Project Guide

How to Change Windshield Wipers

1
Check your Wipers Condition and Determine Your Wiper Size
Man removing windshield wiper from package.

Check the condition of your wipers at least every six months and replace once a year. If you live in a particularly sandy or dusty area, windshield wiper replacement may need to happen more often. When inspecting your wipers, lift each arm and run your finger along the rubber of the blades to feel for cracks or tears. Return the wipers to their normal resting position on the glass and check that the entire length of both rubber blades is touching the windshield.


If you determine new wipers are necessary:

  • Use a tape measure to measure both blades and make note of their exact length.
  • You can also consult your car’s Owner’s Manual for wiper blade specifications.

  

Tip: Always measure both blades as the windshield wiper on the passenger's side is often a different length than the one of the driver's side. If your car has a rear windshield wiper, you should note its measurement as well and replace windshield wipers for both areas at the same time.

2
Remove the Old Windshield Wiper
Person removing old windshield wiper from wiper arm.
  • Turn everything off and make sure the car is in park and the emergency brake is on before attempting any repairs.
  • Lift the arm away from the windshield and pull it all the way out so it remains fully extended on its own.
  • Look for a small tab, tabs, or buttons on the bottom of the wiper blade where it meets the arm.
  • Depress the tab and pull the center of the blade towards the bottom of the arm.
  • Slide the blade off the arm.
  • Remove and replace one blade at a time, so you always have an installed blade to reference if you get confused during the process.

  

Tip: Before starting the installation process, turn the vehicle to accessory mode and run the wipers until they're mid-swipe and pointing straight up. Some models don't allow you to do this, but if they do, this can make installation easier.


Safety: When replacing wipers, you can either do it with both wiper arms fully extended the entire time or have them rest on the glass between old wiper removal and installing the new blade. Be very mindful of the bare wiper arms if you keep them propped open - if they slap back and hit the windshield, they could crack the glass or damage the wiper arms. Avoid this by putting rags on the glass and then resting the bare wiper arms on the rags.

3
Line Up the New Wiper Blade
Person aligning wiper blade with tabs.
  • Look at your new wiper. On the side with the plastic clip that attaches to the windshield wiper’s arm, you’ll see one end has a slight curve and the other end is flat.
  • Hold the wiper blade upside down and align the hook-shaped curve of the wiper’s arm with the curved top end of your new wiper.
4
Attach the New Blades
Person attaching new windshield wiper blade to blade hook.
  • Move the hook on the wiper’s arm over the plastic clip on your new wiper, then pull the wiper upward so that the clip’s edge slides into place.
  • Pull tightly so that the entire plastic assembly on the new wiper clicks into place.
  • Gently place the arm down against your windshield and check to make sure the entirety of the blade touches the glass.
  • Repeat this process on the other blade.
5
Test the New Blades
New windshield wiper blades clearing the rain from a windshield.

Spray your windshield wiper fluid or use a garden hose to spray your windshield and test your wiper blades to make sure they’re working properly.