It’s always a good idea to inspect your windscreen wipers whenever you’re cleaning your front or rear windscreen. You may want to replace them before the rubber is brittle and cracked, as you never know when you might be driving in a deluge where wipers could make the difference between adequate visibility and no visibility. Wiper blades should be replaced at least once a year, or when any smearing or chattering occurs when the wipers are in use.
What To Replace?
You can change your wiper blades in two ways, depending on where the fault lies. If you’re just experiencing minor problems with the rubber on a blade in a newer car, then you’ll probably only need to change the insert. However, if you have an older car, or if there are definite signs of corrosion or damage to the blade itself, the whole unit may need replacing.
Removing Wiper Blades
Whether you’re looking to just replace an insert or the entire part, you will need to remove the wiper blade from the car. Pull the wiper blade away from the windscreen and carefully inspect the assembly for a small tab or leaver, which will help lock the part in place. Depress this carefully and slide the blade out of the assembly. Be careful to keep the remaining part of the blade arm away from the car, as this will damage the windscreen if allowed to snap back into place.
Changing An Insert
Check what type of fixing holds the insert in place. Car manufacturers use a number of different systems. If your car uses the lock and tab system, then you’ll need to carefully squeeze and pinch the tabs to release the insert. The most commonly found alternate system uses a button mechanism that allows you to simply remove the insert. Once you have the old part out of the blade, then carefully thread the new insert into position and re-fix.
Replacing The Wiper Blades
The process is the same for attaching a new wiper blade, or refitting an old blade with a new insert. Carefully line up the hook on the wiper blade and the curved part of the assembly before you attempt to fix them together. Then slide the blade’s hook through the assembly and round the fixed curve, before pulling it in tightly so that both parts click into place. A pro-tip here is to only ever remove one blade at a time, allowing you to refer back to the part that’s still in the assembly should you get into any trouble.
Check Smooth Operation
Finally you’ll want to check that your new insert or wiper blade is functioning correctly, as finding out you’ve made a mistake on a rainy day can be incredibly dangerous. Turn your car on and start the wiper motors from the dash. Pour some normal tap water on the windscreen, and check that this is removed adequately. If excess liquid remains, then go back and check that you’ve mounted the new blade or rubber insert correctly.