Wiper Blades 101: Changing Your Own Blades is Easy and Cost-Effective
A windshield wiper is often the most overlooked aspect of a car, but can be one of the most important parts. Over time, windshield wipers lose the ability to push away the rain or snow that hits your car and it is time to replace them. Environmental factors, like UV and ozone causes wiper blades to age (pictured at right). Many people don't want to deal with changing their wiper blades because it seems like a hassle, but the process is actually very simple and can save you some cash if you do it yourself: Many dealers and repair shops can charge up to $100 for new blades and installation.
Note: Remember that not all wiper blades fit every car, so for the most accurate information, consult your vehicle's owner's manual.
Find the right blades for your ride.
To change your wiper blades:
1. Raise the metal windshield wiper arm away from your car's windshield until it stays in place. Make sure that you are careful at this point, because this metal arm is spring loaded and may come crashing down against the glass, which could cause a crack.
2. There should be a little plastic stopper that is holding the blade to the metal arm. Push this stopper with your finger while holding the blade perpendicular to the ground. Once the hook disengages from the windshield arm, you should be able to pull down on the wiper blade and it will separate from the windshield arm. If you have to move away from your car to get the replacement wiper blade, you may want to slowly place the arm back in its original position against the windshield so you don't accidently bump the arm and cause it to come crashing down against your windshield.
3. With the windshield arm perpendicular to the ground, take the new wiper and insert it into the hook of the arm, raising it away from your hood until the plastic hook piece snaps into place with your wiper arm. Now you have changed your wiper blade! Slowly allow the arm and new wiper to settle against the windshield.
Above: A close-up of a Rain-X wiper blade