3 Easy Steps: How do I Change my Windshield Wipers?

Hansma Automotive specializes in all areas of vehicle detailing, maintenance and repair. A worn out pair of windshield wipers can be extremely frustrating to drive with - they hardly clear rain off, and the washer fluid cannot do its job properly. Luckily, swapping old wipers for a brand new pair takes only a few minutes of time and a few dollars. This task is simple enough that any driver should be able to accomplish it.

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Signs of Worn Out Wipers

Worn out windshield wipers are usually fairly obvious. They will leave streaks and water on the windshield, will be noisy and ultimately just will not give a good finish. Replace wipers when the finish they give is not satisfactory.

1. Determine Length of Wiper Blades and Buy Replacements

Use a measuring tape to find out the length of your existing wiper blades. Measure both the driver and passenger side blades as they are often slightly different lengths (1 or 2 inches different sometimes). 

2. Remove Old Wiper Blades

Before you do anything further, make sure you are in a safe location to be changing your wipers. A driveway or parking lot are good locations. A roadside is not. 

Start by raising the wiper arm away from your windshield. It should remain in place once pulled far enough. Unhook the old wiper blade from the metal arm. The hook should be where the arm meets the blade. Some wiper systems use a pin system instead of a hook system. 

Note: Be careful to not let the wiper arm snap back onto the windshield (it is often spring loaded). Place a soft object like a coat or blanket on the windshield to prevent this risk.

3. Install New Blades

Install the new wipers using the reverse method that was used to remove the old ones. Both wipers will be installed in the same way. Be sure to put the correct wiper on the correct side (ex: the long wiper will go where the long wiper came off).

How Often Should I Change My Wipers?

  1. When the wiper becomes cracked. Weather, temperature and other climate factors will crack the rubber on the windshield wiper over time. Investigate the wiper visually to check for cracks. 
  2. When the wiper doesn't clean the windshield well. This will be obvious when using the windshield washer fluid, or while driving in rain. If your wipers are leaving large streaks, then either they are worn out, or something is stuck on them (like ice).
Posted on August 17, 2014 .