A good windshield with good wiper blades goes a long way toward avoiding accidents—better visibility means lower risk. If the rubber blade is cracked or weathered, is screeching against the glass, or is leaving streaks or areas of the windshield untouched, it’s time to change the blade. Even if yours seem fine, the National Highway Transportation Board recommends changing wiper blades at least every year and ideally every six months. It’s much easier to install new blades on a sunny afternoon than it is to do the same on the side of the road some icy night. Take a couple of minutes to ensure your car-sight is everything that it should be.
How to Change a Windshield Wiper Blade
Pull the old wiper assembly away from the windshield. There are three common types of windshield wiper blade attachments: hook-slot, pin arm, and straight-end connectors. Hook-slots are the easiest to work with—look for a small tab on the underside of the wiper that holds the blade in place. Press the tab and slide the wiper clean of the blade. Pin arms are similar to hook-slots—either push the pin or remove it to free the old blade from its mount. Straight-end connectors usually require a screwdriver to release the old blade. Once you have the blade removed, avoid letting the metal arm slam back against the glass windshield. If you need, the exposed metal arm can rest gently in the “down” position against the windshield.
Evaluate the wiper. Determine whether you need to replace the plastic wiper clip or just the rubber blade. If replacing the clip, examine the connection of clip to arm to discover how to free it. Commonly, wiper arms will include a U-shaped metal end that slots around the wiper clip. Discover how to free the clip and then take notes or a picture to remember how to put it back later. If needed, remove the old wiper clips and replace with new ones, being sure to orient the new clips correctly. The new wiper clip should click into place with its mount inside the U-shaped curve at the end of the wiper arm.
Install new rubber blades the same way you removed the old ones. Gently lower the assembly back to the window.