Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Windshield Wipers Up In the Wintertime

It’s wintertime, which means that cars parked outside will inevitably be covered with snow and ice as the temperatures start to drop. And one thing that you might notice is that some cars will have their windshield wipers in the “up” position, in order to prevent them from getting stuck to the windshield. But here’s why you shouldn’t do that.

What are the cons of leaving your car’s windshield wipers up?

While leaving your car’s windshield wipers up will prevent them from getting stuck to the windshield, doing so also increases the chance of them breaking. As The Drive noted, your car’s windshield wipers are used to being pushed up against the windshield (under normal use) by the wind coming from the front of the car. But when you leave them up, they are now subject to crosswinds that they were not designed for, which can not only damage the actual wiper arms but also the motor that they are attached to, which is usually made of plastic.

A car is covered with snow and ice after a late autumn storm in New Mexico.
A car is covered with snow and ice after a late autumn storm in New Mexico. | (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

RELATED: Here’s Why You Should Spend the Extra Money on Wiper Blades

What are the benefits of leaving your car’s windshield wipers up?

The main benefit of leaving the windshield wipers up is that they won’t stick to the windshield and, since snow is heavy, you don’t run the risk of breaking the wipers should they activate before the snow is cleared off of the windshield. However, if you’re trying to get the most life out of your wipers during the wintertime, then there are some other measures you can take if you leave them down.

A car is covered with snow and ice after a late autumn storm in New Mexico
A car is covered with snow and ice after a late autumn storm in New Mexico. | (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

RELATED: It Might Be Time to Change Your Windshield Wiper Blades

Cover the windshield with a blanket or tarp

In case leaving your car’s windshield wipers down makes you feel a little uneasy, one cost-effective approach to ensuring they don’t break is to put a blanket or a tarp on your car’s windshield at night. By doing this, you’ll be able to simply clear off all of the snow and ice by picking the blanket up off the windshield in the morning. This will save you a lot of time and energy by not having to scrape your car’s windshield and it can also save your wipers from getting stuck or broken.

A car drives with the windshield wipers on.
A car drives with the windshield wipers on. | (Photo by Fabrizio Di Nucci/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Another tip: All-weather wiper blades and anti-freeze washer fluid

Another good tip to keeping your car’s windshield clear of snow on a regular basis is to install all-weather wiper blades and replacing your car’s wiper fluid with the anti-freeze type so that it doesn’t get frozen within the lines and nozzles.

A Trico Ice Wiper Blade from Amazon.com
A Trico Ice Wiper Blade | Amazon.com

All-weather wiper blades, like the Trico Ice Extreme Weather blades, are designed for ice and the harsh winter elements by providing a Teflon-built wiper blade and a flexible arm design that keeps the wiper pressed flat against the windshield for a smooth and quiet wipe every time.

Additionally, anti-freeze washer fluid typically has a freezing point between -20 to -50 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that it can easily run through the lines even in the coldest of weather and clear your windshield with ease.