Team Ackodrive9, Jun, 2022
The windshield wipers are an essential safety feature of any car, simultaneously; it is also one of the most ignored components of a vehicle. While driving your vehicle, visibility is critical. And it becomes even more crucial during rainy/stormy conditions. During such times, windshield wiper blades help you see the path ahead and drive safely. Hence, it is vital to ensure that wiper blades are in good condition.
However, like other car parts, they also wear and tear with time, and hence, it requires replacement at periodic intervals. This article will take you through how to know it's time to replace your car's wiper blades and a step-by-step guide to change it on your own.
You can change the wiper blades of your car by taking your vehicle to an expert mechanic. You can also change them by yourself as the process is straightforward and remains the same for the majority of the cars. But before diving deep into the car wiper blade changing procedure, let’s take a look at the components of a windshield wiper.
A windshield wiper comprises the below parts.
A lower wiper arm
The metal or plastic part connecting the lower arm
The rubber refill or blade
The rubber blade is more prone to wear and tear when over-exposed to dust, dirt and other harsh weather conditions. Hence, it’s often enough to get the rubber refill replaced. In case you see the wipers are malfunctioning, you need to change the wiper blades altogether.
It’s a good idea to change the wiper blades every six to twelve months. You can ask your mechanic to do it. Alternatively, do it all by yourself. Read on to know-how.
A faulty wiper blade may hamper visibility and lead to serious accidents. Why take a chance when you can identify when the wiper blades need a replacement? Look out for the below points to know if your car’s windshield wiper needs a replacement.
When There’s a Chattering Sound
When the wipers make a screeching noise while pulling themselves up and down the windshield, it’s time you get rid of those old pair of wiper blades as soon as possible. It clearly means that the wipers aren’t cleaning the windshield correctly, leading to driving hazards.
When the Frames are Out of Shape/Cracked
Handling the wiper blades roughly or removing the accumulated dust from the cowl with force may damage the metal frames of the wiper blades. Bent frames cannot contact the windshield and cannot clean the windshield when it rains.
When the Windshield-blade’s Contact is Poor
When the blades don’t reach certain parts of the windshield, it fails to clean those areas during heavy rainfall. In such cases, it would be best if you go for a wiper blade replacement.
When the Wiper Leaves Water Streaks Across the Windshield
When the wipers leave water streaks across the windshield, the rubber has lost its hold. It’s time to replace rubber blades.
When the Rubber Blade gets Damaged
If the rubber refill has a crack or a split in it, it will not clean the windshield as much as it should have been. Go for wiper blades replacement as they come with a pair of free rubber refills.
Choose wiper blades—standard, flat or hybrid—that perfectly suit your car. Also, the size of your car’s wiper blades is essential. In some cases, the length of the wiper blade on the driver’s side differs from that on the passenger’s side. That aside, you may want to consider the following factors.
Go for wiper blades with an aerodynamic design as it lessens drag and makes zero noise.
When the blades fit perfectly in the windshield curvature, they will be in proper contact with the windshield, in turn cleaning the windshield swiftly during rainfall.
See if the blades are UV and heat-resistant. It will help increase the longevity of the blades.
Changing your car’s wiper blades is no rocket science. You need to know the tricks of the trade. The following steps may make you feel confident enough to try it yourself the next time the wipers need a replacement.
Measure the Size of the Wiper Blade You Need
Get hold of a measuring tape and measure both the existing blades (as sizes may differ). Note them down and either buy them online or get them from a shop that deals with auto parts.
Lift the Wiper Arm
Lift the metal wiper arm that is attached to the cowl of the car. Hold it away from the windshield. The metal arm is spring-loaded. Hence, you would want to be very careful while doing this if you don’t want it to spring back and create crevices on your car's windshield.
Detach the Old Blades
Place a thick piece of cloth on the windshield to prevent it from breaking if the metal arm springs back. A tiny plastic stopper at the nexus of the metal arm and the wiper blades keep the blades in place. To detach the existing blades from the metal arm, you will have to press the stopper. Remember to hold the wiper away all this while.
Insert the New Wiper Blades
Glide in the new blades into the stopper at the same end of the metal projector from where you pulled the old blades. Carefully rotate the new blades. The hook will make a clicking sound. It means you have successfully secured the wiper blade in its place. Put the wiper back against the windshield.
Also, read: How to Use Defogger in Car?
Damaged wiper blades are often left unnoticed. However, when you go on driving with a faulty pair of wipers, you tend to compromise on road safety in the event of rainfall/snowfall. However, a Comprehensive Car Insurance Plan may cover your car against damages owing to accidents. Proper maintenance of the windshield wipers goes a long way - cleaning the rubber blade to remove grit, wiping the windshield clean now and then, etc. Hence it is crucial to know when it’s the right time to replace the wiper blades and do it before it’s too late.
Here are few frequently asked questions about wiper blades
No, one wiper is often a few inches shorter than the other.Is there always a hook to hold the rubber wiper in place?
In some vehicles, the rubber wiper is held by a pin instead of a hook.How to remove grit from the rubber blade?
Wipe the rubber blade with a moist piece of cloth to remove grit.What is needed to change the wipers at home?
Needle-nose pliers are required to change the wiper blades at home.Do all the cars have the exact unlatching mechanism?
No, it depends on the manufacturer. In some vehicles, you need to compress and pull the blades. However, in some cases, you need to press a button or pull a fastener to unhook.Can I change my car’s wiper blades, or should I get it done by a mechanic?
Changing the wiper blades is a very simple and straightforward process. You need not have any special tools to do it. If you are interested in DIYs and have basic knowledge of how the wiper blades work, it is an easy job. However, if you are not comfortable with fiddling with the wipers, you can get the job done by a mechanic.
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