How to change windscreen wipers

Windscreen wipers play a very important role in maintaining the safety of a vehicle's occupants. They are used to clear raindrops and grime, ensuring the driver has a clear view of the road ahead. Windscreen wipers wear out or become damaged, which is the time to change them.

When is it time to change the windscreen wipers?

It is not difficult to tell when the windscreen wipers need to be changed. When the wipers are switched on and make a screeching sound as they sweep across the windscreen, it is a sure indication that the blades need changing. Over time, the rubber becomes hard and deteriorates.

Another sign that the blades need changing is when streaks of water are left on the screen, they judder or leave unwiped streaks on the windscreen. Once again, this is because the rubber blades have hardened and are beginning to disintegrate.

It should be noted that these problems also occur with rear screen wipers. The reasons are exactly the same as for the windscreen and will necessitate the rubber blades having to be replaced.

Another reason why wipers become damaged and have to be changed is chips on the windscreen. Chipped windscreens should always be fixed as quickly as possible; otherwise the screen may crack suddenly, without warning.

It should also be remembered that the windscreen wipers must be in full working order if the car is to pass its MOT test. They should be checked regularly and if necessary replaced before the vehicle is taken to the test centre.

Changing windscreen wipers

Having ascertained that the current set of windscreen wipers are unfit for purpose they need to be changed. To do this the wiper arm has to be lifted away from the windscreen. As it is fitted with a spring, not much force is required to lift it.

The wiper blade is fitted to the blade by pivots. The lower part of the blade should be pushed until it is set at an angle of 90° to the wiper arm. There is a centre clip on the arm to hold the blade, which can be pushed down with a thumb as the blade is pushed along the arm. The blade will now be able to be pulled away.

To fit the new blade it has to be pushed through the centre clip. The blade can now be pushed along the wiper arm and secured by the pivots.

The process of changing windscreen wiper blades might differ slightly between car models, so it is always advisable to first check the handbook.