Experts Agree That You Should Leave Your Windshield Wipers Down When a Storm is on the Way

Good-natured debates can be educational, enlightening, and funny. We invite you to engage in one today about a car topic that may not affect you at all or may only arise when the weather is a wintry mix of sleet, snow, or something in between.

The question is whether it is wise – or necessary – to stick your windshield wipers up like a pair of arms reaching for the sky when bad weather is on the way. If you live in an area that gets snow or freezing rain, then you’ve probably either seen the practice or done it yourself.

For some, leaving the wipers up during a snowstorm, etc., avoids having them get stuck to the windshield during scraping, thereby making the job easier. Others do it to make it easier to find their car in a sea of snow puffs in a parking lot.

Many people leave the wipers as-is on the windshield and are happy with using a combo of the defrost feature on their cars and a DIY scraping method. Yeah, it’s a nuisance when they’re glued to the glass with ice. Yeah, it may take a few extra seconds or minutes to melt, crack, or unpack the snow and ice from wipers, but it’s par for the course.

A Honda service team’s blog jumped in on the discussion by taking the position that windshield wipers should be left down on snow days. Why? They argue that anything could fall onto or hit the wiper blades, causing damage to the windshield or the wipers themselves.

“Anything” includes forceful winds, vandalizing hands, icicles, snowballs, snow piles, tree branches, and whatever else you can think of. One huge wind gust could send that arm slamming into the windshield (or hood), cracking it.

However, the blog makes a point to say that angling the wipers also contributes to undue wear and tear on the pivot mechanism in the blades. Those parts are made of plastic and tiny springs and if weakened, the wipers won’t function smoothly.

Instead, we’re advised to let them lay where they are when cold, rough weather is expected. Other experts advise that you should clear out any impacted snow or ice from the blades with a brush or your hands. Doing so will ensure the arms are free and clear. The other option? Leave them down and cover the blades with a plastic wrapping before snow hits.

No doubt you will be looking around your neighborhood the next time it snows (which might be today) to see if anyone has their wipers erect. You might even see a piece of cardboard or a blanket sitting on top of a windshield. People are creative with their habits.

Maybe you’ve experimented with both wipers up and wipers down and have a preference, or perhaps you have a position that you’re sticking to. We would love to know what part of the world you live in and how you prep your car if it’s sitting outside in winter weather. Share!

Are you in a snowy region where people put their wipers up all the time? Do you lift your wipers or not? What are your thoughts on the practice?