You’ll notice when there is an impending snowstorm that many parked cars will have their wiper arms up. It may seem peculiar but this method is used by conscientious drivers who don’t want to replace their wiper blades after every snowfall.

It's a good idea to lift your wiper blades before a snowstorm. When it snows, particularly if your windshield is wet or warm when you park, snow can melt into water on your windshield, then freeze. When this happens, your wiper blades get frozen to the windshield in a sheath of ice. If your wiper blades get frozen to your windshield and you try to operate them, you could:

  • Tear the rubber edges on your wipers
  • Put stress on the wiper motor and burn it out
  • Bend your wiper arms

If you don’t lift your wiper arms before a snowfall and your wipers get frozen to the windshield, warm your car before trying to get them free. The warm air inside your car will start to melt the ice on the windshield from the inside. Then, gently work the wiper arms loose and clear the snow and ice from your windshield.

If you attempt to use an ice scraper on your windshield while the wipers are frozen to the glass, you run a high risk of cutting or nicking the rubber blade edge with your windshield scraper. Get the wipers free from the ice and lift them before scraping the ice from your windshield.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Should I Lift Up My Wiper Blades Before a Snowstorm? and was authored by Jason Unrau.


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