Should You Leave Your Wipers Up or Down When It Snows?

It’s an age old debate – should you leave your windshield wipers up or down when it snows? If you live in an area that’s accustomed to winter weather, it’s a familiar sight: cars parked with their windshield wipers pointed up, saluting the sky. Some people say lifting your wipers can help prevent damage to the rubber wiper blades while others are skeptical, and its long been a topic of debate. Like choosing which direction to hang the toilet paper roll (over or under), each side has its staunch supporters. But which wiper method is best for clearing ice and snow from your vehicle?

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The lifters, drivers who lift their windshield wipers up before a snowstorm, may do so for several reasons. Having your wipers up and out of the way makes it easier to scrape ice and snow from the windshield. Plus, it also prevents the soft rubber wiper blades from getting frozen to the glass. If this has happened to you, you know it can be a pain to chip away ice from your frozen wipers. And attempting to pull them loose can make matters worse.

What Do the Experts Say?

“If your wipers are frozen to the windshield, you can damage the blades by trying to lift them free and if you turn on the wipers while they’re frozen, you can also put a lot of stress on the wiper linkage and motor – which can lead to expensive repairs.”


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The leavers, those in the “wipers down” camp, claim the cons of lifting your wipers outweigh any advantages. Not only does it require an extra step each time you get in and out of your vehicle, if your wipers do get frozen to the windshield, your window defroster can make quick work of melting the ice. Some Leavers say that continually lifting your wipers can wear out their springs.

What Do the Experts Say?

“There are 20-year-old cars that don’t have worn out springs. They’re built to withstand that kind of tension, so you’ll get many years of life out of the actual wiper arm.”


So, what’s the verdict? Should you leave your windshield wipers up or down when it snows? Lift or leave? Up or down? Which method wipes the other out? Like a frosted windshield, it’s not entirely clear. There are risks either way. But the risk is higher that you’ll tear the rubber trying to free a frozen wiper blade. So, leaving them up is probably your best bet, if you can do it.

Preparing your vehicle for winter can spare you from headaches later on. We can protect your vehicle further. Call us to discuss your auto insurance needs.


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