When & How to replace your windshield wiper blades?

Updated Jan 21, 2021

Windshield wiper is a small part of a vehicle, yet plays a very important role in ensuring that the driver's vision is not impaired in all circumstances, especially when it rains.

Faulty wiper blades can make it harder for driver to see all obstacles on the road, sometimes even smear the windshield and result in serious visibility problems that can cause an accident. Therefore, changing the wiper lever when there are signs of malfunction is very necessary.

Advice from car maintenence experts suggests that users should replace the lever after 12-18 months of use to ensure that it stays in the best working condition. Today, wipers are often made with rubber blades of soft composite materials, so they are less abrasive. However, with the hot and humid weather like in the Philippines, the rubber wiper blade is often worn out faster, therefore quickly losing its elasticity and effectiveness.

1. When to replace the windshield wiper?

For cars that are often parked under direct sunlight, the rubber blades can become so brittle and cracked that the wipers may fail to properly grip the windshield. This makes it much more difficult to remove dirt and rain to clear the driver’s vision. Therefore, if your wiper blades are making loud squeaking noise, or if they are visibly vibrating when moving across the windshield and not doing a very good job of clearing the stains and water vapors off the glass, then it is probably a good time to decide whether or not to replace your old wiper.

>>> Read more: 8 basic car maintenance tips every driver needs to know

wipers cleaning windshield of a car in the rain

Replacement of the windshield wiper results in better visibility for the driver

In addition, the wipers also have pressure points or small arms with a spring that distributes pressure along the rubber blade and creates a force to keep the blades flexed against the windshield. If the spring force is weak, the lever cannot exert enough pressure to effectively clear the windshield. At this point, the driver should check the lever. If even a small force can pull the lever off the glass, it is best to replace the wiper blades.

2. How to replace the wiper blades?

Replacing the wiper blades is not too complicated - the driver can do it without having to drive to the repair shop. You just have to keep in mind that each vehicle will require wipers of different sizes and shapes, so you’d better read your car manual to choose the right wiper type and size as specified by the manufacturer. After replacement, you should check to ensure that the wiper is fixated to the end pressure point and cannot slip off the lever holder.

>>> Related: How to clean your car’s windshield from the inside in 4 steps

Windshield wipers

You can replace the windshield wipers without having to go to a repair shop

In order to extend the life of your wiper blades, it is advisable not to leave the car parked outdoors in the sun for long periods of time. If a properly guarded garage is not an option, the driver should equip the vehicle with a car cover.

Also, to protect the windshield wipers, drivers should regularly check and wipe the dirt off the blades every 4-6 months of use to prevent the buildup of dirt. You should not use conventional bleaches to clean the lever or the glass, but should opt for a specialized glass cleaner to avoid damaging the rubber blade.

>>> Click here to get more useful tips and advice for car owners