Car Ownership Advice 16 September 2021

How to change your windscreen wipers


The last thing you want when driving on the freeway is blurred and streaky vision. With debris like barrages of bug splatter flying onto the glass, you want to make sure your windscreen wipers work well. Wipers that don’t are not downright annoying, they’re also dangerous. Signs of wear and tear or a clattering noise when they drag over the glass are sure signs that you need new ones. Luckily, replacing windscreen wipers is an easy job and one that you can do from home… if you have the time, know-how and patience.

Windscreen wipers not working? Here’s why:

Windscreen wipers work to keep your vision of the road clear. Powered by an electric motor, they move back and forth with rubber blades that clean your windscreen. Considering the hard work they do, you should replace windscreen wipers every 6-12 months. However, they may begin to show signs of wear before then. It’s time for a replacement if they start to leave streaks or make that shiver-inducing dragging noise. Unlike other car parts that can have a multitude of reasons to stop working, dodgy wipers are generally caused by three things:

1. Wiper blade failure

2. Mechanical failure

3. Electrical failure

Wiper blade failure

Your wiper blades are the part that does the wiping - simple, right? They’re made of plastic and rubber and connect to the wiper arm. Over time, these blades will begin to wear, and show signs of damage like tearing and cracking. At this point they’re just smearing bug splatter over the glass, creating more of a hazard.

Mechanical failure

A rotating motor powers the wiper arm, connected to a linkage by a pivot point or stud. Over time, pivot points can wear or even become loose. When this happens, it may cause only one wiper to work or they may move in slow, sloppy motions.

Electrical failure

The electric motor that powers your windscreen wipers can often be the root of your wiper woes. If the motor has shorted, blown a fuse or suffered from an electrical failure, your wipers just won’t work - sitting dead on the windscreen. Diagnosing and fixing an electrical failure can be tricky, especially if you’re not mechanically minded. If you’re stuck with windscreen wipers that just won’t move, it’s best to pop in and visit a mechanic who will diagnose and repair the issues.

Where to buy windscreen wipers

Before you get to work replacing windscreen wiper blades, you’ll need to make sure you have the replacement parts. There isn’t one size fits all with wipers and you’ll need to find the right size specific to your car. You can find that information inside your car owner manual or you can always head into your closest auto parts store or pop into your local mycar. We’ll help you find the right wipers and take care of replacement and repairs.

How to replace windscreen wipers


You’ve got the goods and now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and replace the windscreen wipers yourself. Before you rip off the old ones and get to work replacing windscreen wiper blades, make sure you’ve got everything handy. You’ll need the new blades, a pair of scissors or sharp knife and a set of pliers.

To replace windscreen wiper blades, follow these five easy steps:

1. Carefully lift the blade assembly up from the windscreen and into the service position (your wipers should be vertical).

2. Use your set of pliers to squeeze the end with the clip as you slide the old blade out from the assembly.

3. Insert the new wiper blade into the assembly, making sure it’s sitting in all of the assembly claws. Then, lock the metal clip into the end claw.

4. Use your scissors or sharp knife to carefully cut off the excess rubber. You’ll want to leave a minimum of 25mm extra from the end of the claw. Depending on the wiper blades, there may be a thin piece of metal running along its length, but this is easily cut through or snapped to fit the assembly.

5. Lower the assembly back and ensure the blade sits flush against the windscreen.

You can also replace the windscreen wiper assembly yourself by following these easy steps:

1. Lift the assembly from the windscreen and into the service position.

2. You’ll notice that the centre of the assembly pivots on the wiper arm. To remove the assembly, press the clip under the hook and slide the assembly downwards on the arm to remove it from the hook.

3. Clip the new adaptor into place and slide the new assembly on the arm. You should hear it click when it’s in place.

4. Gently lower the assembly back onto your windscreen and check that it is sitting flush.

Make sure to test out your new wipers before you hit the road. If anything seems out of sorts, turn them off immediately and double check that everything is clipped into place.

Should you replace your own windscreen wipers?

Replacing your windscreen wipers can be an easy fix, especially when you have the right tools and parts. If your wiper replacement looks straightforward enough, with perhaps just the blades, then there’s no reason why you can’t do it. However, sometimes you might replace the blades thinking the wear and tear are the reason for dodgy wipers, only to find out you have a mechanical issue on your hands too. That’s why it’s best to leave it to a professional - especially if there’s a mechanical or electrical issue. They’ll be able to diagnose and discover any other hidden issues with your wipers and replace them all in one visit.

At mycar we understand that changing car parts can be tricky - that’s why we’re here to help. If you want an expert to replace your windscreen wipers for you, speak to one of our friendly team members who can help diagnose and install new parts. Or, give us a call on 13 13 28.

Need to book in with us?

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