Driving your new vehicle can be a joy until things start to go wrong. It might have been perfect off the lot, but once weather and other factors take hold, your vehicle needs to be maintained. One of the items that requires attention is the windshield wipers. Though it is an easy task, it does take a few steps to figure out the perfect replacement. The first step before making the purchase is to compare brands and search for online discounts.
Do You Need To Change The Blades?
If your wiper blades are streaking, squeaking or skipping, it is time to replace the blades. The blades are made of rubber, so after several months and exposure to rain, heat, dust and anything else that comes flying at your windshield, the material breaks down. You might think that you can get away with using them for a bit longer, but these blades protect the glass and replacing the glass windshield is much more pricey compared to just the blades.
Consider Replacement Options
There are two ways you can replace the blades: Taking your vehicle to a mechanic or replacing them yourself. This decision depends on how much time you personally want to spend versus how much you literally want to spend. If you don’t have a knack for vehicles or have made a mistake in the past with your wiper blades, paying the extra for labor might be worth it. However, if you want to figure it out yourself, you can save the extra twenty dollars or more and install them yourself.
Measure, Measure, Measure
The first important part is to measure your wiper blades that are on your car, both the driver side and the passenger side. Take a tape measure out to your car, gently lift each blade and measure from one end of the rubber that touches your windshield to the other side of the blade. The left and right wiper blades might be different lengths, and that is important to know. If you aren’t confident with the number, you can look in your owner’s manual, which should list the length.
Choose Wiper Blade Styles
There are many different shapes of blades, with modern cars having curved windshields but some cars still having flat windshields or a slight curve for a streamlined windshield. Look at your current blades and consult your owner’s manual if you are not sure what type to get. You want your wipers to make the best contact with the glass so wiping is effective, especially in bad weather.
Different stores will ask for different prices of the same style of blades. You can easily get blades at superstores such as Walmart, or at auto stores such as AutoZone, as well as car dealerships and mechanics. Know the model of the blades you are looking for, and check the prices from different locations, with an online search the most effective. If you are still unsure what type of blade to get, an auto store might be your best bet, as the staff should be knowledgeable enough to help.
Remove The Old
Your wipers have three parts: the lower metal arm that attaches to the vehicle, the wiper blade that extends out of the arm and holds the third part, the rubber blade, which is the surface that touches your glass windshield and does the cleaning. To install, lift the old blades up and away from the glass until the metal arms stand perpendicular. Make sure the blade does not spring back and land back on your glass windshield. Next, look for a latch, most likely in the center of the blade, press it and slide the blade down until it is off the metal arm.
Install The New
Before installing the new blades, clean off the metal arm and the area of the windshield where the blades usually are with soap and water. Remove your new blades from their packaging. If the left and right blades are different sizes, make sure to take notice which blade you are replacing. Push the latch on your new blade, and slide the new blade down over the metal arm. You should hear or feel it click into place.
Test The Blades
Gently lower the blades to your windshield once both are installed. The blades should look similar to how your old blades looked on your windshield. To make sure they work properly, turn the ignition and wet your windshield with wiper fluid. Turn on your wiper blades to see if they work properly to remove the fluid. You can do this a few times to ensure the new blades are working properly.
Ask For Help If You Need It
If you attempted to install the blades and it did not work properly, consult the instructions that came with the blades. If these are not helpful, you can drive to an auto store, where one of the staff should be able to help you without the added cost of a mechanic.