But as a first line of defence against the elements, they take a beating and, eventually, their rubber blades wear down. And when windshield wiper blades wear down, they wear out and must be replaced.
Here are some quick points on how to replace your windshield wiper blades:
1. Inspect wiper blades for damage
To ensure the wiper blades are what are causing your windshield wipers to malfunction, check the blades carefully for damage or signs of wear. Run your fingers along the rubber surface of each blade, feeling and looking for any deformations, tears, cracks or bumps.
2. Determine what size you need
Windshield wiper blades are sold in several lengths and without the correct size your windshield wipers cannot work properly. To ensure you are looking for the right size, measure the blades before you go to the store. Your car owner’s manual may also list the correct lengths. Keep in mind that the lengths of the passenger side and driver side windshield wiper blades may be different.
3. Determine what type of blade you need
In Canada, our windshields are hit with everything, from snow to sleet to bugs. To ensure your windshield wipers are working in colder weather, you might consider purchasing winter wiper blades. Specially engineered for colder weather (and what comes with it), winter blades stay flexible and effective in sub-zero temperatures.
4. Detach the old blades
The process of detaching windshield wiper blades from the windshield wipers varies from car model to car model. But the two most common types of windshield wipers have their blades attached by pins or hooks. To remove the blades from their fixtures, look for a lock mechanism, usually a button or switch which must be pressed or opened. The blades can then be detached.
5. Replace the old blades
To attach new blades to your windshield wipers, carefully slide them onto their hooks until the locking mechanism clicks or put them into position before reinserting the pin, depending on the type of wiper. Firmly close and double check any locking mechanisms to avoid the blades coming loose or not working correctly.
6. Test the new blades
Before setting out on the open road, always ensure your blades are working properly. To do this, run your windshield wiper blades on all the speed settings, taking careful note of whether the blades are staying taut. To avoid damaging the new blades, spray healthy doses of windshield wiper fluid throughout your testing.