How to change windshield wipers

Back To Basics: How To Change Windshield Wipers

Whether your mechanic points it out or you discover it yourself, when it’s time to change windshield wipers, there are a few things you need to know. If your wipers aren’t performing like they used to, or you hear scrapes and squeaks, it may be time to make a change. While changing windshield wipers is fast and easy for a garage or auto parts store, you could learn how to change windshield wipers yourself and save money. You’ll also have more options for the type of windshield wiper blades you choose as replacements.


If you want to change your windshield wipers yourself, there are many options for choosing replacements. Windshield wipers and frames are widely available online and at many auto supply stores. You can easily measure your wiper blades, check the vehicle’s manual, or enter your vehicle info in an auto parts list to get the right ones. Here are the basic steps for how to install windshield wipers:

Lifting windshield wiper
  1. Lift the windshield wiper assembly away from the windshield until it stays in place.
Placing towel over windshield wiper

2. Lay a towel across the windshield where the wiper blade would rest to protect the glass.

Press tab on wiper blade

3. Press the tab on the wiper blade where it attaches to the frame, or lift the blade straight up from the “J” hook if there isn’t a tab.

Press tab on wiper blade

4. Slide the new wiper blade into the hook until it locks in place.

Wipers in original position

5. Remove the towel and lower the windshield wiper back into its original position.

You may need a small flat-head screwdriver or other tool to depress the tab on the wiper blade, but most modern replacements will simply snap in. When you replace a windshield wiper, go ahead and replace them all, including any rear-window wipers. Be sure to clean your windshield and rear window when you’ve completed the job to give your new windshield wipers a fresh start. Replacing the wiper blades is one of the easiest ways you can maintain your vehicle.


What Windshield Wipers Do I Need?

When you’re learning how to replace windshield wipers, it’s good to know there are only a few types of wipers and wiper blades, but quality varies greatly. While many companies manufacture durable wiper blades, you may want to stay with familiar brands or outlets for the most value.

No matter what type of wiper blades you choose, most modern cars and trucks use a frame-style wiper assembly. These wipers work like automatic squeegees for both sides of the windshield and the rear window. Depending on the climate where you drive most of the time, you may want to invest in specialized windshield wipers.

Winter windshield wipers typically feature a special coating designed to prevent ice from sticking to the blades. There are also heated windshield wipers available that prevent build up of snow and ice. If you live in a rainy climate, flat blades are ideal for keeping your windshield clear. For moderate climates, conventional OEM and after-market rubber car windshield wipers work fine. If you’re unsure about which type of windshield wipers are best for your driving needs, your local auto parts store will be glad to fill you in.

How Long Do Windshield Wipers Last?

Like performance, the climate where you drive most often impacts how long windshield wipers last. A typical rubber wiper blade is inexpensive and readily available, but they don’t last as long as some others. Extreme heat and sunlight can deteriorate rubber and icy conditions can cause them to crack and wear prematurely. For most drivers, a rubber wiper blade will last from six months to a year. When you step up to silicone or halogen-hardened rubber wiper blades, they will withstand even the harshest conditions and last for a year or more. If you’re selling your car or trading it in, investing in shiny new wipers is always a plus!

How Much Does Windshield Wipers Cost?

Windshield wiper replacement at a repair center or dealer will cost you about $55 on average for basic wiper blades. Premium blades will increase the cost, but the labor will be the same amount. The advantage of having a pro replace your wipers is that they can often detect wiper motor or wiper switch issues that may need repair.

If you learn how to change windshield wipers, you can skip the labor costs and use the savings to invest in premium wiper blades or spend on yourself! New quality windshield wiper blades typically cost between $13 and $40 each. You can often save money by buying a two-pack or taking advantage of one of the many sales at auto parts outlets.

If your car or truck’s failing windshield wipers are the least of your driving worries, maybe it’s time for another car. When you shop for your next used car at Car Time Supercenter, we promise the windshield wipers and everything else will be road-ready, so you won’t have to worry about replacing a thing. Check out the extensive inventory from one of Tucson’s oldest and most trusted car dealers, or call (888) 557-4326 today.

Shane Vossough

There are good reasons people will buy their next used car in Tucson from Car Time Supercenter. But I think we are one of the most trusted used car dealerships mainly because we treat everyone like family. My family has provided quality, dependable local used cars to Tucson customers since 1984, and I'm proud to be a part of our continued success. Like many family-owned businesses, I grew up going to work with my dad. Falling in love with cars was natural because of my father's passion, and eventually, I came to love the car business just like him. I officially joined the Car Time Supercenter team in 2012, starting in the finance department. Over the past decade, I've learned the used car business and how to treat customers from my family and industry resources. Today, I oversee marketing, social media, inventory, and reconditioning, so I play an essential role in delivering local Tucson used car buyers the best experience possible. I also help our family business keep up with the times while providing old-fashioned customer service. From attending NADA classes to becoming Allstate certified for back-end products, I continue to learn and add skills to serve our customers better.