Changing And Care Of Windshield Wipers

Learn how to do the simple task of chinging a windshield wiper yourself. Don't get caught in the rain with winshield wipers that fail to work?

Windshield wipers deteriorate after 6 to 12 months exposure to the elements of the weather and should be replaced. Most of the time, only the rubber squeegee (this is called a refill when buying the part) needs replacing. If the swivels in the blade assembly are worn or corroded, the entire unit must be replaced. Rubber covered snow blades keep ice out of the blade assembly. Occasionally, the arm must be replaced; the usual cause of arm failure is a rusted tension spring.

Replacement blades always come with installation instructions. Getting the old blade off is the first step. Take the old blade along with you when you buy a new one, so that you can match it up with the correct sized one. Wash away grime from the windshield and squeegees periodically with a mild soap and warm water.

A dirty or worn wiper will streak and smear. Clean or replace the rubber squeegees. A brittle squeegee or twisted arm will chatter. Replace squeegee or straighten the arm if possible.

Wiper arm replacement-

Pry wiper arm off with a coin or screwdriver. Pivot releases latch on cars so equipped with this feature. On some imports, arm is held by a nut. Position new arm on shaft so that it does not hit windshield frame when in use, and rests about one inch from cowl when not in use.

To fix a chattering blade, turn off engine when wiper is at midstroke. Twist arm until it stays parallel to glass. Otherwise, replace the arm.

Squeegee replacement-

On a brand of blade called Anco, push the red button, remove the link, and pull out the squeegee. Thread the refill through both links. Snap loose link back into place.

On other blades, squeeze ends of metal clip together and pull out squeegee. Thread refill back into the blade assembly and push clip home.

How to remove various other assemblies:

Bayonet arm-

Press release lever under connector, pull blade off.

Side-Pin Arm-

Depress release lever, slide blade off the pin.

Locker arm-

Pull out side lock, lift off blade assembly. Push blade toward base of arm and lift off.

Shallow hook-

Pull out side lock, rotate blade and remove. Press blade against arm, rotate and remove.

Shepherd's Crook-

Squeeze spring arms together; slide blade off.

Push lever down until arm unlocks; slide blade off.

Remember, in order to keep your windshield wiper blades and arms running like new, always use windshield wiper anti-freeze and not water in your windshield washer system. This helps to keep your squeegees from freezing and drying out.

If they dry out they will crack and turn brittle.

This is the reason we have to change them in the first place. Also keep them clean and free from wax, when waxing your car. If wax gets on the squeegees, the wax will cause them to stick to the windshield, thus causing the arms to stick, and replacement of the squeegees will be needed. You will then wind up having to re-bend the arms also if they get bent out of shape.

© High Speed Ventures 2011