Drivers don’t usually mind their windshield wipers unless they find themselves driving in the middle of heavy rainfall. Windshield wipers are as important as the other parts of the car. They help you stay safe on the road, clearing water and other particles on your windshield and providing better visibility. Windshield wiper blades deteriorate over time and if it’s been a while since you last changed them, then now is the best time to know how to change windshield wiper blades and change them immediately. You just need to buy the right windshield wiper blade refills intended for your car, slide out the old wiper blades, and slide in the new ones.
How to Change Windshield Wiper Blades: When Should Wiper Blades Be Replaced?
It may seem that your car’s windshield wipers don’t do much and are just a small part of your car, but the wipers have a big impact on your overall safety. The windshield wipers give the visibility you need when you are driving. They remove water droplets, condensation, rain, snow, dirt, and other debris quickly and smoothly to give you a better visibility.
The car’s windshield wipers are very important since they keep you safe when you are driving through heavy rainfall and other inclement weather that can significantly affect your visibility and safety. If your windshield wiper blades are not working like they’re supposed to, it may result in serious accidents.
The windshield wiper is considered as one of the easiest car parts to maintain since it is a rather straightforward part. It consists of a few different components that work together. These parts include the windshield wiper motor, wiper arm, wiper blade, and washer pump. Today, we’ll focus on the windshield wiper blade as well as why it is important to know how to change windshield wiper blades and to change it regularly.
The windshield wiper blade is responsible for wiping your windshield. It is made of plastic and rubber which is attached to the windshield wiper arm. Its rubber part remains in contact with the windshield all the time while the plastic part of the wiper blade functions as the backing which is connected to the wiper arm.
Whenever the windshield wipers are activated by the drivers, the wiper arms will drag the wiper blades back and forth across the car’s windshield. Its rubber part will wipe the moisture, rain, snow, and other debris off the windshield and it is the one that helps maintain the visibility of the driver.
The windshield wiper blades are known to be a consumable item or a disposable part of the assembly. This is because over time, the more it is used, the windshield wiper blade’s rubber part wears out. If you ask, when should windshield wiper blades be replaced? The answer can vary depending on how often you use them. But the windshield wiper blades should be replaced every six to twelve months.
Windshield wiper blades should be replaced regularly and you can do the replacement yourself if you know how to change windshield wiper blades. This needs to be done since the wiper blades wear out and weaken due to the air contaminants, ozone, sunlight, oil, and other debris. When the windshield wiper blades deteriorate, they won’t be able to function properly. The blades will do a bad job in keeping your view clear and free from any obstruction. When this happens, it will be dangerous for you to drive should it rain, snow, or other inclement weather that can affect your visibility while driving.
How to Change Windshield Wiper Blades: How Do I Know If My Wiper Blades Need Replacing?
For you to drive safely, your front windshield should be clear from any obstruction. It is the job of the windshield wipers to make sure that you have a clear view of the road, especially when you are driving through heavy rainfall or snow storms. But how do you know if your windshield wiper blades need replacing?
Aside from knowing how to change windshield wiper blades, you also need to know the common signs of bad wiper blades. The common signs include:
- Streaks on your windshield
If you notice that your windshield wipers leave streaks or films on your windshield when you turn it on, especially when you are driving through rain or snow, it is an indication that you need a windshield wiper blade replacement. You may also notice grime on your windshield, even after you sprayed some fluid to remove it.
However, in some cases, you just need to clean your windshield wiper blades thoroughly since dirt and other debris can build up on your wiper. To clean it, you can use a paper towel soaked with windshield wiper fluid or mild detergent. You will be able to remove any grime, dirt, or build up on the wiper blade which hinders them from wiping or cleaning your windshield properly. But if the problem still occurs after cleaning the blades, then a replacement will be needed.
- Visible cracks or damage on the blades
You can determine if your windshield wiper blades are due for a replacement when you inspect them. If you notice that the rubber part of the wiper blade has cracks, splits, or is damaged, then it is time to change your windshield wiper blades. If you notice that there are no visible cracks or damage but the wiper blades are curved, it is also an indication that the blades need to be replaced. This can happen when the wiper blades are not being used for a long time. Wiper blades that are curved may skip across your windshield’s surface.
- Odd and annoying sounds
Windshield wiper blades that are long overdue for a replacement may produce an odd and annoying sound, like that sound the wiper makes as it drags across the windshield glass. When you hear that annoying sound, it means that the windshield wipers are not doing an efficient job. The going back and forth of the windshield wiper across your windshield glass should be smooth. It should not produce any odd or annoying sounds.
