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Refilling wiper blade on beam style car windshield wipers

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  1. Refilling wiper blade on beam style car windshield wipers, Disassemble the old wiper: step 1, image 1 of 3 Refilling wiper blade on beam style car windshield wipers, Disassemble the old wiper: step 1, image 2 of 3 Refilling wiper blade on beam style car windshield wipers, Disassemble the old wiper: step 1, image 3 of 3
    • You'll need pliers and a flat blade screwdriver for this operation. The typical beam style wiper is held by two metal ribs held stiff with plastic end caps. Pictured here is a Vaelo R-13B rear wiper.

    • Squeeze the metal ribs just before the end caps, then pull off the end caps. If they won't go, then tear out the old rubber first to loosen things up, and try again.

    • Stop removing parts as soon as you can slide the rubber out: it may take just one end cap.

  2. Refilling wiper blade on beam style car windshield wipers, Fit the replacement.: step 2, image 1 of 1
    • Examine the end of the rubber wiper: this is what you'll have to match. Unfortunately no guide will help you directly, but many beam wipers seem to use a completely standard rubber pattern. In the example pictured a refill from PIAA worked just fine.

    • Cut the new refill to length, if needed.

    • Use the topmost set of slots in the refill (farthest from the wiping edge). Slide this into the two rails.

    • Clip the end cap back on to finish the job. Congratulate yourself on a cost efficient and environmentally correct replacement job.


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

7 other people completed this guide.

Bryce Nesbitt

Member since: 11/30/14

1,023 Reputation

9 Guides authored


Does anyone remember prior to about the 1990’s when windshield wipers lasted more than 6 months. Now they are designed to fall apart in 6 mo to a year. I’m wondering if there is a business here for certain products. I get tired of having to change wipers , toilet plungers, and a whole array of things that are designed to fail on a yearly basis. I would pay more money for a product that I can set and forget and leave my spare time for fishing instead of fixing things all the time.

Picasso57 - Reply

If you have the old style it should be pretty easy. The beam style is a bit trickier but doable. There's a rubber outer sleeve on each side of the main attachment in the middle. first remove that. There's an end cap piece at each end. remove one of those. there will be two flat metal sections that run the whole length that hold the rubber blade in place and the main attachment in the middle. You have to remove that main attachment in the middle. You may need pliars to do it or it might be able to slide off. Once it's all apart reassemble with the new rubber blade. The first time through it will take some time and patience but I've done it twice now and each time it gets easier as I know the way. I got it down to about 10 minutes each wiper but I some of them I know are probably a lot more difficult. Mine is for a 2017 VW Gti. My Camaro has the old style and are so much easier to change out the rubber blades.

Picasso57 - Reply

@Picasso57 Yessir, wipers are definitely a racket now. But we’ll figure out a way to defeat them! ;) Replaceing inserts that were never meant to be replaced is a start. Now if we could only find silicone inserts.

John Spitta - Reply

Some beam wipers can be refilled without removing any parts except the old rubber. Push the rubber at one end, and look for an open area near that end, where it's easy to maneuver the rubber for removal. If you don't see an opening at one end, look for it at the other end.

That opening at one end also makes it easy to install a new refill, which will usually be 6 mm wide. If the refill doesn't insert easily, you probably just need a narrower one.

I got some refills cheap on eBay that claim to be silicone, though they are black and might just be teflon-coated rubber. At any rate, they seem to make the windshield somewhat water-repelling.

The non-beam refills I find difficult are the ones with metal inserts pressed into the rubber to hold them in the frame. Especially with longer ones, it's difficult to keep the metal in place while installing them. I suppose I could put a rubber band around one end while installing it at the other end.

Pauldog - Reply

Finding an inexpensive way to replace the rear wiper blade can be a challenge. The connector is usually not a J-hook; it's usually a connector not used on a front wiper. The full blade tends to be expensive, but I've managed to transplant refills into it without too much trouble. The refill is usually stopped at both ends by the plastic of the frame hanging down and blocking the refill from falling out. The trick with installing a refill is getting it by the stop at one end without bending it too much and warping the refill. Sometimes it works to start installing the refill one "clip" away from the end, sliding it through all the other clips, and then flexing the refill to get it into the end. It's the flexing that might warp the refill.

Pauldog - Reply

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