We don’t see much snow or ice here in the Triad, so the promise of a snowstorm might have you wondering about the best way to prepare your car. You want to protect your car from damage, but you also want to be able to get back on the road safely as soon as possible.
You may have seen or heard someone say that lifting your windshield wiper blades away from your windshield before a storm is a good idea. Windshield wipers are designed to lift away slightly so you can clean the auto glass, and an internal spring system keeps them snug against the contour of your windshield so they can wipe away water more effectively. Some people lift their windshield wipers before a snowstorm to make it easier to clear away snow and ice afterward. But is it a good idea?
The Pros and Cons of Lifting Your Wiper Blades:
- Clearing ice and snow from your windshield is easier
- Your blades won’t become frozen to the auto glass
- You won’t risk damaging the motor if you accidentally left your wipers “on” before a snowstorm
- Lifting the blades too far could damage the spring, causing them to no longer fit against the auto glass properly
- Heavy winds, ice storms, or storm debris could bend and damage your windshield wipers
- Wiper blades left up can become enclosed in ice, making them difficult to clean
Our Advice? Keep Your Wipers Down
Although there are pros and cons to both positions, it’s easier to prevent damage to your windshield wipers if you keep them down during snowy weather. The risks far outweigh the benefits, because any damage to your wiper blade will most likely mean they’ll need to be replaced.
Here are our tips for keeping your windshield wipers in good condition during the winter:
- Keep your wiper blades down to prevent damage from high winds and debris during a storm.
- Clear as much snow and ice away from your windshield as possible using an ice scraper and deicing spray if needed.
- Avoid prying frozen wiper blades from your windshield. You might damage the rubber, which will make the blades less effective at clearing your windshield in the future.
- Make sure your car is properly warmed up and turn on your window defroster. Allow the ice on your windshield to melt before you try to run your windshield wipers.
- NEVER turn your windshield wipers on if they are still frozen in place. This can damage the motor and bend your wiper blades.
- NEVER attempt to clear ice from your windshield using hot water! The sudden temperature change can damage your auto glass.