If you can’t remember the last time you switched your windshield wiper blades for new ones, it’s probably time to do it. Check the rubber strips on your blades. If they look cracked or uneven, they need to be replaced. Of course, if you’ve been getting streaky effects on your windshield, you don’t even need to think about whether to spend a few minutes on this DIY maintenance.
Head to the parts shop (or Wal-Mart) and find the wiper blades. There, you will find a book in which you can look up your car’s make, model, and year. The book will tell you what size blades to get.
Now, it is possible to just buy the rubber strip. DO NOT do this! You will tear your hair out. Just buy the full blades. They can run you between 5 and 15 dollars each. I sprung for the 11 dollar blades, because they looked sleek. Aesthetics is as good a reason as any, right?
Step 1: Approach your car quietly, from the side so that it can see you but won’t suspect any suspicious motives. Pet it and say hello.
Step 2: Figure out if you need to remove your wipers or not. Most cars will let you pull the arm up into a locked position. Mine don’t do that. Mine will snap back into place no matter what. See the little metal part on the top side of the arm, near the base? That’s the release pin. If your car has one of these, pay attention. If not, you can skip to Step 4 once you have your wiper arms locked in the upright position.
Step 3: With one hand, lift the arm as far as it will go.
While holding the arm up, use your other hand to pop the release pin into the out position (it doesn’t come all the way out though; it’s like a switch).
Then, lower the arm a bit and pull outward. The wiper arm will come off.
Step 4: Remove the old blades. There are three basic types of blades attachment mechanisms.
One looks like a hook. For this kind, swing the blade so it is perpendicular to the arm. Then, find the release lever on the bottom, and firmly slide the blade toward your car.
The second type is a bayonet arm. You shouldfind a lever to release the blade, and slide the blade away from the car.
If yours is like mine, it has a pin. Now this sort is SUPPOSED to have a spring-loaded release button on the blade that you can push with a screwdriver. Or a release lever. Mine Didn’t. And my blade was rusted to the pin. So to get mine off, I had to use a lot of WD-40 and a lot of force. If you have a pin on yours, look for a release button or lever before you start pounding it on the asphalt.
Step 5: Once you get your blades off, orient the new ones in the same direction the old ones were facing…
…and put them on. Basically, do the same thing you did to get them off, but backwards and easier.
Make sure you lock (listen for the snap) the blades onto the arms, using whatever mechanism your wiper blades are equipped with.
Step 6: If you had to take your wiper arms off, replace them. Lower the arm onto the attachy-dealie, and snap the release pin back into place. Gently lower the blade onto the windshield.
New wiper blades!
Step 7: Try out your new blades. Squirt the washer fluid and let the blades go crazy. If they don’t fly off, bounce, or squeal, you should be good to go!
Now you have no excuse! Go forth into the world, buy thyself new wiper blades, and live streak-free!
PS. If this looks too confusing and you don’t want to replace your wiper blades yourself, usually the guy at the auto parts store will be happy to help you out for free (if you buy your new blades there). Be sure to say thank you!