CC: The easiest way to tell if you need new wiper blades is to simply gauge their effectiveness when being used. Are the wipers leaving the windshield just as wet and or dirty as it started? Is there some film and grime left over after each pass of the blades? When it’s raining or snowing and your wipers are in use, do you find yourself needing to watch the road through one tiny spot of windshield that’s been successfully cleared? If you answer yes to any or all these questions, it’s time for new blades.
When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, chatter, skip, smear, or streak reducing driving visibility. Also, if they don’t smoothly glide across the glass and seem to jump as they move. And finally, you can do a visual inspection. Here are a few of the different signs to look for:
• Broken frame
• Corrosion of metal components
• Cracks or tears on the rubber
• Little to no flexibility in the rubber squeegee
Wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months to a year, though it can more or less depending on how often you use them and the environment you are in.
Ultimately, if your wipers aren’t doing their job anymore and you’re having a hard time seeing the road in the midst of rain and snow showers, it’s time to replace them.
For the most part, windshield wipers can be replaced without any tools; however, not all wipers attach the same way. There are many different mounting systems. Some of the more common ones are:
• Side lock
• Pinch tabs
You will need to identify the size and type of the wiper blade you will be replacing. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will identify which type you have, and some even have step-by-step replacement instructions specific to your vehicle. Don’t assume that the left and right wiper take the same size blade. One side is often an inch or two longer or even more than the other. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, you can measure each wiper blade to get the size, or your local parts store can help you out as well.
When installing new wiper blades, begin by placing a towel or pad on the windshield under the arm to prevent any unwanted windshield damage. Raise the metal wiper arm away from the windshield. It should be able to hold steady in a position perpendicular to the windshield. Be careful with the positioning; the metal wiper arm is spring-loaded, and it could snap back and crack your windshield. You should always keep hold of the wiper arm during removal and installation.
Unhook the old wiper blade.
Insert the new wiper blade.
Repeat with the second wiper. The procedure is the same for replacing the second wiper.
Make sure the wipers are securely latched or hooked onto the arm. Test them out to verify the wipers work correctly.
This video is sponsored by ANCO.