Skip to main content

How to check and change your car’s windscreen wipers

About the author

Rob Keenan is the interim digital editor of
He runs a Mk2 Ford Focus ST and an ageing Mercedes SLK55
Find him on Twitter @zorba_t_greek

what windscreen wipers do i need

Your car's windscreen wipers are as vital to its operation as the engine and wheels – especially in the rainy UK. But which wipers do you need for your car and how easy are they to fit? Haynes has the answers.

Few car parts are taken for granted as much as windscreen wipers. You see them every time you drive the car, but how often do you actually look at them, to see how well they're clearing the screen?

It doesn't matter where in the world you live – or how much or little rain you get; the sun's rays degrade the wipers' rubber over time. In fact it's recommended that you change your blades once a year or so to avoid streaks and smearing that could cause your car to fail its annual MoT test.

Even before 12 months are up, you should clean your wiper blades every time you wash your car – follow this step-by-step guide, which shows you how to check your blades' effectiveness, clean them and, if necessary, change them.

Read more about common problems with windscreen wipers here.

Watch this to see how to replace your car’s wipers

Every Haynes manual shows you how to change your vehicle's windscreen wipers in easy-to-follow steps

You're probably wondering which windscreen wipers you need, especially if this is the first time you've changed them.

As well as knowing your windscreen wipers' size, you'll need to find out if they're going to fit your car's wiper arms. Many wiper brands provide adaptor kits in the box, but don't take it for granted that there'll be one for your vehicle. 

Learn about the different types of wiper blades here - and don't forget to check the manufacturers' websites, to see which ones are suitable for your car.

Windscreen wipers smearing? Maybe you have noisy windshield wipers. Find out what to do when wipers make noise, as well as how to maintain your wiper blades to make them last as long as possible here.