How to check and replace your windshield wiper blades
Last updated: January 1
Windshield wipers can be an overlooked part of your car's safety system. If your wipers are not working properly, it may be difficult to see the road or other hazards when it rains or snows. Faulty wiper blades can be ineffective and even smear your windshield, potentially creating visibility issues. Some simple, regular maintenance can help ensure your wiper blades are in good shape.
Auto maintenance and repair specialist The Humble Mechanic shares tips for inspecting, changing and maintaining your car's wiper blades.
Inspect your wipers regularly
Wiper blades are made out of rubber that can wear out even with limited use. The blades should be inspected regularly and replaced, if needed, about every six months, says Consumer Reports. If your blades are cracked, torn or heavily worn, they might not grip the windshield properly and not fully remove mud, rain, sleet or snow. Wiper blades can take a beating during winter months, and since conditions and vehicles can vary, you may consider checking your vehicle's owner's manual and the information that comes with your wiper blades for guidance.
Replace your wiper blades
Changing your wiper blades is typically a simple task. If you're not confident about your skills, it may be a good idea to leave it to the professionals — it's often done when you take your car in for an oil change. But, if you want to do it yourself, Cars.com provides these steps:
- Determine the blade size. Measure the wiper blade length or check your car's owner's manual for the correct blade size.
- Remove the old wiper. Lift the wiper arm away from the windshield and depress the small tab on the underside of the wiper where it meets the wiper arm. Slide the wiper blade off the arm by pulling downward.
- Attach the new wiper blade. Pull the wiper blade tight onto the arm. You will hear a clicking sound when it locks into place. Lower the arm slowly back onto the windshield and repeat this process on the other wiper arm.
- Test. Run the wipers to see if they are working properly. It's better to do it now instead of finding out they aren't installed correctly during the middle of a downpour.
Taking these simple steps can help make sure your wipers are working efficiently and help maximize your visibility for safer driving.