How to Replace Wiper Blades
The windshield wiper blades are an essential component of any vehicle. Even in a dry climate, you need to have secure, functioning wiper blades to ensure proper visibility. In addition to sweeping away rain and snow, your wiper blades can also help you clean debris from the window while you’re driving. Here’s everything you need to know about replacing your wiper blades.
When To Replace Your Wiper Blades
Your windshield wipers are easy to overlook when you’re not using them, but they quickly become one of your vehicle’s most critical safety features when you’re driving in inclement weather. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to change your wiper blades every six months. It’s better to be proactive about this task than to find yourself with limited visibility in a rainstorm.
There are some key signs that your windshield wipers aren’t in prime condition. You should change your blades immediately if you notice:
- Your blades are sticking to the window.
- The wiper blades chatter as they move across the window.
- The blades don’t fully clear the window, leaving untouched streaks.
- The rubber has visible damage, such as split rubber or jagged edges.
- The rubber is hard to the touch.
- The blades are noticeably discolored.
How To Choose New Wiper Blades
When shopping for wiper blades, the first thing you need to know is what size to get. You can find the appropriate wiper blade size in your owner’s manual, through an online search, or using the wiper blade size finder available in auto parts stores. Alternately, you can take a tape measure and check the length of the blades yourself. Keep in mind that the blades are often different sizes on the driver’s side and passenger side of the vehicle.
Once you know what size you’re shopping for, you can explore the different types. Wiper blades come in three main varieties: standard, flat, and hybrid. Standard blades, also referred to as conventional or traditional wiper blades, have a multi-piece metal frame that provides four to eight pressure points that keep the rubber blade in contact with the glass.
Flat windshield wipers, also referred to as beam wipers, have tensioned flexors that provide pressure along the entire length of the rubber. This type of wiper blade has a lower profile and integrated spoiler that reduces wind noise and enhances visibility.
Hybrid windshield wipers are a third option that combines features of both the previous styles. Hybrid wiper blades have a metal frame that makes the wipers more aerodynamic by allowing debris to pass through. Meanwhile, the full-length spoiler maintains constant pressure along the entire wiper to clear the glass completely with each swipe.
Preparing To Replace the Wiper Blades
Lay a towel or piece of cardboard over the windshield before you start this task. This protects your windshield if you lose your grip on the arm and it slaps back down. Since the arm is metal, it can damage your windshield if the surface isn’t protected.
How To Replace Hook-Style Wiper Blades
Hook-style wiper blades have a J-shaped hook that keeps the wiper blade in place. To remove the wiper blade, lift the arm from the windshield so you can access the blade easily. Position the blade perpendicular to the arm and look for the tab release that allows the hook to unclasp. Press the tab and pull the blade downwards to detach the hook. Turn the blade so it’s parallel with the arm and take it off.
Install the new blade by performing this process again in reverse. Hold the new blade parallel to the arm as you thread it on. Pull the blade up slightly until you hear it click as it locks into place. Swivel the blade into a perpendicular position to ensure that it’s securely attached.
How To Replace Pin-Style Wiper Blades
Pin-style wiper blades have a small pin that snaps into a hole on the side of the blade. To remove this type of blade, you need to lift the tab that holds the pin in place. You can push this tab up easily with a flat head screwdriver. Once you’ve released the tab, you can pull the blade off the arm sideways.
To install the new wiper blade, you must slide the arm on in the same way you removed the old one. Once you have the wiper blade in place, press the tab back down to lock the pin.
How To Replace Clamp-Style Wiper Blades
If your wiper blades are secured with clamps or clips, you’ll need to press in on either side of the clip to release it. Alternately, you may find a tab on the top of the blade that releases the clip. Press down on this, and the wiper blade will release. You may have to change the angle of the blade to get it off the arm. Gently adjust the blade’s position until you can pull it off the arm.
The new blade will go onto the arm in the same manner, so it’s handy to remember the exact position of the wiper blade that allowed you to pull it off the arm. Once the blade is back on the arm, secure the clip or clamp to keep it in place.
Testing Your Wiper Blade Installation
After replacing your wiper blades, it’s important to thoroughly test them before you head back onto the road. Spray your windshield with water or windshield cleaner and turn on the wiper blades. Leave them on for about a minute to ensure they’re functioning properly. You should not hear any rattling as the blades move. When installed properly, they will smoothly clear water from the entire surface of the window. The blades should not wiggle or appear loose on the arm.
If you’re looking for Toyota genuine wiper blades made just for your vehicle, visit our service center at Performance Toyota. We’ll help you find the ideal wiper blades for your Toyota vehicle, so you always have outstanding visibility on the road.