Wiper Blades in Winter Storms

Is it a good idea to stick the wiper blades up from the windshield (i.e. not leaving them lying against the windshield) when the car is parked during a snowstorm? We’ve had severe winter weather in the DC area and are having more. Some of my neighbors do this, but I’ve never had a problem with the wiper blades once I’ve heated and defrosted the car - and I ALWAYS get rid of ALL of the snow and ice before trying to use the wipers. Thank you!

If a heavy snow storm is on the horizon it’s a good idea to stand the wipers off the windshield. Then when the windshield is being cleared of snow and ice there’s no chance of damaging the wiper blades. It’s usually aggresive scraping of ice off the windshield that damages the wiper blades when they’re laying on the windshield.


The other thing about that is that if the wiper switch gets left on or is accidentally activated the wipers will try to go as soon as you start the car. If the blades are frozen to the windshield and buried in ice & snow having them try to run at this point will only damage the blades if you are lucky - can also strip the mounting splines for the arms or break other parts.

It’s a good idea if you’re expecting an ice storm. For regular snow, it’s not that big of a deal either way, since they’ll probably lift up easily when you clear the windshield.

Might not be such a good idea if the car is parked where passing street maggots will see them sticking out and decide to break them off just for the fun of it.

I’m sitting here in the DC 'burbs, waiting out the storm myself. I favor your approach. As others have mentioned, you DO have to remember not to leave the wiper switch in the on position (could be an easy mistake with some switch configurations, especially if you were using “intermittent” when you stopped). And, as you say, you DO have to make sure the wipers are free before you turn them on. But at least you don’t leave the wipers sticking out to attract vandals or stupid adolescents.

I’ve NEVER done it and NEVER had a problem. It’s probably a good idea…but I really don’t think it’s needed.

I’m here in downtown DC.
My car is completely buried.
Buried it will stay until next week.
I see wiper blades sticking up on other cars and they say to my inner child “grab me”.

I never have done it. Normally I just make sure the blades are not stuck in ice. I have also found that using “winter blades” helps in ice/snow. These are blades that have a rubber boot covering the metal structure. Ice is easily removed to provide a clear windshield.

I forgot to free up the wipers once or twice. Once it produced a loud snap and I had to get the bar connecting the far wiper welded.