Windshield Wipers: Choosing and Installing

Windshield Wipers: Choosing and Installing

When the weather is beautiful, you barely notice your windshield wipers and don’t really care how well they are working. However, once that downpour hits or a snowstorm rolls in, you will start to wish you had paid attention to your wipers when you had the chance. Windshield wipers aren’t cool and most people put them off until they can’t ignore them any more, but they are an important part of your safety when it comes to driving through less than ideal weather. Whether your current wipers are broken or just aren’t working as well, it is important that you choose new ones that work best for you and your vehicle.

Choosing Your Wipers

You decide it is time to change your wiper blades, so you take a trip to your local auto store. Once inside, however, you realize that this isn’t a one size fits all type part. How do you know which wipers will work best for your vehicle and needs?

The first thing you will need to do is consult your owner’s manual. This will tell you what size your new wipers will need to be to properly fit on your specific vehicle. Once you have that specification, you have three main types of wipers to choose from. The first is the traditional type of wipers, frequently referred to as frame style. This type is relatively inexpensive, can be found pretty much anywhere, and is used on most vehicles. They consist of a metal frame attached to a strip of rubber. If you just want the basics, this is probably the wiper for you.

The next type is the ones made specifically for winter weather. If you live in an area that gets snow at all times of the year, these wipers are probably best suited for you. They are also made of metal, but they are completely encased in rubber to avoid getting weighed down by ice and snow. Although they aren’t the most attractive wipers, they get the job done when the winter weather gets nasty.

The last area of wipers is the premium style. As the name suggests, these wipers are pricier, but they often look sleeker and may or may not last a little longer than their competition. Each type in this area have different appeals and technology, so if you are out for a more premium blade, it may be best to check out consumer reports for the best choice for you and your vehicle.


First, you will want to raise the arm of the wipers up and away from the windshield. Look for the place where the rubber blade meets the metal arm of the wipers. There should be a plastic piece holding the blade in place. Press this piece and unhook your wiper blade from the metal arm piece. To put the new blade on, just slide it into the place where the old wiper was just located. Move the wiper blade around carefully until it snaps into the proper position. Be careful to gently place the blade back on the windshield, as the wipers are spring loaded and could snap hard against the window and crack it. Repeat these steps on the other blade.

It is recommended that you replace your windshield wipers around every six months. Don’t wait until your blades are getting cracked or you are seeing streaks left behind after use. Luckily, changing wiper blades is one of the easier tasks you can accomplish when it comes to your vehicle. If you need further assistance with your windshield wipers, consult a local auto repair shop or auto store for help from a professional.

Written by the staff of Custom Complete Automotive. Custom Complete is your go to solution for the best car repair, inspections and an oil change Columbia MO has to offer.

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