How to Replace Windshield Wipers

Person holding windshield wiper blade
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-30
What You'll Need
New wipers or wiper blades
Flathead screwdriver
Large rag or cloth
What You'll Need
New wipers or wiper blades
Flathead screwdriver
Large rag or cloth

Anyone with a car or light truck will eventually need to know how to replace windshield wipers. Even the wipers on a new car will wear out and will need to be replaced. As simple as it is to replace windshield wipers, it makes no sense to pay a mechanic to change them. Replacing them may seem a bit tricky at first, but with the right instructions you can have your wipers changed within seconds.

Step 1 - Choose and Buy Your Wipers

Because there are various types of windshield wipers, you'll need to know before buying new ones which wipers will fit your vehicle. You'll likely find buying new wipers to be less challenging if you take a wiper off your vehicle and in with you to the auto parts store. A second option will be to buy your wiper from an authorized dealer of your car model. Before buying your new wiper, examine your old one to determine if you'll need a new wiper or just a refill for the wiper. If you are concerned about whether you'll have the skill to attach a new wiper, you'll find that replacing the entire wiper takes less skill then replacing the rubber refill.

Step 2 - Remove the Existing Wiper

person holding windshield wiper

To better determine how your wiper blade is attached, lift the wiper arm away from the windshield. Locate the release tab connecting the blade and wiper arm. You'll find the connecting mechanism will be one of three different types. From the descriptions for these types you'll find below, determine which type is attached to your vehicle and the method you'll need to use to remove it:

Universal Slide - This wiper blade is most commonly used. To remove it from your vehicle, locate a lever on the wiper's connection bottom position. Press this lever and slide the blade toward the wiper arm base.

Side Pin - To remove this blade, locate a small pin with a spring lock button. With a small flathead screwdriver, press this button while pulling the blade away from the arm.

Bayonet Arm - Locate the locking lever and lift it. While it is in the raised position, slide the blade outward.

Step 3 - Install the New Wipers

rear windshield wiper on black car

New blades will usually come with directions for installing them, including instruction pictures. If you need additional instructions for installing your new wiper blade, refer to those below.

Universal Slide - Locate the hook on the wiper arm, position the new blade to a point just below this hook, then slide it into the hook. When it is in the right position you'll hear it snap into place.

Side Pin - Position the hole in the blade onto the pin you find on the arm. You'll know it is securely in place when it becomes locked.

Bayonet Arm - Locate the locking lever and raise it. Move the blade toward the wiper arm base until it stops.

Step 4 - Test Your New Blade

To test your new blade, spray water or windshield cleaner onto your windshield and turn your wiper on.