Changing your windscreen wipers: when and how?
How do you know if you need to replace your wiper blades?
Although changing your wiper blades at least once a year is recommended, this is only advisable. The lifespan of wiper blades can vary significantly, depending on how often they are used; with sunlight causing the rubber to stiffen and frost causing it to crack, the weather also has a considerable impact.
Apart from these general considerations, there are a number of signs that indicate your wiper blades are wearing out. For example, if you notice:
- squeaking when the blades slide across the windscreen
- marks and scratches left on the windscreen after the wipers have been used
- wiper arms with a jerky movement
- areas of the windscreen that remain dirty
- poor rain removal from the windscreen
- severe warping or wearing of the rubber blades
Useful tip: some models of wiper blades have a handy wear indicator that tells you when to replace them.
What are the different types of wipers, and how do I choose them?
First of all, changing your wiper blades means selecting the right model for your windscreen. To help you see things more clearly, here’s some information about the various specific features you can find in the different wipers available on the market today:
- The “U-shaped” wiper: this is the classic model. These wipers have an arm and a rubber blade attached to a rigid metal frame. They have a long service life and are reasonably priced. However, they are less efficient than flexible models.
- Flat blade or flexible wipers: These are fitted as standard on the latest car models. They have a rubber blade inserted directly into a flexible wiper designed to fit the shape of the windscreen. They produce less noise and are more efficient than standard models. The aerodynamic design of the blades makes them particularly effective against snow accumulation.
- The hybrid wiper: as the name suggests, this type of wiper is a compromise between the classic model and the “flat blade” wiper. It combines the aerodynamics of flexible models with the robustness of a classic wiper. This model is still not very common, but it is becoming increasingly popular.
Useful tip: To protect your windscreen wipers and your windscreen in winter, you can opt for blades designed specifically for the winter season, which are made of rubber resistant to cold temperatures and snow.
How do you replace your wiper blades?
Before you start, consult your car’s service manual to make sure you choose the right model for your vehicle. Carefully read the instructions for your wiper blades, and always take care when following each of these steps in order:
- Clean your windscreen to remove any debris.
- Lift your wipers and position them at a right angle to the windscreen.
- Remove the old wiper blades without force (to unclip it, press the small plastic tab holding the blade).
- Insert the new blades slowly into the metal arm until they click into place.
- Carefully replace your wipers against the windscreen.
- Test the new blades.
Checking the condition of your wiper blades and changing out worn blades is essential for both driving comfort and your safety. If there are different models available, make sure to choose the right wipers for your car. Simply follow the instructions to replace them, and you’ll be good to go!