Windshield wipers perform a vital function on an automobile. They are a critical safety component in that they work to provide clear vision for the operator. Many automobile manufacturers place windshield wipers on not only the windshield but also on rear windows and headlights. When a windshield wiper fails or wears out, it is evident from a number of different symptoms. If your windshield wipers smear the windshield when you turn them on; if the windshield is always spotted; if the wipers streak, squeak, or chatter when they operate it is time to change them. Changing the windshield wipers is an easy task but it can be frustrating if you don’t know how.
- Now that you have determined that your wipers need to be replaced, purchasing the proper wipers is next.
- Do-it-yourself auto parts stores usually have a reference book available near the windshield wiper display. Consult the reference book to determine the proper wipers for your make and model vehicle.
- An auto parts counter person may also be able to advise you on what type of windshield wiper replacements to buy.
- It is always best to buy the entire windshield wiper blade as opposed to the blade insert. The inserts may be torn or damaged when trying to install them so go with an entire blade replacement the first time out.
Removing the old blade
- There are several styles of blade attachments but the two most common probably are loop style attachment points and side pin style.
- Pull the wiper blade away from the windshield. Protect the windshield with a couple of rags or some cardboard in case the blade snaps back in place.
- If you have the loop style wiper arm, press the small tab at the base of the wiper blade pivot.
- Push the old wiper blade down toward the base of the wiper arm. Slide the old blade off the hook at the narrow end of the wiper arm.
Installing the new blade
- Unless it comes already installed, snap the wiper blade pivot over the small diameter hinge pin in the middle of the wiper blade. Make sure the open side of the pivot faces the rubber wiper insert itself.
- Slide the wiper blade over the hook end of the wiper arm.
- Pivot the wiper blade so the hook of the wiper arm slides over the end of the wiper blade pivot until the hook snaps in place on the wiper blade.
- Remove the rags or other protective coverings and lay the blade carefully back down on the windshield.
Pin style wiper blades
- Removing and replacing the pin style blades is similar in that you release the pin and pull the wiper blade off it.
You may need a small flat blade screwdriver to release the pin locking tab or slide tab.
Usually windshield wipers suffer from severe corrosion and are difficult to remove. Use a solvent sparingly to loosen the corrosion so you can remove the wiper blade. Do not get any solvent on the windshield.
If you cannot remove them and can identify the old blades, you may be able to find blade refills for them.
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