How to Change Windscreen Wipers: Step by Step Guide
Changing your windscreen wipers is a straightforward process:
- Turn off your car engine and remove the key from the ignition. This way, there’ll be no risk of the wipers moving while you’re trying to change them.
- Carefully lift the windscreen wiper arm away from your windscreen. You should be able to lock them un an upright position.
- Depending on the make and model of your car, there’ll either be a button or a tab holding your wipers in place. If there’s a locking button, push it down. If there’s a locking tab, pop it open.
- Holding the wiper arm in place, slide out the windscreen wiper. Hold tight! If the arm springs back at this point, it could hit your windscreen and crack the glass.
- Once you’ve removed the old wiper, slide the new one into position. If there’s a locking button, it should automatically click into place. But if your wipers have a locking tab, you may have to clip it back into place yourself.
- Carefully lower the wiper back onto the windshield, and you’re done!
How Often to Change Windscreen Wipers
Over time, windscreen wipers get worn out. And as they wear out, they get less effective at cleaning your windscreen. They might miss large swathes of your windscreen, or they might start to smear rain or dirt. In many ways, old windscreen wipers can leave windscreens in a worse state than they were before you used them!
When driving, you need a clear and uninterrupted view of the road ahead. So you need to be able to rely on your windscreen wipers. That’s why it’s important to change them regularly.
Most windscreen wipers are designed to work effectively for around six months. They won’t immediately stop working after this point, but they will start to decline. So as a general rule of thumb, aim to change your windscreen wipers at least once a year. Maybe you could make a point of changing them just before your car gets its annual MOT?
Which Windscreen Wipers for My Car?
There are a few types of wiper blades available. Most are fit for purpose, but some are more effective than others. Flat wiper blades, for example, put greater pressure on the glass than conventional blades, which means they can clean more effectively at high speeds.
It’s important to choose the right blades for your car, and for your needs. If you need some help deciding which windscreen wipers to get for your car, Halfords has an excellent online resource. Just enter your car registration and they’ll recommend the best wipers for you. Head here to find the right windscreen wipers for your car.
Signs Your Windscreen Wipers Need Replacing
If it’s been a year or more since you last changed your windscreen wipers, then you should change them immediately, as a matter of course. They don’t last forever, and it could be only a matter of time before they seriously let you down.
Beyond this, here are some tell-tale signs that it’s time to replace your windscreen wipers:
- You notice cracks and splits on the blades’ rubber.
- The wipers make a loud squeaking sound when they’re running.
- Rather than sweeping cleanly across the windscreen, the wipers skip and judder.
- Instead of cleaning your windscreen completely, the wipers leave noticeable streaks and smears. This might just mean that your wipers need cleaning – there may be dirt or leaves trapped in the blades. But if the problem persists, it’s time to get a replacement.
Don’t Leave it Too Late!
It’s no exaggeration to say that, if you fail to replace your windscreen wipers, it could result in a serious accident.
This would be bad enough. But it gets worse. If you’re involved in an accident caused by old or worn windscreen wipers, then it may affect your car insurance. Insurers may not pay out if they find you don’t keep on top of basic car maintenance.
So think: When did you last change your windscreen wipers? And are they working like they should? If it’s been a while, or if you notice any signs of wear and tear, replace them as soon as you can.