- Wiper blades missed some spots on your windshield
When you are driving through a heavy rainfall and you notice that your windshield wipers have missed some spots or have stopped reaching some parts of your windshield, it is an indication that your wiper blades are due for a replacement. Old or damaged wiper blades won’t be able to come in contact with your windshield’s corners or some of its middle areas. You should buy new wiper blades and have the old ones replaced.
If you experience any of these problems, then you will have to replace your windshield wiper blades as soon as possible. Good thing that the process on how to change windshield wiper blades is pretty simple and straightforward, so you can do the replacement yourself.
Another thing, if you will be driving your car during winter, you need to replace your windshield wiper blades before winter starts. You need to get the windshield wiper blades that are specifically designed for winter. You need to purchase them, even if you think that the wiper blades you have on your wiper now are still working fine. Regular wiper blades tend to wear out and become damaged quicker than the winter ones. It is best that you invest in windshield wiper blades made specifically for winter since they can efficiently help you improve or maximize your visibility when driving through snow.
How to Change Windshield Wiper Blades: Can You Replace Windshield Wipers Yourself?
Changing your car’s windshield wiper blades regularly is necessary since they wear out over time due to ozone, ultraviolet light, oil, and airborne debris. Best visibility on the road while you are driving is important and windshield wiper blades can help you with it, especially when you’re driving through rain and snow.
Windshield wiper blade replacement will cost around $60 to $85, depending on which shop you choose to do the replacement. But if you purchase the parts, it will just cost between $30 and $55. Many car owners might ask, can you replace the windshield wiper blades yourself? You can. The steps on how to change windshield wipers are easy and straightforward. You just need to choose and buy new windshield wiper blades that are right for your car. Measure the blades to get the right size when you have to.
The steps on how to change windshield wiper blades include:
- Remove the old windshield wiper blades
The first step on how to change windshield wiper blades is to remove the old ones. To do this, you just need to pull the entire windshield wiper up until they stay vertical. Find the joint where the rubber wiper blade connects with the metal arm of the wiper. You should be able to see a small plastic stopper that is holding the wiper blade in place. You can remove the old wiper blade by pressing the stopper and unhooking it.
Since the windshield wiper blade has been removed, the wiper arm will be unprotected. Do not leave the wiper arm up while you are getting your new wiper blades since it can damage your windshield when it snaps back in place. You can hold the wiper away from the windshield with your one hand or you can use a folded towel to protect your windshield in case the wiper metal arm snaps back while you are working on your wiper.
- Install the new windshield wiper blades
Get your new windshield wiper blade and slide it into the wiper arm through the appropriate hole, the same area where you pulled the old wiper blade out. You will know which hole you should slide it into by adjusting the hinge to be perpendicular to the wiper and slide it up so the hook of the wiper arm will go over the hinge. Pivot the new wiper blade gently just until the hook snaps back into place and secures it. Then you can lay the wiper back against your car’s windshield. You can repeat the process on how to change windshield wiper blades for the other wiper blade replacement.
How to Change Windshield Wiper Blades: How Long are Wiper Blades Supposed to Last?
Although the steps on how to change windshield wiper blades are easy, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways to help extend their lives. Wiper blades usually last for 6 months to a year depending on the materials your wiper blades are made of and on the weather conditions.
One of the ways to prolong the life of your windshield wiper blades is by cleaning them. You can clean them using a clean cloth and warm soapy water. You can then wipe the wiper blades with a soft cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol. Wipe it across the wiper blade’s edge to get rid of any remaining oil, dirt, and other debris.
You can also wash your windshield regularly to make sure that all the dirt and grime will be removed. This way, your windshield wiper blades won’t work much harder to wipe off any dirt or grime build up. Plus, dirt build ups on a windshield may smear across it when the wiper blades start to clean it which can hamper your visibility while driving.
Make it also a habit to keep your windshield washer fluid topped off at all times. You will never know when you’ll need it. It can help clean or wipe off dirt, bugs, and other debris easier while you drive. If you use windshield wipers when it is not raining, you need to make sure that your windshield is completely wet by spraying wiper fluid before engaging the wipers. Running the wiper when it is dry can lead to chattering or squeaking.
It is important to have the best visibility when you are driving, especially when driving through heavy rainfall or snow. You need to be able to clearly see the road while you drive. It is for this reason why you need to make sure that you include regular windshield wiper blade replacements as a part of your regular car maintenance. If you know how to change windshield wiper blades, it will be beneficial since you can do the replacement yourself at your home without problem.