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Windshield Wipers - up when leaving the car during a storm?

I see a lot of people that put the wipers up (off of the windshield) when they park their car at work during a storm. I've heard that it's good, and also that it's bad. The good say that they won't stick to the windshield and the bad say that the wipers will bend. Opinions?


  • edited December 2007
    What they're doing is preventing the wipers from freezing to the windshield. This is so when the wipers are operated, they don't stick to the windshield and maybe damage the wiper motor and wiper linkage. I don't see how doing this could bend anything.

  • edited December 2007
    If you prevent the wipers from freezing in place, you prevent damage to the wiper motor and the wiper linkage when the wipers are operated. I don't see how doing this could bend anything.


    Huh? The first time I posted, everything froze and I had to close the site.
  • edited December 2007
    I never have.

    During freezing rain and ice storms ice can build up. I'd be concerned that if ice collects at the articulation point at the base of the wiper arm damage might occur when I attempt to push the arm back against the windshield. The compression strength of ice can be substantial, and you can get an enormous amount of force on the articulation point with the amount of pressure you can put on the arm, just because of simple leverage.

    If the wiper blade freezes to the windshield you could tear rubber freeing it with a scraper, but I'd rather do that than damage the arm.
  • edited December 2007
    Cautionary tale:

    In 20 years or so of cold winter driving, I was always very careful to free the wipers before driving off in the winter slop, ice and snow. The ONLY time I forgot to do it, the wiper blades did not tear off. There was a loud noise and, after that, a welder was required to fix the wiper linkage in my ?84 Buick.

  • edited December 2007
    Could call it either way. I just leave them down and always-always-always lift rubber squeegee off glass before turning on wipers. I've always had the feeling if I left arms up it would be an invitation for some jerk to tear off the wiper blades.
  • edited December 2007
    I normally turn mine off when I park and make sure they are not frozen in place before turning them back on.
  • edited December 2007
    Well, if you live in a snowy area, there are other benefits in doing this.

    When the wipers are parked, they're hidden below the rear of the hood. This is where ice and snow accumulate the most. And this is where they get froozen in place. So turning on the wipers can have damaging results.

    Also, when the wipers are off the windshield under these conditions, there's less chance of damaging the wiper arms and bridge. When there's snow and ice on the windshield, and it's cold and the wind's blowing, you want to get that ice and snow off the windshield quickly. With the wipers off the windshield, you can attack this snow and ice aggresively with an ice scrapper without worrying about hitting against the wiper arm and bridge causing damage.

  • edited December 2007
    EXCELLENT point Beads. I do the same.
  • edited December 2007
    Good point about the "hidden" wipers. Interestingly, I discovered while browsing through my owner's manual one day that my wipers have a higher-than-hidden "winter" setting that one could do that enables them to stop at a higher level. Thought I'd mention it because others may have that feature too.

    I'm so proud of myself for having read my manual! While, part of it at least. There's interesting stuff in there.
  • edited December 2007
    Mb, you didn't! My goodness. What the world coming to?

    Anyway, this subject has been hashed before but.....

    I have the hidden wipers on my 2000 Olds Silhouette, but during the winter when I expect freezing temps and/or freezing rain, I place a 4'x6' blue plastic tarp over the windshield with the top corners tucked inside the front doors.(That prevents it from theft)

    The tarp is wide enough that the lower edge covers the back edge of the hood about two inches.
    With the tarp having grommets in the corners, I simply hooked a couple of bungee cords in (bend the hooks in so they don't grow feet) and the other end hooks into the alloy wheels.
    I did however, find that to prevent paint scratches I had to place a rag between the top hooks and the fenders.

    This system takes about three minutes to install. The ice and snow simply shakes off easily, fold and roll and it takes up very little space.
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