How to replace windshield wipers properly?

Worn windshield wipers have a negative impact on safety. Replacing your car's windshield wipers is the easiest way to improve visibility, which is especially important during the autumn and winter. Efficient windshield wipers not only effectively remove water or snow from windshields but also reduce the risk associated with the appearance of light reflections. Winter is the perfect time to replace your windshield wipers. Importantly, you can easily do it yourself in just a few minutes.

 

When to get new windshield wipers?

Many drivers forget to replace their car windshield wipers, taking them for granted. As a piece of equipment that does not require attention or periodic inspection. Yet windshield wipers, like almost all car parts, have a certain lifespan. It is difficult to clearly define when to replace the wipers and install new ones because a lot depends on the way they are used. 

Time for wiper blades is sometimes inexorable. Rubber evaporates due to contact with UV rays and loses its original properties at changing temperatures. Also, rubber loses elasticity from oxidation over successive months. And yet, rigid windshield wipers do not stand a chance in the effective fight against snow, rain, sleet or dirt accumulating on the windshield. 

The average life of a car's wipers is 6 to 12 months. A year is a rather extreme value, referring to cars that occasionally hit the street, generally parked under a roof away from strong sunlight. You can extend the life of your windshield wipers by eliminating risk factors. It is worth being aware that it is not difficult to damage new wipers. It is enough to run the wiper motor when the blades are frozen to the glass. Then it is not only the rubber parts that can be damaged. The motor is then exposed, and the replacement of this element is more complicated than the wiper blades. 

The condition of windshield wipers is also negatively affected if they are inadvertently turned on a dry windshield. Therefore, you should have an adequate supply of winter windshield washer fluid matched to the season - winter washer fluid should be used from October. The need to replace the windshield wipers is evidenced by mechanical damage (crumbling or chipped rubber), ineffective operation, and squeaking when started. Remember that a damaged wiper can permanently crack the windshield. Efficient windshield wipers are important not only for safety reasons. Driving with dirty windshields or inoperative wipers can result in a fine and a recall of the car.

 

What windshield wipers do I need?

To take full advantage of the potential of new windshield wipers, you need to take care of the details as they fit. The most important parameter is the length of the blade - in theory, you can use a shorter one, but it causes too large a section of the windshield will be uncleaned. Are windshield wipers the same size? Many cars use wipers of different lengths, which are asymmetrical. There are also cars that have only one wiper in the front, such as the Tesla Cybertruck or some sports models.

Knowing the length of the wiper blades, it's time to choose in terms of how to attach them. At this stage, it is common to use an adapter, enabling proper attachment. The next step is to consider what type to choose. Nowadays, the following types of car wipers are encountered: conventional wipers, beam wipers and hybrid wipers.

 

Conventional windshield wipers

For years, conventional windshield wipers were the most popular type. The name "traditional car wipers" functions for a reason. Their main advantages include high rigidity and considerable durability. How to recognize classic wiper blades? It's simple - they have a characteristic external skeleton. Mentioning cars, it is still worth mentioning the disadvantages. The first is that they require adjustments to a specific car model. The second is that they produce a lot of air resistance.

 

Beam windshield wipers

Beam windshield wipers are growing in popularity every year, slowly displacing traditional ones. Modern models are universal and fit most aftermarket cars and those coming out of showrooms. It is not surprising that more and more people are considering installing them instead of the classic ones. Why is it worth opting for them? First, they look much better and put up less air resistance. Moreover, most models available on the market use a flexible material with inconsiderable resistance to freezing. Disadvantages: foremost, the price.

 

Hybrid windshield wipers

As you might have guessed, hybrid wipers combine the features of the two previously mentioned solutions. They have a small frame, severely limiting lateral bending. Despite this, they are sufficiently flexible, which translates into efficiency in removing water, snow or dirt from the windshield. The advantages of hybrid windshield wipers include good adhesion to the glass and the presence of an aesthetic cover. The latter has a positive effect on aerodynamics. Disadvantages - sometimes the shield can be damaged, which additionally (but slightly) increases the cost of replacement.

 

How to replace windshield wipers step by step?

To begin with, you need to remove the worn wipers. How to do this? It is necessary to bend the arms and lock them in this position. Remember to be careful because with too sudden movements you can damage not only the wiper arm, but also the windshield. Important note - in some cars, it is not possible to bend the arms, which makes the work a little more difficult. To slide out the old wiper, just press on the catch. Then, after loosening it, just gently slide the blade off.

After removing the old one, it's time for a new wiper. You will need the identical model of adapter that was in the worn one. After attaching the adapter, just install the new one. It needs to be pressed gently, pausing at the moment of a gentle click. A doubt still arises, what about a possible mismatch of the adapter? To avoid unnecessary complications, it is enough to select car wipers for a specific model. On the packaging of new ones, there is usually a list of cars for which they fit. You can also take the old wipers on the model to check.

And how to replace the rear wiper blade? The process is even simpler than for the front one. In general, all you need to do is insert the connector located in the blade into a special groove in the arm mount. And if only a click is heard, the job is done. Installation of a new wiper blade is straightforward. The rear wiper blade may not perform as important a function as the front one, but it's good to keep it in mind.
 

How to care for windshield wipers?

To extend the life of the wipers, avoid starting on a dry windshield. In winter (during freezing weather), it is a good idea to gently move the rubber away from the windshield before starting the wiper motor. Wipers should also not be used to remove ice or frost. Forcibly pulling away from the windshield during freezing temperatures is not a good practice either. 

Removing bird droppings or dead insects with wipers should also be discouraged. It is worth remembering to regularly check not only the feathers but also the arms. And replacing worn parts if they have ceased to perform their function well. How often to replace wipers? Ideally before winter and before summer. After all, replacing windshield wipers yourself is simple.

Photo by Freepik