Often overlooked, you probably haven’t given a second thought to the design of your windshield wipers. You turn your wipers on when it starts to rain and turn them off when the precipitation ends, forgetting about them until the next time the raindrops start to fall.
Did you know that wiper blades aren’t one type fits all? Manufacturers use a variety of connector styles to attach the wiper blade to the wiper arm. Knowing the difference between them is helpful when you need to buy new wiper blades. Read on to learn about the different wiper connectors and how to determine what connector is on your vehicle.
Variety of designs
While the three most common connector styles are J-hook, side pin and bayonet, you might be surprised by the variety of designs that manufacturers use.
J-hook – The most common type of connector, the J-hook has a J or U-shaped hook at the end. Simple to replace, the hook pushes into the wiper blade connector and clips or locks into place. The J-hook comes in different variants like the short J hook, 7mm, 9x3, 9x4, 9x3 short and reverse 9x4.
Side pin – This style of connector has a small pin on the wiper arm that fits into a hole on the wiper blade attachment; the blade then locks into place. Side pin variants include 1/4", 19mm, 22mm and 3/16".
Bayonet – This connector has a small indent on the top that fits in a hole to attach the blade assembly to the wiper arm. A spring catch or lever under the arms locks it in place. Variants include 5mm, 7mm, 19mm and 22mm.
Pinch tab – As the name indicates, this connector features a pair of pinch tabs that you simply press together to release the wiper blade. The new blade locks firmly into place.
Pinch tab button – This connector is similar to the pinch tab but features an additional locking button hole.
Saddle – The saddle connector is mainly used on medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and RVs. Typically there is a spring that when you push down, it releases the blade. Variations include 1/2", narrow and wide.
Wrist action - Also called a flat hook, this connector can be found on vintage vehicles. It is easily identified by its flat bar with a curved end.
Dead locker - Found on vintage automobiles, dead locker connectors feature a small arm beneath the wiper arm that releases the lock. This type is also known as a permanent pin connector.
Saddle hook – Used on vintage automobiles from the 1930s and 1940s, it features a small hook at the end.
What connector is on my car?
Knowing what kind of connector is on your vehicle can help you purchase the right replacement wiper blade. You can do a physical inspection of your wiper blades or you can look it up by consulting a parts book at your local auto parts store or using an online resource. For both of these, you typically need to know year, make, model and the position of the wiper blade you need to replace.
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