Check and Change Your Windshield Wipers

Having trouble seeing in the rain? Might be old or dirty wiper blades.

To know whether or not to replace your wipers, listen and look at how your blades clean the windshield. If they are quiet and smooth, easily clearing water, they are working correctly. If they are loud, the swipe feels rough, or they’re leaving a whole section of the windshield uncleaned, they may be in trouble.

Check for obvious dirt or obstructions that could cause the noise or cleaning miss. If the blade is dirty or has something stuck in it, clean it with glass cleaner and remove the debris.

If you notice any chunks of the blade missing or the problem continues after a cleaning, it’s time to replace.

How to change Windshield Wipers

1. Remove the old blades

Most blades will slide right off after pulling up on a clip on top of the wiper or pressing down on a small tab on the underside of the wiper. Your car manual or the new blades should have instructions showing where this latch is.

2. Put on the new blades

Slide the new blades on in the opposite way that the old ones came off. You will likely here a click when a tabbed blade locks into place. On blades with a clip, you may need to close the clip to lock the blade in place. When you’re done, rest the wipers against the windshield again.

3. Test the new blades

It’s a good idea to run the wipers a few times after putting them on, just to make sure they fit right, are working right, and are secure against the wiper arm. To get the most out of changing the wipers, also clean the vehicle’s glass.

The video at the top of the page covers installation of the most common style of wiper blade, often called a j-hook or hook style. See these additional videos for how to install pin or clamp style wiper blades:

We also have a guide on the different types of wiper blades that you can refer to if you’re wondering, “What Kind of Wiper Blades Do I Need?”

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