How to Replace Windshield Wipers

A clock with the words fast service on it.

When drivers ask how to replace windshield wipers, they are often referring to the wiper blades only. Wiper blades are made of rubber, which has limited life under the harsh weather conditions of northern Utah. Consequently, blades should be replaced once or twice each year (spring and fall) for safety. This can be a daunting proposition for some, but with these simple tips, you can handle this important task easily and quickly.

Which Windshield Wipers to Choose

Choosing the right wiper blades for your vehicle is half the battle. Select the highest-quality brand available to ensure your safety in bad weather conditions. Your car’s owner’s manual may provide the size and arm type. Alternatively, most blade manufacturers offer an online search tool. Auto parts stores may also have reference catalogs, organized by auto year, make and model. The safest way to be sure you get the right blade length and arm type is to check with a trusted auto repair shop in your area. Many cars require a different blade for each wiper, so be sure to look for both driver and passenger side specifications. Experts suggest buying two sets of blades, and always keeping one in the trunk for emergencies.

Wiper Blade Removal

Windshield wiper arms typically have three segments: the lower arm attached to the car below the windshield, the upper arm and the blade assembly that attaches to the upper arm. Examine your new blades for an easy way to know what you’re looking for. Gently lift the wiper arm away from the windshield (be careful with older models however, as they may not lift out the way newer cars do). Hold the arm with one hand at all times to make sure it doesn’t snap back down unexpectedly. Look for the hook or pin that holds the blade and gently press the rubber stopper that holds it down. The old blade should release.

Installing New Wiper Blades

Place the new blade onto the upper arm assembly. Wiggle the blade gently into place (you’ll feel a little snap when you have it right), replace the rubber stopper and place the arm back onto the windshield. Repeat with the other side, and test for correct operation.

Newer blade designs have started to pop up, including a frameless style. If you have any trouble selecting or installing your new wipers, play it safe and call on a professional. In the Sandy and Salt Lake areas, Emission Time’s experienced technicians can help you with maintenance and repair as well as on-the-spot registration renewal. They can even help you learn how to replace windshield wipers on your vehicle!