How to Change Windscreen Wipers
Worn out windscreen wipers are a hazard in rainy and snowy conditions. Since they are used seasonally, most people forget to change and replace them. Older wipers tend to wear out quickly and have small bits of dirt, small loose stones, and other roadside and plant debris stuck in them. This causes unnecessary smearing on the windscreen and a screeching sound when used. The rain and snow get smeared across the windshield instead of wiped off cleanly, causing a loss in visibility while driving.
Wiper blades are excellent for removing the dirt, grime, rain, bits of organic material like leaves, small stems, and other plant and animal material from the windscreen. Most people also use their automatic wipers to clean and remove any bird droppings that may hamper visibility while out on the road. Wipers are not meant only for straight visibility, but also through the screen behind. Since they are excellent at keeping rain and snow off the windscreen, having a secured and well-functioning set of wipers is essential.
Why Replace Windscreen Wipers?
Clear visibility in all weathers is the most crucial reason to change and replace windscreen wipers. All cars need to be maintained and looked over at least once a year for optimum performance. In the UK, a vehicle needs to pass the MOT Test (Ministry of Transport) if it is more than three years old. It is a test of the vehicles’ roadworthiness, safety standards, and emissions. One of the conditions to pass the MOT test successfully is to have new or working-condition windscreen wipers in their correctly secured position.
Since the UK weather is ever-changing, it is considered good practice to change your windscreen wipers once every year, without fail. If left unattended, the rubber lining of the wiper blades slowly starts perishing due to the prolonged exposure to the sun. Severe cold temperatures also hamper the full functioning of the wipers. Since new and good quality windscreen wipers are relatively inexpensive and are easy to change and replace, they should be considered an excellent annual investment for your car.
What is the Correct Time to Replace Windscreen Wipers?
The easiest way to check if you need to change the wipers is by simply using them on the windscreen. If they do not wipe the windshield cleanly and smear snow and rainwater, or if they make a screeching sound when in use, you should change them. Other non-obvious signs that the wipers require changing are a juddering effect across the windscreen, or any uneven streaks that show up on the windshield. Many times, stray particle bits get stuck in the rubber of the blades and can cause scratches and marks on the screen. Run your finger gently across the edge to check for wear and tear, and any particles stuck in the wiper blade. If you find any that cannot be removed, you should consider replacing the wipers.
How to Change Windscreen Wipers?
Changing the wipers usually takes about 5 minutes. You may need a flathead screwdriver for some of the older versions, but for most newer models of cars, you can simply push the wiper blades into position with the help of retaining clips.
Let us look at changing the windscreen wipers in a stepwise manner.
- Check the make and model of the current wiper blades, and also make a note of the size. Purchase good quality replacement windscreen wipers and keep them ready before removing the older ones.
- Wiper Arms with Retaining Clip: Lift the arm off the windscreen in a 45-degree angle towards you. The wiper blade should be at a 90-degree angle to the arm. Press the middle lever of the retaining or fastening clip to release the blade. If it is jammed because of the extreme snow, you may need to use a screwdriver to pry it off.
Wiper Arms without Retaining Clip: If you do not have a fastening or retaining clip attached to the arm, simply lift the wiper arm in a 45-degree angle. Ensure the wiper blade is facing away from the arm and towards you at a right angle. Once it is in position, you can lift the blade out of the arm with a single move.
- Replace the new wiper blade in the reverse order of removal, and secure firmly before lowering the wiper arm on to the windscreen.
- To check that the windscreen wiper is fully functional, splash a little plain water on to the screen, and start the wiper to check that it is in optimum condition. If not, remove the wiper blade once, wipe it down with a wet washcloth, and replace it.
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