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  #1  
Old 01-10-2012, 12:56 PM
60wag 60wag is offline
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why lift windshield wipers off glass?

I noticed an increasing number of people lift their wiper blades off the wndshield when snow is expected. Is there a good reason for this or is it herd mentality?

I've heard people say it's to keep the blades from freezing to the window. I've always found that frozen blades pop loose easily when you're scraping the ice off anyhow.

So are they enlightened or monkey see - monkey do?
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:05 PM
leahcim leahcim is online now
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I've certainly had windshield wipers frozen to the windshield in the morning to the extent that it was difficult to pry them loose without damaging them, and when I did they still had chunks of ice attached to them making them pretty much useless until all that comes off.

It usually happens when it starts snowing while or just after I've been driving because then the car is still warm enough to melt the first layer of snow and have it refreeze as hard ice. If it starts snowing after my car has already cooled down, the snow stays snowy and comes off easy.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:07 PM
dontbesojumpy dontbesojumpy is offline
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^what he said. they freeze to the windshield and it damages the rubber splines.
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:08 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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We just bought expensive wipers and it says on the package to lift them if we expect snow or a freeze. We'd end up trashing the plastic on the wiper if we turned them on when we had ice on the windshield.
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:09 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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What leahcim said. I've had wipers frozen to the glass and coated in millimetres of ice, which merged into the bottom of 10 cm of snow. The combination required determined scraping to remove, and I was worried about damaging the wiper blades, especially because it wasn't my car. I had forgotten to lift the blades, even though my cousins' cars nearby all had theirs lifted.

Last edited by Sunspace; 01-10-2012 at 01:11 PM..
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:10 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Where do you live? New England snow mixed with ice (common) will certainly freeze your windshield wipers to the bottom of the windshield and it often isn't easy to get them out. This may not be a common problem where snow = powder but that isn't the case everywhere.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:10 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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you can rip the blades pulling or scrapping them off a frozen window, it might not take chunks out but it might make splits the blade. it also lets you scrape full force everywhere because the wipers are already out of the way.
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:10 PM
ecoaster ecoaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60wag View Post
I noticed an increasing number of people lift their wiper blades off the wndshield when snow is expected. Is there a good reason for this or is it herd mentality?

I've heard people say it's to keep the blades from freezing to the window. I've always found that frozen blades pop loose easily when you're scraping the ice off anyhow.

So are they enlightened or monkey see - monkey do?

Boston resident weighing in.

Makes a huge difference in places where snow and ice are a real concern. It's not just that the blades stick- ice cakes over the blades making it harder to clear off. It takes two seconds to pop the blades off the glass and saves time if significant snow or ice is expected
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:16 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Upstate New York, land of 100 inch snow, chiming in. Wipers freeze to windows all the time. I don't understand a claim that they pop off easily.
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:42 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
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I find that lifting up the wipers make cleaning the windshield easier

Had a g/f that tried to run the wipers frozen to the windshield, she ended up stripping the attachment of the wiper-arm and the spindle.
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2012, 03:58 PM
60wag 60wag is offline
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I understand a bit better. I can see how New England or midwest ice storms would be a real pain regarding the wipers. I'm in Colorado. Yea, the snow tends to be powder and cleans up easily especially if the car is cold when the snow falls. I've never noticed any damage to my wipers by gently knocking them loose when scraping the ice off the glass.

If it really helps, I wonder why none of the auto manufacturers design them to lift? I had several Ford sedans back in the 80's that would park the wipers off the glass by lifting the arms up on some small plastic wedges. (That was in Chicago) I never noticed it to be any different than my wipers now that stay on the glass all the time.

So for all you wiper lifters, do you notice the blades losing contact with the glass when you're driving over 60mph and wiping? - streaks?
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2012, 04:30 PM
Diver Diver is offline
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Besides freezing weather the blades can take a set. Keeping them from touching can help that. In addition UV rays can harm the material. on a car it's not too big a deal since blades are pretty cheap but on my motor home they cost a lot more.

Since we live full time in our motor home we often sit in one place for several months in sunny places like AZ and move on when it gets too warm or we get too bored. The blades can see a lot of sun.

I have used blade covers for UV protection and plastic foam to keep the blades from touching the windshield and my eight year old blades are still in good shape.
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  #13  
Old 01-10-2012, 09:06 PM
urban1a urban1a is offline
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I'm from Colorado, around Denver, and have lived in this area all my life. Only in the last 3 or 4 or 5 years have I seen people lifting their blades off the windshield and just figured it was, as stated above, herd mentality. I've never had any real problem with cleaning the windshield after a snow storm and we seldom have ice storms. Of course, I'd never try to run the blades until I had at least scraped the window some.

I can't speak for what they do in the mountains, btw, but it's very new in Denver.

Bob
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2012, 10:40 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver View Post
I have used blade covers for UV protection and plastic foam to keep the blades from touching the windshield and my eight year old blades are still in good shape.
Eight year old wiper blades?
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  #15  
Old 01-11-2012, 08:48 AM
Hyperelastic Hyperelastic is offline
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A stuck wiper can not only be damaged as it rips free, you can also blow the fuse for the motor if the wiper is stuck hard enough.
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  #16  
Old 01-11-2012, 09:56 AM
Philster Philster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60wag View Post
I

If it really helps, I wonder why none of the auto manufacturers design them to lift?


Virtually all wiper arms lift.

