Wipers are a critical piece of safety equipment when driving in the rain and for cleaning up your windshield when it gets dirty enough to compromise your view of the road. If you can’t see where you’re going on the road while driving, that’s a very serious problem and an accident waiting to happen.
Figure 1 Wiper Blades: An important safety component
Wiper blades are considered as vehicle consumables, like tires. Just like tires, they eventually wear out and need replacement. Tell-tail signs will be screeching sounds as it moves over the windshield, leaving noticeable streaks on the windshield after wiping and chatter (slight jumping or hopping movements) as it moves over the windshield. Wipers operating properly should not create unusual sounds and should clean the windshield of water within a few swipes without leaving any streaks or areas with water. Putting off changing wipers can lead to a serious accident if caught in a sudden downpour so it’s important to get them replaced fast. Fortunately, replacing them is not difficult and should be quick, (often) requires no special tools and can be bought at many large petrol stations and spare parts suppliers around the country.
Lift the wiper arm above the windshield. Be careful, the arm is spring loaded and may spring back and hit the windshield or your hand.
Figure 2 Popular U-type connector
Inspect the type of wiper connector you have. The U-type hook is probably the most common.
Figure 3 Press the tab at the base of the U and the wiper should just slide out
Figure 4 Wiper blade detached from wiper arm
Reverse the steps to install the new wiper. You will have to check wither online or where you buy the wipers to see if the wiper blades are the correct model. DO NOT TRY AND USE A DIFFERENT SIZE/TYPE BLADE, you may damage the arm, the windshield or have compromised performance in the rain.
Different wiper types
Not all vehicles will have the U-type connector. There are many different types of wiper connectors used, below are just a few.
Figure 5 Push button connector used on some European cars
Figure 6 Another latch type connector used on some other Japanese cars
Figure 7 You can use a key to press the button on the push button connector
Figure 8 With new wipers your windshield should be squeaky clean
As you can see, changing wipers are quite easy and there is no excuse to put off changing such an important part of your car. Do some research online about different wiper brands, but if unsure, just go with the original brand that the car came with.
Words & Images : Kanchana Gunasekera