Luke's Car Advice: Changing Your Wipers

By Luke Caesar - General Manager - August 05, 2017

Luke's Car Advice: Changing Your Wipers

Windscreen wipers need to be changed every couple of years, depending on the climate where you live, to have optimum performance.

Changing wipers is an easy task that saves you $$

If you can do this yourself, it’ll only cost you about $30, where a mechanic may charge you $60 or more. As a rough guide, you’ll need to replace your wipers every 6 months or each 10, 000 km.

Signs it’s time to change your windscreen wipers

When it starts to rain and you flick the wipers on, it’s a sure sign it’s time for new wipers when you get streaks across the windscreen, or a milky film, or unusual sounds, like a scraping or scratching noise.

Other signs it’s time for new wiper refills are if the blades skip across your windscreen, or leave parts of the windscreen unwiped, indicating that there’s not enough pressure between the wiper and the glass.

When you look at the rubber part of the wiper, you might see that it’s dry and cracked. This means it’s time for new wiper blades. You’ve got 2 options: you can either replace the wiper blade itself, or you can just replace the rubber refill.

Here's the steps you'll take to select the right wiper blades, remove the old ones and install the new wipers:

How to Install New Windscreen Wipers:

Changing your own wiper blades is actually pretty straight forward if you follow these steps.

1. Choosing the right replacement

You can buy windscreen wiper blades at an auto store or at some petrol stations. You’ll need to get the right one for your car, so check your car manual, or ask someone in the store to help you find the one’s you need.

2. Remove the old windscreen wiper blades

The first step is to lift the entire wiper so it stand out vertically from your windscreen. You should then turn the blade perpendicular to the arm so the hinge is visible.

With the windscreen wiper in this position, you should be able to see a small tab on one side of the hinge. If you pull this out you’ll hear a ‘snap’, and the rubber blade will be released.

If there isn’t a rubber tab there may be a metal clip which you will squeeze to release the rubber blade.

You can then slide the old wiper blade out of the wiper frame. You might use pliers for this step to give yourself some leverage and make it easier to extract the old rubber blade.

Your wiper blade will then have the metal exposed, so rest it in a position where it can’t fall back and scratch the windscreen while you get the replacement blade ready for insertion.

3. Insert the new rubber blade

Get the new rubber blade. You’ll be able to see fairly easily which side slides into the metal wiper blade and which will be pressed against the windscreen once it’s in position. Slide the rubber into the metal claw until it’s fitted along the length of the wiper blade.

You might need to trim the new rubber blade. Be sure to leave about 25mm after the metal claw that holds the rubber in place.

4. When to change the entire wiper blade

If your wiper blades have become corroded or misshapen, it pays to replace the entire metal blade rather than just the rubber refill. You can choose a plastic or metal backing. Once again, you’ll need to check your car manual or ask sales staff to get the right wiper blade for your vehicle.

If you decide to change the whole windscreen wiper, not just the blade, you might opt for a coloured wiper to add some character to your car.

Further tips to keep your windscreen clear

To ensure you always have a clear view of the road there’s a couple of other things you should check when you replace your windscreen wipers;

  • Ensure your windscreen washer reservoir is full of clean water. This is used to spray the windscreen to wash dirt away - if this water gets dirty or runs out it won’t clean your windscreen properly.
  • Adding a windscreen washer additive can help to keep your windscreen clean for longer.

If you get stuck then the staff auto store where you purchase the wiper blade refills should be able to help you to fit them.