How to Install Wiper Blades
A Comprehensive Guide for Proper Installation
Properly installing wiper blades is crucial for maintaining clear visibility and ensuring safe driving conditions, especially during inclement weather.
Changing the wiper blades is an important—and fortunately pretty simple—part of regular car maintenance. Wiper blades should be changed at least once a year, and you’ll know they need replacing when the rubber begins to wear or crack. You may also notice that the blades will start to smear water, leave a film on the windshield, or wipe water unevenly. It’s typically a good idea to replace both wipers at once, based on the assumption that if one is worn out, the other is likely going to be due for replacement soon, too.
Whether you are replacing old wiper blades or installing new ones, understanding the correct installation process is essential.
Decide which part of the wiper you need to replace
The wiper assembly consists of two parts: the arm and a wiper blade that attaches to the metal arm. The rubber insert that rests against the glass of the windshield is for the most part is not available separately.
If the wiper blade isn’t resting against the glass with enough tension or has become bent, you’ll need to replace the entire blade.
Buy the proper blades for your car model at an automotive-supply store. Ask a salesperson to help you select the right wipers, or, alternatively, measure each of the old wipers first and bring the measurements with you into the store.
Remember that the left and right wiper blades may be different lengths.
Pull the entire wiper assembly arm away from the windshield and into a standing position. Move the wiper into a position perpendicular to the metal arm. Repeat with the other wiper arm.Some wipers will only come two to three inches away from the windshield; if that’s the case, don’t try to force the wipers up any further.
On some cars it may be easier to turn on the wipers and when they start to move turn off the ignition. This will allow you to move the arm up to have better access to remove the wiper blades.
Wiper Blades Replacement
Release the wiper blade. Locate the small tab on the underside of wiper blade (near where the rubber insert meets the metal arm), then push it in (or in some cases, pull on it) to release. Pull down on the blade and it should then slide off the hook of the metal arm.
You may need to tap or tug on the blade a bit to remove it if there’s built up debris or corrosion.
Sometimes it helps to push the wiper up into the holder, press the tab, and then remove.
The bare metal arms are now exposed, and, if left in the standing position, they can snap back and damage your windshield. So, to be safe, gently place the metal arms back against the windshield until you’re ready to put on the new ones.
To be extra safe, place a rag or cloth underneath the metal arm while it rests on the windshield.
Take out the new wiper blades. If the left and right wipers are different sizes, be sure to match the new wiper to the correct side. Push the movable hinge on the new blade until the hinge is perpendicular to the rest of the blade.The metal hook should push up against the rubber insert.
Pull up on the blade until you hear as well as feel it click it into place. Gently push the blade back down to a resting position against the windshield.Repeat with the other wiper blade.
Check the wiper arm angle. If the wiper arm angle is off it can cause chattering.
Turn on the ignition and wet the windshield with wiper fluid to test the new wipers for proper installation.
If the new wipers are streaky, first try cleaning the rubber insert with alcohol wipes or a cloth soaked in mineral spirits. If the wipers are still streaky, check that the blades are properly installed. Verify that you’ve installed each blade on the correct side and check that the wiper is properly oriented.
If all else fails, stop by your local auto-parts store for help.