How to change wiper blades

By: Lisa Harper

At this time of year, we often experience unpredictable weather conditions; it can be fine and dry one minute with spring showers the next. To ensure your visibility is always clear, no matter what the conditions it is a good idea to check that your wiper blades are in good working condition. Our handy guide explains when, why and how to change your wiper blades.

Why replace wiper blades

Windscreen wipers are essential to keep your windscreen clear so that you can see the road ahead clearly. For any car to be deemed roadworthy and to pass an MOT, it must have windscreen wipers correctly fitted and in full working order.

Wiper blades are prone to wear, as the rubber gradually perishes. As a general rule wiper blades should be replaced approximately every twelve months.  However, exposure to direct sunlight and extreme cold can quicken the perishing process, so people living in particularly warm or cold climates may find that they have to change their wiper blades more frequently. 

When the rubber of the wiper blades perishes, it can result in the wiper blades smearing your windscreen leaving you with an obscured view. Incorrectly functioning windscreen wipers can result in your car to failing its MOT. Don’t chance it, wiper blades are easy to fit and relatively inexpensive, so it isn’t worth risking an unnecessarily fail.

Common signs windscreen wipers need replacing 

If your wiper blades are presenting any of the below it is probably a good idea to change them;

- Wipers leave streaks or smears across the glass

- Windscreen wipers judder as they pass over the glass

- Wipers make unusual noises when in operation (wiper blades should operate silently)

It is a good idea to get into the habit of giving wiper blades a clean every month and check the rubber for any tears in the process. Don’t forget to check the rear wiper blade too. 

How to change wiper blades – A step-by-step guide

The good news is that hanging wiper blades is really easy, takes little time and usually only requires the replacement wiper blades. The important thing is to make sure you get the right replacement blades for your car. Many companies will advise you which blades are right for your vehicle and some even have an online checker, where you simply input your registration number to find which are the right blades for your vehicle.

Wiper arm with retaining clip

1.    Lift the wiper arm from the windscreen and swing the blade so it is at a right angle to the arm

2.    Press the central lever within the fastening mechanism to release the wiper blade from the arm (some fastening mechanism require you to unscrew the mechanism with a screwdriver)

3.    You can then fit the replacement wiper blade, secure the fastening mechanism and replace the wiper onto the windscreen

Wiper arm without retaining clip

1. Lift the wiper arm from the windscreen and swing the blade so it is at a right angle to the arm

2. Pull the wiper blade free from the arm

3. You can then fit the new blade and replace the wiper onto the windscreen

When you replace the wiper blade, you should make sure the blade is completely secure. We also recommend switching the windscreen wipers on to test they are working correctly before setting off.

How to keep your new wiper blades in good condition

Now you know how to replace your windscreen wipers we thought you’d appreciate some tips on how to keep them in tip-top condition for longer. 

- Regularly wipe the wiper rubber blade using kitchen paper or a cloth dampened with either malt vinegar or neat windscreen washer fluid to help prevent smearing.

- When you wash your car, don’t neglect your wiper blades, clean them using a sponge or cloth and spongy water for a more thorough clean.

- When you return to your car after it has been raining you should make sure your wipers are switched off before starting the car. This will prevent them from dragging on the windscreen which is abrasive to the rubber.

- In freezing conditions, you should make sure that the wiper blades aren’t stuck to your windscreen before trying to switch them on. This can help to prevent causing damage to your wiper motor unit and the rubber from tearing. 

We hope this guide has armed you with the knowledge to confidently replace your wiper blades. However, if you’re still not sure, fear not, when you buy windscreen wipers from Stoneacre, we will fit them completely free of charge. 

Please note we record all our calls to ensure that we give you the service you deserve.