Category Archives: Replacing Wiper Blades

Wiper Blades Troubleshooting Guide

The windshield wiper assembly is generally a trouble-free, reliable unit. The most common problems that arise when the wiper blades are not working properly. Wiper blades are exposed to weather extremes, rain, dust, snow and debris, apart from a host of other pollutants. They are generally made of a rubber-based compound which over a period of time becomes hard and brittle. When the wiper blades reach this stage they are unable to clear the windshield properly resulting in a streaky or dirty windshield. Another problem is that hard wiper blades can cause irreparable damage by scratching the windshield. Here is a list of common complaints relating to wiper blades:

Problems That Can Happen With Wiper Blades

  • Streaking of the windshield happens when the rubber of the wiper blade has dried, hardened or cracked.
  • Worn rubber which can be seen as rounding of the leading edge of the wiper blade. This indicates that the blades have served their useful life.
  • Chattering of the wiper blade along with a juddering motion happens when the rubber has developed a ‘permanent set’ or ‘curve’. A permanent set indicates that the blades have become warped as a result of having been parked too long and not used.
  • Split and torn blades are the effect of ozone and ultraviolet rays on the rubber of the wiper blades. The rubber becomes brittle and develops cracks which split and tear after some time.
  • Shredded rubber blades happen when there is excessive play because of worn or loose fitting adaptors.

If you are experiencing any of the problems described above, the solution is to replace your wiper blades.

Repair Windshield Wiper Blades

Another common irritant is excessive noise when the wipers are in operation. The way to tackle this is to inspect your wipers. Very often the problem might be as simple as dirty wiper blades. The answer is to clean the wiper blades with a solution of baking soda and liquid washing soap in warm water which generally takes care of the noise.

If the noise continues, check that the wiper blades are properly seated in the adaptors. If you have recently changed your wiper blades check that they have been properly installed using the correct adaptors. If there is a problem here you might have to replace the wiper blades or use the proper adaptors.

If you are still experiencing problems with your wiper assembly it could be because of a damaged or bent wiper arm or improper pressure between the wiper blades and the windshield. You might like to check the arm assembly and the linkage to identify the source of the problem. If the arm is bent or the wiper blade is broken, your only solution is to replace the assembly.

Even the Best Wiper Blades will succumb to the external elements. Therefore, it is advisable to replace wiper blades at least once every year though most motorists don’t do this.

How To Change Wiper Blades

Wiper blades are constantly exposed to sunlight and varying weather, and have to contend with harmful pollutants, dust and debris. After a time, any wiper blade becomes brittle and begins to tear. The result is poor wiping leaving streaks and worse, could even scratch your windshield. Experts recommend changing windshield wiper blades every six months to a year for optimal performance.

New Assembly or Refill Windshield Wiper Blades

You can replace the whole wiper assembly for best performance or you can replace the set of blades with refills which is a cheaper alternative. Refills are available for virtually all standard wipers. When buying a wiper blade replacement it might be a good idea to use the old wiper blade as a sample to make certain of the correct size. If you are deciding to buy online then check the car manual for the exact specification, or search for wipers by car make and model. Most wiper blades come with adapters which fit on practically any kind of connector. There are various different types of wiper blades available. A silicone coated, natural rubber blade will give you better and more lasting performance. Other new blades made of rubber compounds too give you more life.

What Tools Would I Need to Replace Wiper Blades?

The only tool you will need when replacing wiper blades is a flat head screwdriver.
What are the steps to take to replace a wiper blade?

    • Move your wipers to an upright position using the ignition.
    • Place an old tee shirt or cloth on the windshield to protect it if anything should accidently drop on it.
    • Turn the wipers out. If you are using wiper blade refills, first remove the old rubbers which you are planning to replace. They might be secured with snaps and tabs which you will have to open out to release the blade.
    • Slide in the refills and secure the snaps and tabs so the wiper blade refills are firmly secured.
    • If you are changing the wiper blade, remove the old wiper blade first. Every kind of wiper will have its own method of fastening the wiper blade which might be a hook or snap which can be opened with a screwdriver. Most likely this will be illustrated on your new assembly. When you fit in the new assembly, reverse the process so that it is firmly secured to the arm.
    • In some vehicles the wiper blade is different for the driver and passenger side. Make sure you are fitting the correct one.
    • Check your wipers using the windshield washers. Make sure the blades are secure and sweeping effectively.

Watch The Video below to help you understand how to change wiper blades