Wiper Blades: Everything You Need To Know About Changing Them
Abby Wingett | 25th October 2021 | 10 minutes to read
Windscreen wiper blades are a vital part of driving and are definitely overlooked by all of us. This is a safety feature that should be replaced regularly to ensure vision impairment isn’t obstructed when wet.
Below we will discuss an array of reasons as to why and how to change your wiper blades. The key points we will cover are:
- Protection: As wiper blades start to perish, they can actually cause damage to your windscreen glass. Perished wiper blades can cause scratches and marks, therefore could lead to needing a new windscreen.
- Safety: Just like having brakes on your car, visibility when driving is very important. Wiper blades are designed to clear water, dirt, and dust off your windscreen.
- Comfort: When wiper blades begin to perish, they will squeak, streak and vibrate cause an unpleasant noise. Simply turning up your favourite song will not fix the problem!
Here are some know how tips:
How long do wiper blades last?
- Wiper blades commonly last between 12 to 24 months.
- A lot of factors can indicate you need to change your wiper blades. Not only can rain affect how often you change your wipers other factors can.
- These include exposure to the sun can perish the blades, mud, ice and snow can also damage the rubbers.
What are the signs your wiper blades need replacing?
Suggests are you replace your wiper blades on schedule every 12 to 24 months. The lifespan of wiper blades can decrease due to many factors, including squeaking, excessive streaking, wet spots, and vibration/chattering noises. If you notice any of these factors arise, it is best to consider replacing your wiper blades.
Squeaking: if you hear squeaking whilst using wiper blades, this would be an indication that your wiper blades have reached the end of their life. There are several reasons why this can occur, such as brittle or torn blade edge, rubber quality has deteriorated or manufacturing defect. This is not only distracting this can also cause issues with the wiper’s performance. The wiper blades should be able to glide across the wet windscreen smoothly, free of noise.
Excessive streaking: this is an indication that the wiper blades are worn out and need replacing. Every wipe should leave the glass clear so the driver has a clear view.
Wet spots: this is an indication the wiper blades are perished no longer wipe the water away from the windscreen. This is very similar to streaking however it is more severe.
Vibration/chattering noises: this is similar to squeaking in the fact that it is a jerking/uneven movement across the windscreen that should not occur. This can cause unevenly cleaning of the water and obstruct the driver’s vision.
What happens if we don’t change the windscreen wiper blades?
Worn-down blades can cause more damage than good, especially to your windscreen. When your rubbers start to perish, the blade will start to wear away, leaving the plastic and metal wiper arms exposed. This consequently leaves scratches against the windscreen due to the plastic and metal rubbing causing damage. This may also reduce visibility and may cause cracks requiring repair of the windscreen.
How to change your wiper blades
There are two ways this can be done: you can either replace the wiper blade assembly, or you can just change just the wiper blade refills themselves.
Below encourages you to give this a go yourself it explains how to remove a wiper blade, how to replace wiper blades and how to replace windshield wiper blade rubbers.
If in doubt you are struggling with fitting wiper blades to your car, our Repco Authorised Services or your local repair shops will be able to assist you with fitment.
What will you need?
Replacing wiper blade assembly
- Lift the blade assembly from the windscreen, so the wiper blades are facing outwards from the car. Same as if you are replacing the wiper refills.
- Removing the blade assembly, we will need to remove the clip, which is located in the centre of the blade assembly. Each vehicle will have a slightly different clip on their car. The same principle applies for all removal of wiper blades press the clip on the underside of the hook and release the blade assembly. Slide the wiper towards you to remove the arm from the hook. Hint: make sure when doing this process that you ensure the hook doesn’t come down and hit the windscreen, as this will cause damage to the car.
- Once the old wiper blade assembly is removedfrom the car, use the old assembly to identify which new adapter is required to install the new wiper blade. Once identified, place the clip in the wiper blade assembly. Check the new wiper blade against the old wiper blade to ensure the length of the blades are the same.
- Lock the new wiper blade into the arm, making sure you hear a click. This indicates the wiper blade is locked in and ready to use.
- Place the wiper assembly back on the windscreen.
Replacing wiper blade refills
In a few easy steps, we will have you with brand new wiper blade refills on your car.
- Lift the blade assembly from the windscreen, so the wiper blades are facing outwards from the car.
- Remove the old blade by using the pliers, squeezing the end of the clip pulling the wiper refill towards you to remove the wiper from the assembly. Note be careful not to let the assembly fall back onto the windscreen.
- Insert the new wiper blade sliding the blade through the clips on the assembly, firmly locking the metal into the claws on the wiper blade. Make sure the wiper refill is all the way to the end of the assembly; otherwise, can cause damage to the windscreen.
- The wiper refills need to be cut to length as each car has different length wiper blades. Using the knife or scissors, cut the end of the refill to size.
- Place the wiper assembly back on the windscreen.
- After instalment, make sure you test the wiper blades to make sure they are all working properly.
- Also, make sure the windscreen washer additive is checked every time you change your wiper blades more information below about how to change it. More information is below about why and how to check the windscreen additive.
- When replacing the windscreen wiper blades, you might also want to check the windscreen reservoir at the same time.
- This is located in the engine bay. All cars have them in slightly different locations. As per the below photo, this is a guide of what the reservoir looks like, usually a blue or yellow cap.
Why is windscreen additive important?
Windscreen additive is a lubricant for all wiper blades. It helps the performance of the wiper ensuring little to no friction helping the wiper blade move smoothly over the surface of the windscreen.
Windscreen Additives not only can assist with the performance of the wipers but also can assist with removing dirt, grease and other particles picked up along the way.