When to change your wiper blades
“The sun causes the rubber to deteriorate over time and it won’t be long before you have streaks on the glass”
Few things are more annoying than having wipers that don't clear the screen properly, leaving a smear, usually across your line of sight. And then there's the screeching! Noisy wipers are hugely irritating. Both of these are signs that it's time to invest in a new set of wipers.
Some people actually take their car to the garage for new wipers, but they run the risk of being massively overcharged for what is actually one of the most simple DIY jobs you can carry out.
In most cases it's just the 'blade' section that you need to swap, not the arm.
Haynes recommends you change your wiper blades every year. Even if you live in a part of the world that doesn’t get much rain, the sun causes the rubber to deteriorate over time.
It’s important to change all wiper blades at the same time, so both at the front and the rear screen blade if you have one.
All cars are slightly different, so if it is time to change your wiper blades, find your car for specific instructions.
What are the different types of wiper blades?
There are three main styles of wiper blades: 'conventional', 'flat', and 'hybrid'.
You can spot conventional wipers as they have an articulated metal frame with the blade attached. They're the kind that have been standard issue on many cars for decades. In more recent years flat wipers have grown in popularity.
They comprise a thick blade with a small plastic connection block in the middle.
Hybrid wipers are a mixture of the two, and the 'frame' of the blade acts as an aerodynamic spoiler.
This is intended to push the blade onto the screen to prevent it lifting at speed.
If your car currently has conventional wipers you can upgrade to flat, or hybrid wipers, for improved aesthetics and performance.
Rear wipers are usually a lot smaller than the fronts, and although plenty of cars have the same style wipers as on the front, some cars feature a model-specific rear wiper with the arm and the blade integrated as one unit.
These need to be replaced as one, and are usually held onto a splined shaft by means of a small nut.