Decades ago, some recessed wipers could only be lifted if they were stopped short of being recessed. Still, the arm was spring loaded and was able to be retracted from the windshield.
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2012, 02:11 PM
goldmund goldmund is offline
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In 21 years of driving in New England and Minnesota, the handful of times my wipers have wound up "frozen to the windshield", to the extent that they cant' just be readily popped loose while clearing the windshield, have been ice storms. In those cases the whole vehicle is covered in a thick coat of ice, and freeing the wipers is not the primary impediment to driving.

I'll leave mine down. If it's an ice storm and I've got the wipers sticking up into the air, they're going to get a nice sheath of ice around them, like a tree branch. I'd rather have the edge of the blade resting on the windshield, preventing it from becoming fully encased. I'd also rather not run the risk of high winds bending my wiper arms, being a more inviting target for vandalism, or stretching out the springs thereby reducing the effectiveness of the wipers.

Going to have to go with herd mentality on this one, sorry. Of course all of the above is heavily influenced by the fact that there's just something about the look of a car doing the "wiper salute" that really irritates me for unknown reasons.
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2012, 02:32 PM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperelastic View Post
A stuck wiper can not only be damaged as it rips free, you can also blow the fuse for the motor if the wiper is stuck hard enough.
Or break the mechanism that controls the rotation. I've had that happen and it sucks; much worst than a blown fuse in the winter.
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  #19  
Old 01-11-2012, 02:42 PM
silk1976 silk1976 is offline
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From New England -

I find that when I lift the blades, they don't need any cleaning at all. However, when they are against the window, then more stuff sticks to them (once broken away from the windshield) making overall cleaning more difficult and time consuming.

Plus, as people have mentioned - once you have gunk stuck to the wipers, it can be a pain to clean them off sufficiently so that all the blade contacts the windshield. If you miss a tiny bit, you get a thin streak of clean and the rest of the windshield is opaque from the dried up mixture of water and salt spewed up from cars in front of you.

Rather than use blade covers and foam and all that to protect blades, I just get a pair of silblades - those things last forever. Before I found them, I was replacing wiper blades every 6 months.
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  #20  
Old 01-11-2012, 09:02 PM
Alpine Alpine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urban1a View Post
I can't speak for what they do in the mountains, btw, but it's very new in Denver.
I live in the mountains in Colorado, and I've been lifting my wipers (sounds kind of kinky) for years. If I don't, they will stick, or get lost in a huge mound of snow in a good storm. Everybody does it around here.
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  #21  
Old 01-11-2012, 10:02 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philster View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 60wag View Post
I
If it really helps, I wonder why none of the auto manufacturers design them to lift?


Virtually all wiper arms lift.

Decades ago, some recessed wipers could only be lifted if they were stopped short of being recessed. Still, the arm was spring loaded and was able to be retracted from the windshield.
I believe what 60wag meant was that he wondered why wipers aren't designed to always be lifted off the glass by the drive mechanism whenever they're parked.

That way they'd never take a set, they'd never get iced onto the glass, etc.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 01-11-2012 at 10:04 PM..
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  #22  
Old 03-04-2014, 01:44 PM
jstuef23 jstuef23 is offline
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Ridiculous!

I am from Michigan and now live in Raleigh North Carolina. The two times we've ever had snow here, I See people putting up there wipers. I think it is the most ridiculous thing ever, And it has to be a southern thing. It makes me laugh every time I've seen it. 20 years in Michigan have never ever seen it.
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  #23  
Old 03-04-2014, 01:48 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstuef23 View Post
I am from Michigan and now live in Raleigh North Carolina. The two times we've ever had snow here, I See people putting up there wipers. I think it is the most ridiculous thing ever, And it has to be a southern thing. It makes me laugh every time I've seen it. 20 years in Michigan have never ever seen it.
Well, if you've never seen it, it must be stupid.
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  #24  
Old 03-04-2014, 01:51 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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But zombies never stick to the windshield.
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  #25  
Old 03-04-2014, 02:04 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstuef23 View Post
I think it is the most ridiculous thing ever, And it has to be a southern thing. It makes me laugh every time I've seen it.
Laugh all you want. Mrs. Geek didn't lift the wipers and they froze to the windshield. When she turned on the wipers, it burned out the wiper motor (nice design there, Dodge...).

Have you ever changed the wiper motor on an old Dodge Caravan? It's not fun.
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  #26  
Old 03-04-2014, 02:12 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
I find that lifting up the wipers make cleaning the windshield easier.
This is it. It's not hard to remove a frozen wiper from the windshield; that's what ice scrapers are for. You just make sure to break up the ice with a scraper before going, and also the scrape all the ice off the blade.

But it's a lot easier to brush off the windshield if the blade is not in the way. You have to lift them up anyway to get all the snow off, so why not just do it in advance? It certainly cuts down on the time I need to brush off snow.
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  #27  
Old 03-04-2014, 03:32 PM
NotherYinzer NotherYinzer is offline
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I have an '05 Subaru Outback and it has a heated area on the windshield right where the wipers go. I love that feature and I'd really hate to see the price for replacing that windshield.
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  #28  
Old 03-04-2014, 04:23 PM
Telemark Telemark is online now
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I've replaced the windshield on my '04 twice - never saw the bill from the insurance company as glass is always covered here. The feature is nice, but I still lift the wipers when I know ice is coming.
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  #29  
Old 03-04-2014, 04:32 PM
GusNSpot GusNSpot is offline
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Auto lift upon turn off would be cool as we sometimes get ice that is not forecast here in the AR, OK, MO, KN junction.
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  #30  
Old 03-04-2014, 08:25 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
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Somebody needs to make a tube with a small slit along the side - to slide over the blades and keep them ice-free.

The tubes blades come in and a sharp knife come to mind.

- he who moved 2000 miles to escape the weather (and many, many other things about the Midwest)
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