugs and gunk from your windshield gives your wipers a break, and they’ll last longer.

With clear vision in every condition, you can get back to enjoying the road.


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