How to change windshield wiper blades

Aivaras Grigelevičius

Aivaras Grigelevičius

Windshield wipers are crucial for ensuring good visibility when it’s raining or snowing. The only downside is they eventually wear out and you need to replace them.

How do you know when it's time to change your windshield wipers, and can you do it on your own? Read the following guide to learn all about it.

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How do I replace my windshield wipers?

There are several relatively easy car maintenance tasks you can do yourself, such as changing burnt-out bulbs, worn-out air filters, or replacing windshield wipers.

However, before you roll up your sleeves to replace blades on your car, first, you need to find a suitable replacement.

How to shop for windshield wiper blades

Windshield wipers old car
Source: Roman Pohorecki / Pexels

Finding suitable wiper arms is a relatively easy task, but there are several factors to consider when looking for new wipers. Vehicles use different blades that vary in length, so you can’t buy random wipers and expect them to fit your car.

The easiest way to find suitable wiper blades for your car is with the help of an auto parts store. If driving to a parts shop is not an option, look for helpful information in the owner's manual or head to websites of wiper manufacturers, such as PIAA, Bosch, or Michelin.

What tools do I need to change windshield wiper blades?

Replacing wipers is one of those activities that doesn’t require a particular set of skills and tools. It will only take some patience and 10 minutes of your time.

How to change the windshield wipers

First, check if the blade can be folded without causing any fuss. Since most modern cars have metal wiper arms hidden under the bonnet, you must activate the servicing position through the infotainment system each time you want to change the wiper blades.

Afterwards, replace your wipers as follows:

  1. Lift the metal wiper arm.
  2. Turn the wiper blade perpendicular to the wiper arm
  3. Press the button on the wiper blade mounting and pull down.
  4. Slide in the new wiper blade until you hear a click.
  5. Check that the blade is firmly installed.
  6. Lower the wiper arm back towards the windscreen.

How to know if windshield wiper blades need replacing

Windshield wipers fog
Source: Ralph (Ravi) Kayden / Unsplash

It has become commonplace for every component in a car to have a limited lifespan. Every full maintenance guide will tell you when to change your engine or transmission oil and how often you should service your vehicle. The rules for changing wipers are not as strict.

The recommended change period for wipers is every 6 to 12 months. However, this is a very abstract figure, as blade wear rates depend on various factors. Here are signs that you need new wiper blades.

Window streaks, uneven cleaning

Windshield wipers leaving streaks on the windshield means it’s time to replace them. Likewise, if you notice uneven cleaning or a film of grime, dirt, or water on your windshield even after spraying windshield wiper fluid – the blades are worn out.

There's also a possibility that your wipers are only dirty and you need to wipe them down, but in most cases, you’ll need to buy new ones.

Loud wiper blades

As your wipers move across the glass, you might hear dragging and squeaking. That’s a sign you should replace them.

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Aivaras Grigelevičius

Article by

Aivaras Grigelevičius

Aivaras has been excited about cars since he was a little kid. Later, this passion for drivable objects (and everything that surrounds them) grew into work as an automotive journalist. Since then, Aivaras has written for several different magazines, covering anything with an accelerator pedal. He has a soft spot for cars with an Alfa Romeo badge.