How to Replace Windshield Wiper Blades

Replacing wipers blades is one of the easier services to perform which anyone can do using a small flat blade screwdriver or needle nose pliers.

How Do They Work?

Windshield wipers are designed to remove water from a vehicle's windshield while using a sweeping motion which disperses rain and road grim to help improve visibility, windshield washer solvent can be also used to help clean the windshield. These wipers can be automatically controlled via a rain sensor or they can be activated by the driver at will.

What Goes Wrong?

Wiper blades are subjected to weather elements such as sun and snow which can compromise the integrity of the soft rubber in which they are constructed. This can lead to creating windshield streaks that impede visibility which can be hazardous. Additionally, if the wipers are not balanced the wiper can chatter as it travels back and forth throughout their operation, smooth in one direction and chatter in the reverse direction, (the "lip" of the wiper must rock back and forth as the wiper changes direction.) If the wiper is not balanced, slightly bend or tweak the wiper arm to adjust the blade to be "neutral" or "balanced". Beware of wiper blades that have completely disintegrated as they can scratch the windshield if the metal frame of the wiper is exposed.

What Does It Cost?

Wiper blade replacements can range in price due to their quality of material and workmanship. Labor time to install wipers blades can vary slightly but in general a shop will charge between .2 and .3 hours.

Let's Jump In!

Most wiper blades are exposed when the system is off but some manufacturer designs have the wipers hidden under the cowl or hood of the vehicle. If this is the case, turn the ignition switch on, then turn the wipers on, while the wipers are in the up position shut the key off, this will stop the wipers on the windshield in most cases. If the wipers return to the park position anyway, lift the hood to gain access.
wiper blade

Lift the wiper arm into its service position away from the windshield. Check the clearance between the wiper arm and hood so as to not damage the paint, adjust the position of the arm via the wiper switch to rectify, opening the hood may help as well.
lift wiper arm

At the wiper arm pivot locate the release tab or collar which is near the top of the wiper arm.
locate wiper release tab

Use a small screwdriver or your finger to release the wiper tab or pull down the collar retainer.
wiper tab released

With the tab or collar released, push the wiper arm downward to disconnect the wiper from the arm.
push downward in wiper

Watch the Wiper Blade Replacement Video!

Then continue with the guide for additional helpful information.

Lift the wiper blade away from the arm to complete the blade removal, (CAUTION: Do not release the wiper arm and allow it to strike the windshield, this could cause the windshield to crack).
lift wiper blade

Using the old wiper blade, do a quick comparison of the new replacement wiper, check the length and mounting mechanism. Replacement blades can be universal which will feature several mounting options, be sure to assemble the new blades with the correct attachment adapter.

compare wiper blades

Position the new windshield wiper blade over the arm located near the clasp on the wiper arm.
position wiper

Pull the wiper blade over the wiper arm to align the wiper clasp.
pull wiper into place

Align the wiper clasp with the arm mount and push the wiper into place, this action will be accompanied by a slight click letting you know the wiper is fully installed.
align wiper clasp

After installation, pull down on the wiper blade to ensure the clasp is holding the blade to the arm and is working correctly, at this point the wiper should pivot freely.
check wiper installation

Return the wiper arm to its original position to complete the job. Check additional wipers and replace as needed using the same method as described. Clean the windshield free from dirt before operating the new wiper blades, recheck wiper operation using water on the windshield.
return wiper arm

Wiper Blade Replacement Videos


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