Changing your wipers is easy and takes just five minutes to do!
The UK has unpredictable weather to say the least, which means our windscreen wipers play an important role in maintaining our safety on the road. Wiper blades are essential for seeing the road ahead in wet conditions and they also clear stray leaves, salt and other debris that blows into your line of vision.
However, over time, the effectiveness of wiper blades deteriorates, and you’ll need to replace them when this happens. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you understand when to replace your wipers and how to fit your new blades.
How will I know when to replace wiper blades?
A tell-tale sign that windscreen wipers need replacing is when they begin to smear or leave streaks across your windscreen. They may even be making a screeching sound or start juddering.
What kind of windscreen wipers do I need?
Wiper blades come in a variety of types and sizes, which can be confusing if you're not sure what you’re looking for. The correct windscreen wipers for your car can be found in your vehicle handbook, or just do a quick search online.
Check out our quick guide to buying wiper blades for everything you need to know – including the different types of blades available, how to find the right ones for your car and more.
How do I replace my windscreen wipers?
Time taken: 5 minutes
Equipment needed: Replacement wiper blades
Before following our how-to guide, we recommend that you:
- Give your windscreen a clean to remove any dirt and grime. Check out this blog for some top tips when cleaning your car windows.
- Consult your vehicle handbook for the correct way to set the wiper arm for removing the blade. It’s important that you do this to avoid damage to the arm when you take it off.
Step 1: Position the wipers
Have your wipers in the upright position and switch them off. Make sure you remove your key from the ignition to stop the wiper arm moving once the blade is removed.
Step 2: Lift the wiper arms
Lift the wiper arm away from the windshield and – if your car allows them to fully extend – lock it in the fully upright position, usually around a 90-degree angle. If your car doesn’t allow the arm to be locked in place, be careful to keep hold of it and don’t let it spring back, as it could shatter the glass once the blade is removed.
Top tip: For added peace of mind, place a towel down to safeguard your windshield from any damage.
Step 3: Remove the old blades
The removal process largely depends on what type of arm connector your car uses. If you have the classic j-hook connection, it’s fairly straightforward: slide the blade down towards the base of the arm, and it’ll easily unhook. Other attachment mechanisms have a tab or button that you can lift or push to release the blade from the arm. Plus, if the arms have a locking mechanism, this should be disengaged before removing the old blades.
Step 4: Clip in the new blade
Once you’ve removed the old blades, remove the plastic protector from the new blades and attach them using the same method. The installation process may vary depending on the attachment mechanism, but just take your time and be gentle with your wiper blades. The aim is to slide your wiper into place, making sure it locks back in. If your wiper features a locking button, you’ll hear it click. Or if it has a locking tab, make sure you’ve manually clipped it back into place.
Step 5: Check the alignment
Make sure the blade is aligned with the windshield and isn’t twisted, and then repeat the process for the other blade if you're replacing the front blades.
Step 6: Place the wipers back on the windscreen
If you're using a towel to protecting the windscreen, remove it and gently lower the wiper arm back onto the windscreen or rear window.
Step 7: Test your new wipers
Visually check that the blades are sat on the windscreen correctly. If you're happy with how they're sat, test out your new blades to check they’re fitted properly and functioning correctly.
If they’re squeaking, juddering or not working, you might need to make a few adjustments.
Some common mistakes you might want to avoid include:
- Buying the wrong size – double-check you have the right size for your specific car.
- Forgetting to remove the plastic protectors.
- Mishandling the wiper arm – make sure you don’t let this smack the windshield and cause any cracks.
- Rushing the installation – always take your time and make sure everything is fitting properly.
- Forgetting to test – always check your new wipers before you hit the road.
Shop our full range of windscreen wipers here.
If you found this blog helpful, you might like to read:
- Guide: How to find the correct wiper blades
- How to de-ice a windscreen quickly and safely
- Top tips for cleaning your car windows
- How to change car light bulbs