How to change windshield wiper blades

Close up of Lincoln windshield with windshield wiper blades in motion.

Your wiper blades deal with rain, snow, heat, mud, dust, leaves, and car wash wax, all so you can have a clean, clear view of the road.

So it’s understandable that after a few months of service, they’re ready for retirement.

If your blades are clean, but they can’t swiftly remove the above gunk from your windshield in a couple of swipes, it’s time to replace them.

Changing your wiper blades is a quick job that yields immediate benefits. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Turn the vehicle key to on, engine off, and turn on the wipers.
  2. Turn the ignition off when the blades are vertical on the windshield, so that they’re both accessible.
    You’ll be working with the wiper arm, which is usually metal, and the wiper blade insert, the rubber piece that fits into the wiper arm’s grooves.
  3. Carefully pull the wiper arms away from the windshield. When you pull far enough, they will lock into the service position, so you don’t have to hold them.
    If your wipers do not automatically lock into the service position, you may need to manually pull out the locking tab at the base of the wiper arm, where the arm connects to the pivot.
  4. Starting with the driver’s-side arm, turn the blade at an angle from the wiper arm.
  5. Next, squeeze the blade’s lock pin/tab on the bottom of the arm to release the wiper blade (a pair of needle-nose pliers can help with stubborn blades). Then slide the blade out to remove it from the arm.
  6. Attach the new wiper blade to the wiper arm by sliding it through the wiper arm’s channel. Press it into place by pulling the tab through the bottom of the arm. When you hear the tab click, it’s installed.
  7. Repeat steps 5 through 7 for the passenger-side blade.


Quick Tip

Did you know that helping your wiper blades live longer only takes a minute a month? If you clean the blades once a month with a clean rag and some windshield washer fluid, they can last longer and may work better.

Also, during hot, dry weather, be sure to activate the wipers and the washer fluid at least once a week. This helps prevent the blades from getting damaged by sticking to the windshield.