Changing Your Windshield Wiper Blades

In this video, Chuck Herring from Mr. Tire (home of On The Rim & Out The Door, and Brakes Forever), assisted by his automotive expert Gary Goldstein, is showing how to change the windshield wiper blades on your car, van, or SUV—on any vehicle.

When do you replace?

Most manufacturers suggest replacing windshield wiper blades every six months (or 6,000 miles). This may feel like a lot, but you need to remember to keep them fresh (i.e., not use worn-out wiper blades) and in good condition; like many other things on your car or truck, the wipers are an important safety feature. You don’t want to find out that your windshield wiper blades are old, worn, or defective when you need them most—say, for example, in a downpour on a busy highway! Making sure that they’re always in good shape is the best way to stay safe.

Getting ready

The first thing in this process is you need to protect your vehicle’s hood so that you don’t accidentally scratch it (that’s very easy to do when you’re changing windshield wiper blades). So you want to put up a fender cover (i.e., a fender that covers the hood) so that it doesn’t get scratched. Next you want to assemble your tools, which include the new windshield wiper blades and a screwdriver.

Changing the blades

After you’ve gotten your tools together, protected and prepped your vehicle, it’s time to change the windshield wiper blades. The first thing you’re going to do is manually pull the whole blade assembly as high as it can go. This makes it possible (and easier) for you to work on it.

Next, you’re going to want to locate the clip on the windshield wiper blade (they lives in different places on different cars, so check your manufacturer specs to see its exact location). Once you’ve found the clip, just release it. Generally you’ll only need to press on it with your thumb for it to release smoothly and easily: the whole thing should slide down toward the windshield. Once that happens, you’re good to remove the windshield wiper blade altogether.

Put the new ones on

If you paid attention to how you took the blades off, then you’ll be better equipped to put them back on. Take the new windshield wiper blades, unwrap the packaging, separate out the left from the right, and choose one side to start with. Put that new windshield wiper blade on in and do it exactly the way you took the old one off. (That’s why you needed to pay attention!) What you’re doing here is simply sliding the new windshield wiper blade over the top of the arm. Clip it in the way you unclipped the old one. And then, finally, click it into the assembly. This last point is critical: you must hear that clicking sound, because otherwise your windshield wiper blade won’t be properly attached and will probably come flying off the first time you attempt to use them. Now all you have to do is  lower it gently back down onto the windshield.

Additionally, you want to make sure that your windshield wiper blades are sitting (or seated) correctly. If they’re not, then you risk the windshield wiper blade arm scratching your windshield.