Should You Put Your Windshield Wipers up When It Snows?

Have you ever noticed a parked car or truck with windshield wipers pointing up? It’s no secret that freezing rain and snow can cause a mess on icy roads – but they can make problems for parked vehicles, too.

Some vehicle owners move their windshield wipers up, off the surface of the windshield, to prevent them from freezing to the windshield. Wipers frozen to the windshield can potentially be damaged when turned on, rendering them inoperable.

Read on to learn the pros and cons to putting your windshield wipers up when it snows.

Why Put Windshield Wipers up When It Snows?

So, why put windshield wipers up when it snows? Simply put, this is the easiest way to prevent your wipers from freezing to the windshield.

Frozen windshield wipers that become stuck to a windshield can contribute to a winter driving nightmare. Without proper defrosting, the wiper may rip or break when engaged while frozen.

Keep in mind that:

  • A windshield wiper positioned upward cannot freeze to the surface of the windshield and may help to reduce overall defrosting time.
  • Further, a windshield wiper that is left engaged when the engine is turned off (at your destination) may freeze to the windshield while the vehicle is parked. When the vehicle is restarted the windshield wipers may be damaged if they have frozen stuck to the windshield, causing stress or damage to the wiper motor that requires immediate professional repair.

Is It Ever Bad to Put Windshield Wipers up While Parked in Snow or Freezing Rain?

It doesn’t come without risk. Your windshield or windshield wiper may become damaged if:

  • You lift the blades too high. (Blades lifted too high may damage the internal mechanisms, including the motor.)
  • The windshield wiper is hit by debris. (Flying debris may cause the up-positioned wipers to bend in the wrong direction, damaging the wiper or its internal mechanisms.)
  • The blade snaps back too hard against a frozen windshield. (Very cold windshields may become more brittle – this is particularly true of older make and model windshields.)

How to Put Windshield Wipers up on Most Vehicles

Your vehicle may come with instructions for placing the windshield wipers in a “service position” or “snow mode”: check your manual for details on this process. If they exist, we recommend you follow them – this is especially true for new vehicles. If you’re purchasing a new vehicle, be sure to ask how to put your windshield wipers up safely.

If you do not have a service manual, you can lift your vehicle’s windshield wipers up and away from the windshield by:

  1. Shutting the car off and removing the key from the ignition.
  2. Beginning with the passenger side: carefully pull the windshield up so that it bends at the hinge and points up.
  3. Repeat for the driver’s side windshield wiper.

It is very important that you lower the windshield wipers carefully when you’re ready to drive. Do not let them slap against the glass. Be careful to clear and defrost the windshield first.

Let Glass Doctor Fix Your Windshield Glass Panes

Has your windshield been damaged or cracked? The experts at Glass Door® are available for all your auto glass needs – from windshield cracks and sunroof leaks to full windshield replacements. Request an appointment online or call (833) 974-0209 today.

Speaking of cars ... when was the last time you gave yours a deep clean? Check out these recommendations from our friends at Molly Maid. Like Glass Doctor, Molly Maid is a member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.