How to Install Windshield Wipers

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Rainy days, snowy afternoons or foggy mornings all have one thing in common — if you’re out driving in them, you’ll need a good set of windshield wipers to keep your windscreen clear. As they wear out, the wipers need replacement. Thankfully, this is a task that you can do yourself, so you don’t need to worry about taking a trip to the shop and paying extra for this simple thing. Check out these easy-to-follow steps to help you replace your windshield wipers. 

Different Types of Wiper Clips

Before you start removing the wipers, you need to look at the blade mount. There are six different types of blade mounts, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Hook-style clips are simple j-shaped hooks that latch to the wiper with the tab. Side-lock and top-lock models are self-explanatory. Bayonet-style clips are a single straight bar of steel with a hole for the wiper tab to click into. Slim-top clips share a similar design. Pinch-tabs hold tightly to the wiper blade. 

Most wipers you purchase in auto parts stores will come with various adaptors that work for any or all of these clip types. Some makes and models may have a specific kind of wiper clip you can only get from the dealership, but in most cases, you won’t have to go further than your local AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts to get some new wiper blades. 

Decide What to Replace

In most cases, replacing the entire wiper blade will be the easiest option, but if you can’t find replacement blades, you may be able to replace the rubber insert instead. These inserts are the only part of the blade that comes into contact with the windshield. Replacing the inserts is easy. They come in a pack of two and are one-size-fits-all, so all you need to do is remove the old inserts, place the new ones and cut them down to size. It’s quick, easy and often more cost-effective than replacing the whole wiper assembly. 

Remove The Old Wipers

If you’re not replacing the inserts, the first step is to remove the old wipers. Lift the wiper arms one at a time and determine what kind of wiper clip you have. In most cases, there will be a tab that you can press to release the existing wiper from the arm. Once you’ve removed the wiper, lower it slowly. Leaving the wiper arms up might seem more convenient, but it snaps back down without a wiper blade if you bump one. 

Install New Windshield Wipers

Once you’ve removed the old wipers, installing the new ones is simple. Wipers are often two different lengths. The driver’s side blade will be longer than the passenger side, with few exceptions. The driver needs better visibility than the passenger, so using a longer wiper on the driver’s side makes sense. Remove the blades from the packaging and clip them on the arm. Lower them gently back down to the windshield and you’re done!

An Easy Afternoon DIY

Replacing wipers might seem intimidating initially, but once you’ve done it yourself once or twice and learned how to install windshield wipers, you’ll never go back to the shop for this easy afternoon DIY again.

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