If you live in a place that gets cold enough to frost or freeze, you’ve probably seen people leave their windshield wipers upright at night to prevent them from freezing to the windshield. Maybe you do this yourself. The idea is to keep the wipers off the glass to prevent them from freezing. This may offer some short term convenience, but this can actually lead to certain part failures.

Your Corner Wrench: Don't leave your wipers raised | Driving

Windshield wipers are pressed flat to the glass by springs within the wiper arm. These springs are stretched when you pull the wiper arm upwards away from the glass. This is okay for a short time, like when you are changing the wiper blades. However, leaving them in the upward position for a long time can permanently stretch the springs overtime. This is why it is not a good idea to leave your wiper blades up in preparation for cold precipitation. Once you stretch out that spring, the wiper arm can no longer provide the right amount of pressure, causing poor wipe quality. Also, when the wiper arm is in the up position, it is not stable and can easily slam down onto the windshield due to the force of the spring. This force can pull the wiper blade back to the windshield hard enough to crack the glass.

So what should you do? There are a couple options:



If you cover your wiper blades in bag, they won’t freeze to the windshield. Plastic grocery bags work, or you could wrap them with plastic wrap or a small tarp. Whatever you use, make sure it is waterproof.


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You don’t need to worry about your wiper blades freezing to the windshield if you have deicer, which is designed to make quick work of ice. You can even get deicing wiper fluid, which can make getting frost off your windshield a breeze.

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