How to Replace Your Windshield Wipers

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Although some car repair jobs are best completed by a professional, you can sometimes save money and hassle by doing your own maintenance on your car. One of the easier tasks to complete is replacing your own windshield wipers. The following is a step by step guide for how to change your wipers.

How do you know if your wipers need replacing?

Look out for signs that your wipers need replacing. The following “symptoms” are indicators that it’s time for a change.

  • Streaking water: If your wipers are old, chances are they’re not getting the job done. If your wipers leave streaks of water on your windshield, it’s time for a replacement.
  • Squeaky: Squeaky wipers are signs of age as well. New wipers glide along the windshield and should make almost no sound.
  • Leaving a milky film when wiping: Sometimes, windshield wipers break down with age, and can release chemicals onto your windshield, causing a milky film to form on your windshield.

Step 1: Buying Wiper Blades
Before you go buy wiper blades, make sure you know the make, model, and year of your car. It is absolutely imperative that you have this information on hand when you purchase your blades, or else they won’t be the correct ones. Then, go to your local auto parts store and ask for the blades that are appropriate for your vehicle. Chances are, the store associate will show you a range of options. Blades may cost as little as $5 or as much as $25. When in doubt, pick blades that cost somewhere in the middle of these two prices. Be sure to buy two blades, as it is best to replace both of them at once.

Step 2: Removing the Old Blades
To replace your wiper blades, first pull the entire wiper up so that it is vertical. Then, place your fingers on the blade, not the metal part of the wiper, and turn the blade so it is perpendicular with the metal wiper. This should expose a hinge on the wiper. Pull the tab on the hinge – you should hear a “snap.” Once the tab is pulled, you can begin to separate the wiper by pulling it down towards the windshield and through a hole on the metal wiper itself. Now that the wiper is removed, you can begin to attach a new set of wipers; however, be sure that the metal wiper does not fall on your windshield, as it could damage the glass.

Step 3: Attaching the New Blades
To attach the new blades, simply do the removal process in reverse. First, insert the blade through the appropriate hole on the wiper. To ensure that you are inserting the wiper through the correct hole, turn the hinge perpendicular to the wire, and ensure that the wiper’s hook will go over the hinge. Once the blade is inside the hole, line the hook over the hinge and snap them together. Again, this should be audible. Lower the arm, and replace the other blade.

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