How To Change Windshield Wipers

Curious about how to change your windshield wipers? Replacing wiper blades is a quick car maintenance project anyone can do themselves. If its time to change your windshield wiper blades, you’ve come to the right place.

Can you replace windshield wipers yourself?

Replacing your windshield wipers is an easy job you can do yourself. You can usually change your windshield wipers with no tools, and just a little know-how. But if you’d rather leave it to a professional, most auto parts stores will install your new windshield wipers at no additional cost.

The dashboard of a driving car, its windshield wipers a blur in the background.
Windshield wipers at work | Holly Mandarich via Unsplash

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You don’t have to be a hardcore do-it-yourselfer to swap your wiper blades. If your wipers are leaving streaks or water on your windshield, examine the rubber blades. If the rubber blade that presses against your windshield is dried or cracking, its time to change your wipers.

It is easy to learn how to change windshield wipers. But first you must measure both of your wiper blades and buy new ones. Be careful, often left and right blades are different sizes. You can buy new ones at any auto parts store and in some department stores.

How do you change windshield wiper blades?

To change your windshield wiper blades you simply pull one away from the windshield, then detach the blade and its metal holder from the lower wiper arm. Plastic tabs or pins usually attach the blade to this arm.

Closeup of the rear window wiper of a wet car.
Rear window wiper | Charles Loyer via Unsplash

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You must know the parts of a windshield wiper before you know how to change your windshield wiper. According to WikiHow, there are three main components of a windshield wiper.

The rubber wiper blade is the squeegee that cleans your windshield. The rubber or plastic blade frame holds this rubber edge against your windshield. The lower wiper arm connects this blade frame to the wiper motor in your car. You only need to replace the blade frame and rubber blade.

When you pull your lower wiper arm away from your windshield, it should hinge at your car and swing into the air. Once you pull it all the way back, this lower control arm should stay in place on its own.

The greatest risk of changing your windshield wipers yourself is this lower arm springing back into place and cracking your windshield, so lay a towel or something on the glass to catch it.

Your lower control arm probably ends in a “J” hook. A spindle in the center of your blade frame fits into this hook and a plastic tab or pin through an eyelet in the hook holds it in place. Simply remove this tab or pin and you can slide the blade frame out of the lower arm’s hook.

How to install hook wiper blades

Simply slide the vertical spindle at the center of the new wiper blade’s frame into the metal “J” hook on the end of the lower wiper arm attached to your car. Then, use the plastic clip or pin included with your new wipers to attach the blade frame to the hook.

Wipers cleaning a wet windshield, a rainy road visible in the background.
Windshield wipers | Thibault Valjevac via Unsplash

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Your windshield wiper’s lower arm ends in a metal hook. While the wipers are wiping, the centrifigal force pushes the blades upward, and this heavy metal hook will keep them from flying away. But you’d hate for them to rattle off these hooks while not in use. This is why every blade frame comes with a plastic clip or pin to attach it to the “J” frame.

Once you have attached your new wiper blades, carefully lower them onto your windshield. Give them a quick test wipe to make sure they’re the right size and you’re good to go.

Will AutoZone install windshield wipers?

You don’t have to install your own windshield wipers. If your old wipers are worn out, go to an auto parts store such as AutoZone for new ones. Then double check that installation is included in the cost of the wiper blades and a technician will swap them for you.

But if you want to tackle this project yourself, see how to change your windshield wipers in the video below:

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