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When we are expecting snow storm and the vehicle is parked, do we pull out the wipers so they don’t touch the glass to avoid the freezing to the windshield? Or would that hurt the springs in the wiper and make it weaker for future use?

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7 Answers

It seems ridiculous to me, if your car is parked outside you still have to clean the wipers, put the heater and defroster on and clear your car of snow before you drive it. In some states you must clear the top of the car before driving it so that the snow doesn't blind the driver behind you as it slides off. Having the wipers up makes them more vulnerable to the elements too, especially if it is a heavy wet snow like we get in the East. If you have them up in a public place it attracts attention and it could very well be the negative kind. I think that people see others doing it and just feel that they should too for no apparent reason (the sheep theory) Well, there you have my opinion.

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Welcome to the site ... here we are looking for more facts than opinions. Please try to back up opinion with facts and reference if you have them. –  Paulster2 Jan 22 at 0:15
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Lifting wiper blades off the windshield is not smart. It does nothing for you. As for the spring thing, well it is like a pen spring, stretch it and it does ont go back to normal, just like car wiper springs. park car turn wipers off, start car warm it up and clean whichsheild and you will never have a problem.

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Many countries do not allow you to "warm" your vehicle up (UK being one of them, I believe). Much of what you posted is opinion based. Read the answer by mac to understand what I mean. –  Paulster2 Dec 23 '13 at 15:03
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There are federal safety standards for defrosting, With that being said if you use your cars defroster, your better off that way. I am against lifting also. It also could cause snow and ice to become lodged under your wiper arm causing you troubles down the road. With that being said a fair amount of newer vehicles have heated wiper park areas these days, with that you would be defeating the heated wiper park area.

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You can add your personal info to your profile page - no need to put it in your answers. –  Rory Alsop Sep 15 '13 at 17:01
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I'm against lifting them. I've never had any trouble (nor caused any damage) breaking one loose with a scraper. I have, however, had a wiper arm break when it snapped back against the windshield (such as can happen with the wind that normally accompanies Winter storms).

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Regarding the effect of raising the wiper arms on the wiper arm springs: raising the wiper arms will not make the springs weaker for future use.

The only way that the springs could produce reduced force when the wiper arms are returned to their normal position is if the springs took a permanent "set" from being stretched. This can only happen one of two ways:

  1. The springs were stretched beyond their material yield point and therefore experienced plastic deformation, which is permanent
  2. The springs experienced significant material "creep", which can happen below the yield point

Both of these scenarios are extremely unlikely in the case of wiper arm springs. The wiper arms are designed to be raised and lowered, and the springs will stay well below the yield point throughout their range of motion, so point 1 does not apply. As for creep, this is a LOOONG term phenomenon, and would occur to some extent even when the wiper arms are down (the stretch of the springs isn't all that different between the up and down positions), so point 2 does not apply.

Therefore, feel free to put your wipers up. It won't hurt your springs.

For what it's worth, I grew up in a very snowy region, and it wasn't until I moved out of the serious snow belt that I started to see masses of cars with their wipers up in parking lots. I actually think it's kind of funny. I personally have no problems cleaning my windshield with the wipers down.

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I live in Canada where we got often snow storm or freezing rain during winter, I never lift my wipers blades. It's clearly unnecessary for a snow storm, as you remove the snow from your car prior of activate your wipers.

But I can see my neighbors lifting theirs when freezing rain is forecasted, some even put cardboard on the windshield to avoid scraping the ice. When it's happen, I start the car, start scrapping the windows and the heat will melt ice around the wipers (some cars have windshield wiper defrosters). I make sure that my wipers blade are clean of any ice and I'm set to go.

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When one lives in places where it snows, even occasionally, they quickly learn to lift the wipers. If you go to a ski resort when the inclement weather is expected, you would see half of the vehicles with wipers pulled up. The other half are either do not have wipers that can be fixed up (in that case one is still advised to separate them from the glass somehow), or they are going to regret it when temperatures hit below freezing after the wet snowfall.

In my experience, doing so never had any noticeable negative implication on the wiper arm spring. In fact, I have not seen any car, new or old, whose wiping performance suffered when the new wipers were attached.

In case the wipers do get frozen to the windscreen, one must take extreme care not to tear them off as it could be done really easily, especially when the rubber is more brittle from the cold. The best solution sometimes is to pour warm water on them, if available. And if your car is covered in snow or ice, always check the wipers by hand as you clean it off, before using the wiper motor.

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