Ask the Service Team: Windshield Wipers Up or Down Before a Storm?

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We’re gearing up for the first blizzard of 2018, which will apparently feature a ton of snow, high winds, and something called a bombogenesis. You’re probably out in your Honda preparing for a snow day or two. (Especially if you’re lucky enough to drive one of our 4WD models like the Pilot or Crosstour!) You’re heading home from work, buying bread and milk, or filling up with gas “just in case.”

When you’re all hunkered down and your car is parked for the duration, you may feel compelled to do something you’ve seen people do prior to a big storm: you’ll grab your wipers and angle them up and away from your windshield.

It seems like a good idea…after all, the snowstorm is predicted to be a doozy. When you wake up in the morning, your Honda’s windows will be crusted over with a windshield-sized glacier. If you raise your wipers, they’ll be out of the way, nice and clean, ready for action once you do the work of scraping your windshield with the massive scraper-brush thing your uncle bought you for Christmas. Right?

BUT…this may not be such a good idea. Here’s why:

First and foremost, imagine if something hits those wipers as they stand at attention! A large icicle, a snowball… in blizzard conditions, even the wind and driving snow of these predicted blizzard conditions may have sufficient force to break off a wiper blade in this position, to the point where it could hit and crack your windshield. Honda Seekonk Senior Service Adviser Tim Islip is adamant about this: “I’ve seen windshield wipers that snapped and actually hit the car during a bad storm, resulting in a cracked windshield costing the car owner hundreds of dollars in repairs.”

Beyond the potential for immediate damage, this practice is sure to create unnecessary wear and tear on your windshield wipers. The gear at the pivot is plastic, and raising the wiper blades in this fashion will create too much torque in this area, which can cause damage to the splines. It can also bend the arms and weaken the tension springs that hold the wipers down against the windshield. All these things will eventually cause the blades to skip across the windshield, rather than sweeping smoothly to clear away rain, ice, and snow.

WiperDiagram1

Angling your wiper blades away from your car to keep them free of snow and ice may seem like a good idea, but it’s not worth the potential damage. In the long run, it will certainly hurt your wiper blades’ ability to perform effectively–and that’s the last thing you want when winter weather driving is on the forecast. So leave them be during the storm, and just be extra careful cleaning them off to remove ice and snow.

Stay safe, folks!

 

This blog is brought to you by Herb Chambers Honda of Seekonk.  We invite you to like, comment, and share! Be sure to subscribe, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest Honda news. You can also browse our selection of quality new and used cars or stop by our full-service dealership for test drives, parts, service, repairs, or just to say hello!

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