Photo by Hugo Ramos
Aloha! Do you need to repair your windshield wipers? Staying on top of your windshield wiper’s maintenance is key to extending the life of your windshield. A set of damaged wipers can scratch up a windshield and result in a costly replacement. Keep reading to learn how to extend the life of your windshield wipers, and how to replace them!
Photo by Sleepi Alleyne
How to Extend the Life of your Windshield Wipers
Good maintenance and careful use can help you to extend the life of your wiper blades, and save you a little money.
- If you see debris on your wiper blades, take a soft cloth and run it gently along the blade, this will keep the rubber from chipping. A good time to check this is when you’re visiting your nearest gas station.
- Avoid running the wipers when the windshield is dry, this causes the blades to drag on the glass surface and create scratches.
- Don’t run your wipers to remove ice from your windshield, this is extra hard on the rubber blades and will age them quickly.
Photo by It’s Me Neosiam
When Should You Change Your Windshield Wipers?
Watch your windshield wipers for any sign of wear-and-tear, to prevent damage to your windshield.
- If a squeegee blade comes loose, replace it immediately, or the plastic running along your glass can cut deep gouges in the glass and result in a costly windshield replacement.
- Look for any spots that the blades aren’t wiping clean, these may be due to small pieces of debris you can wipe away with a cloth, or it might be time to replace the blade.
- Excessive squeaking when the windshield is wet is another sign that it’s time to for a replacement.
Photo by Charles Loyer
The Parts of a Windshield Wiper
Before you replace the wiper, you need to know what you’re looking for: connector type, and length. Every wiper consists of a squeegee blade which attaches to the wiper arm via a connector. The connector type varies between brands and car make. Check your vehicle’s manual to find the right connector for your car, as well as which length is required. If you have a curved windshield, you’ll need a special wiper blade. Your manual will tell you the best wiper model for the job.
Photo by Thibault Valjevac
Replacing the Blade
The most important thing to keep in mind when changing your wipers is to protect the windshield. The wiper arms are spring-loaded, and even after being pulled off the windshield into the up position, it can slam back down and potentially crack the glass. Be careful when working with the blades, and place a protective barrier between where the blade lays and the glass, such as a thick towel, to absorb the blow if the blade slams down.
Check your car’s manual for the type of blade and connector you need. The instructions for the connector should be in the manual or in the packaging of the new wiper blade you purchase.
Photo by Julie B
The most common type of connector is the hook. Here’s how to replace it:
- Pull your wiper arm into the upright position. The blade will be parallel to the arm. Lay down a towel to protect your windshield in case the arm snaps back into place.
- Twist the blade so that it is perpendicular to the arm.
- Now pull the blade down and away from the hook, while bracing the squeegee side. The blade assembly should be stretching a little bit like a bow and arrow.
- Pull the now unhooked blade assembly away from the arm.
- Follow these steps in reverse to put the new blade on.
- Gently lower the wiper arm back to the windshield.
Photo by Russ Ward
There are many different connectors out there! If you don’t have a hook connector, just check your car manual for the type you need, and the instructions. If you don’t have access to your manual, don’t panic. Visit your closest auto parts store which usually has a large directory that matches the make and model of your vehicle to its corresponding windshield wiper. These directories can also be found at some big box stores with automotive departments.
Photo by NeONBRAND
If you’re having difficulty finding the right connector and wiper type, or need help installing the wiper, some auto parts stores will assist you with installing the part. Additionally, some repair shops will offer to change the wiper blade for you along with an oil change or other service. If you’re not sure or need help, reach out and call one of these locations near you to see if they offer these services.
I hope you found this guide helpful, and mahalo for reading! If you’d like to learn how to clean your windshield while at the gas station, read here. Aloha, a hui hou!
About the Author:Julie is Big Island Energy's Social Media and SEO Specialist.