2016 Subaru Legacy - Wiper arms

Your newspaper article said the springs on wiper arms weaken over time.(how long is time?) I raise my wipers each time I wash my windows and wipe off the dirty blade. Some black always wipes off. I hate to waste money so should I stop now or do I have some time? Love the show.

Not Ray here. The wiper arm springs, if properly designed by the automaker, do NOT weaken over time. Those that do, I’d say you have 6 to 10 years. Worry about other things.


My car is 13 years old, wiper springs have not weakened yet.

1 Like

Your wiper springs are being subjected to two forces; loading and fatigue

In normal use, they are constantly under load trying to force the wiper arm against the windshield. Extension springs can relax (creep) over time under load. Heat greatly accelerates this process. However, if the springs are properly designed for the environment and the load, and are not subjected to excessive heat or loaded beyond their elastic limits, they should not develop enough creep to be noticeable.

The second is fatigue and this is caused by repeated cycling of the spring tension. When you lift the wiper arm you are cycling the spring. However, a properly designed spring should be able to take more cycling than you will ever do by washing your windows.

It’s unlikely you will notice any loss of arm pressure due to spring wear in the time you own this car unless it gets to be 30 years old :wink:

Springs do wear out. Take extension garage door springs for example. They eventually break and often in spectacular fashion. Nothing lasts forever…

Being able to see well in the rain is more important than prolonging the life of your springs, so I vote for continuing to clean them if that helps. I use rubbing alcohol for this when I do it.

I do the same thing as you and I have yet to have a wiper arm failure. I get about three years from the blades by doing this and I keep my cars for a very long time, some over 20 years.

Edit: If they are going to fail early, it will be due to rust and not use. I don’t live where rust is an issue, but if you do, the springs may fail but it won’t be from cleaning the blades.

The riveted joints in the arms will seize up before the springs fail…

Thanks everyone. I have enough information now to continue down the path I have been going.

No need for any future responses. Thanks to you all for your time and comments…