As unexciting as they might be, sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with your windscreen wipers.
That’s why we’ve written this guide on how to look after your wipers, when to change them and how to do it. There’s also a roundup of some of the best wipers on the market today.
Table of Contents
A wiper’s life
In typical use when sticking to the manufacturer’s recommendations, wipers will be past their best after around a year. Use your wipers to try and clear ice or the muck from gritted roads often, and you might have to replace them sooner. Whether you’ve had your car a while or just chosen one of the many cheap 2nd hand cars out there, an annoying squeak or smear will force you to change them.
You can prolong the life of your wipers by keeping your car’s windscreen clean. Always defrost your windscreen thoroughly and don’t use your wipers to scrape it off. The rough surface of the ice acts like sandpaper on the rubber wiper blades, wearing them out quickly. We’d also avoid parking in direct sunlight if you can.
If your wipers start leaving streaks on the windscreen, judder or even worse scrape, then it’s time to buy some new ones…
Because cars have windscreens of varying sizes, blades are generally vehicle specific. The easiest way to find the right wiper blades for your car is to use Amazon or Halfords’ part finder. All it takes is your car’s registration or make and model to get the right part.
There’s a choice of blade material these days, too. Sitting above regular rubber blades are silicone wipers. These last longer and help water to bead on your windscreen, albeit at a higher price than rubber.
How do you change wiper blades?
Should you decide not to pay someone to do it for you, here’s a simple guide to changing your own wipers.
- Pull the wiper arms up, away from the windscreen.
- Find a small tab where the wiper bracket meets the wiper arm. Press the tab and slide the old wiper from the arm.
- Replace the new wiper blade by doing the reverse. The new blade will click when it locks into place.
- Gently lower the wiper arm back down onto the windscreen.
How to clean windscreen wipers:
Once you’ve cleaned your windscreen, it’s well worth cleaning your wipers. Don’t resort to spray cleaners or even worse WD40, all you need is:
- A clean cloth, or microfibre towel.
- A bowl of warm, soapy water.
- Lift up the wiper arms until they stay up on their own.
- Moisten your cloth with water and gently wipe the blade up and down. Do this until no grime from the wiper comes off onto the cloth. Clean the wiper mechanism after you’ve done the blades.
- Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe any soap from the wipers. Lower the wiper arms gently back down onto the windscreen and you’re done!