Windshield wiper blades are important safety components that wear out over time. The design of blades determines the lifespan. You should change conventional windshield wiper blades every six months. Hybrid blades or flat blades can last up to a year. When you need to replace the wiper blades on a vehicle, confirm the wiper blade size and attachment mechanism and get the same replacement blades or upgrade conventional blades to hybrid or flat blades.
How To Check And Replace Your Windshield Wipers
The condition of the rubber element on wiper blades indicates whether blades require replacement sooner or later. Lift up the blade and check the condition of the rubber edge. Worn or damaged windshield wipers may make chattering sounds or pull away from the windshield when you are traveling at faster speeds.
Wipers that leave streaks across a windshield should be either cleaned or replaced. Clean wiper blades with a sponge or rag saturated with mild dish soap or windshield washer fluid. Regular maintenance can prolong the life of wiper blades for up to six months for standard blades or a year for hybrid or beam wipers.
Most windshield wiper blades can be replaced without specialized tools. If you need equipment you do not have, tool rental is a good way to keep costs low. If one wiper blade needs to be replaced, it is a good idea to replace all of the blades on a vehicle. Similar ages and levels of wear allow for higher performance for the rated lifespan.
Is It Easy To Replace Wiper Blades
The wiper blade attachment mechanism and hardware determine how easy these components will be to replace. Blades may be straight, hooked or have a side-lock or top-lock design. Other blades attach with bayonet, pinch tab or slim top connectors. Straight blade attachments often require you to squeeze a pair of tabs and pull the blade straight off. Hook attachments often require sliding a latch, unclipping the blade and sliding it down the arm. Reverse the removal process to install replacement blades with the same attachment style.
In addition to checking attachments, you should also determine whether the windshield wipers on your vehicle are designed for removal and replacement in the park position or while lifted. Standard wipers may have a linkage mounted below the cowl panel in front of the windshield or pivot from the corners of the windshield. Flat or beam styles feature tensioned flexors that support the full length of the rubber element on blades. Hybrid blades combine the aerodynamic design of flat blades with the performance of standard blades.
You can save money and time by replacing windshield wiper blades yourself. Make sure to select replacement parts that have attachments and hardware compatible with the design of the wipers on a vehicle. Depending on the wiper blade manufacturer, you may be able to buy vehicle-specific replacement blades or blades in any size that come with universal hardware for ease of replacement. Switch out all wiper blades at once for maximum visibility when driving in precipitation or foul weather.