Rear wiper blade refill replacement is one of the easier car DIY jobs.
So, once you see smears or the rear wiper starts to screech, it’s time to take action.
As you’ll see, it’s not a complicated replacement, no special tools are needed and it can be done with even minimal DIY knowledge.
Besides a written tutorial, you can also find a video tutorial at the end of the article or on our You Tube channel.
REAR WIPER BLADE REFILL REPLACEMENT OR COMPLETE WIPER ARM REPLACEMENT?
Unlike the front wipers, the rear wiper blade, in most cases, is of different construction.
On most cars the rear wiper blade is connected to the wiper arm in such a way that they are not meant to be separated.
The intent of the car manufacturer was to replace the whole wiper arm when the blade gets worn out.
On the windshield wipers, as you know, the wiper blades can be separated from the wiper arm with no problem and replaced.
What first comes to mind (if you decide to change the whole wiper arm) is that you’re throwing away a perfectly good car part just because a small and cheap piece of it is worn out.
If you agree, doesn’t make much sense and is another reason to make a rear wiper blade refill replacement.
It’s much like throwing away a whole wheel because the tire is punctured.
WHY SHOULD YOU REPLACE THE REAR WIPER BLADE REFILLS?
As all drivers know, proper vision of the rear road situation is important just as much as the front one. When smears appear and visibility is decreased, problems can happen. This goes double in rain and snowy weather. Perhaps the worst time is when snow starts to melt and a “concrete” like film of mud, road salt and other filth forms. In this situation, your essentially driving on the side mirrors.
Seems harmless, but is in fact very dangerous.
Economics is perhaps the main reason why you should replace the rear wiper blade refill.
The complete rear wiper arm costs about 10 to 50 Euros (this is a rough estimate, all depending on the car model and your countries market). Opposed to that, a set of wiper blade refills cost from 3 to 10 Euros on average.
So, for one set of wiper refills and some minor work, you can save some serious money.
Easy job to do
It will take a couple of minutes of your time, perhaps half an hour if you’re inexperienced.
There’s nothing much that can go wrong so even from this side it’s preferable to do.
Combine this with saving money at it will only seem fair to give it a try.
No special tools needed
Unlike some other car DIY repairs, this one is not needy concerning tools. All the tools needed you probably already have around the household.
WHAT TOOLS WILL YOU NEED TO MAKE A REAR WIPER BLADE REFILL REPLACEMENT?
I like best to use the combined pliers, but you can also use pincer ones. Main point is to have a good grip and be able to gain access to the rear wiper retaining clips.
Scissors or a scalpel
These are for cutting the wiper refill to the proper length.
More details on these in the next part.
At the end of the article you have somewhat of a hack if you don’t have new refills at hand but want to solve this problem.
WHAT KIND OF WIPER REFILLS SHOULD YOU BUY?
Same kind as you would buy if you wanted to replace them on the front wiper blades.
Wiper refills are usually sold in sets of two blades. Be prepared, if you’re going to change only the rear wiper blade refill, that there are going to be leftovers.
Maybe best buy a complete set of wiper refills, both for the front and rear wiper.
With these, you don’t have to replace the front ones right away; they can stay for later usage.
Also, this way you won’t have any leftovers as you would with the classic set of two wiper refills.
If possible, buy quality refills. With the rear wiper blade, due to its limited usage, quality refills will last for years to come.
HOW TO REPLACE REAR WIPER BLADE REFILLS-PROCEDURE
Before we start, just want to mention that you have a separate article on how to change the front wiper refills.
If you’re interested, click here for a written and video tutorial.
Back to the procedure:
1.Raise the wiper arm
2. Find on which end of the wiper blade are the retaining clips (follow the metal rails that are pressed in to the blade).
3. Press the retaining clips with the pliers until you can move the wiper blade.
4. Pull the old wiper blade out. Choose whatever direction suits the situation. On most wiper arms you can pull the blade out from both sides (top and bottom).
5. Remove the metal rails as you’ll need to return them.
6. Measure the new wiper refill against the old wiper blade and cut it-best use a scalpel or scissors.
7. Insert the metal rails into the grooves of the new wiper refills.
8. Re-insert the wiper blade in to the wiper arm. Best start from the top. Take your time and have patience. The metal rails tend to slip out. Just make sure that the wiper blade and metal rails goes through all the holders on the wiper frame.
9. Check that the wiper blade fits properly (proper length, did it go through all the holders, is everything in place).
10. Lower the wiper arm in to place.
USE WIPER REFILLS FROM OLD BLADES IN CASE YOU DON’T HAVE NEW ONES.
If the situation demands that you have to change the rear wiper blade refills but you don’t have them at hand, there is an alternate solution.
It isn’t great like with new ones, but it will satisfy for some time.
All you’ll need is an old wiper blade that you’ve previously removed from your car.
Just remove the old blade, cut it to proper length and insert it in to the rear wiper blade.
Although these old wiper rubbers will probably be worn out, they can serve fine on the rear wiper. Since it’s not used that often, it will do. If you perhaps have old wiper blades that aren’t that used, they will have even a better effect.
Maybe a leftover stripe here and there but better than the old one and will serve until you buy new refills.
I’ve done this myself several times and with pretty good results.