Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Change wiper blades

Change wiper blades yourself

by Alex Steil

Never pay a shop to change wiper blades

Changing wiper blades is easy even for the least skilled DIYer. There are several different styles of wiper arms and blades but they all have one thing in common; the wiper blades snap off the wiper arm by releasing a latch.

Several styles of wiper arms

The wiper arm is the piece that connects to the wiper transmission and moves j-hook wiper bladethe wiper blade across the windshield. Over the years, carmakers have used six different wiper blade attachment methods. The “J-hook” is the most common type on late-model vehicles.

Change wiper blades on a J-hook style wiper arm

CAUTION: You will be lifting the wiper arm off the windshield and removing the wiper blade. The wiper arm is spring-loaded. Once the blade is removed, the J-hook is exposed. If the spring-loaded wiper arm slips out of your hand and hits the windshield, it can crack the glass. Always place a towel on the glass to prevent accidental glass breakage.

Step #1 Lift the wiper arm off the glass

lift wiper arm off glass

Step #2 Lay towel on glass to prevent breakage

change wiper blade put towel
Step #3 Locate wiper blade relase tab and latch
wiper arm release tab
Step #4 Use a key to pop up the latch (if equipped)
change wiper blade

Rotate latch to full open position
open wiper blade latch

Step #5 Depress tab and push wiper blade down to disengage from J-hook
remove wiper blade from wiper arm
Step #6 Align new wiper blade with J-hook and push up into the hook until it latches in place

Install winter wiper blades for best snow removal

Winter wiper blades have a flexible rubber boot surrounding the structure to prevent ice from forming and causing streaks.

winter versus summer wiper blade
©, 2020 Rick Muscoplat and Alex Steil

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