Why Put Windshield Wipers Up in Winter? All Myths Busted Here.

Written by Oliver

October 25, 2022

Cars on the parking lot completely covered with snow, blizzard outside, windshield wipers is lifted up on all cars

It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing color, the air is getting crisp, and snow is on the forecast. As you prepare your car for winter weather, you may wonder whether it’s best to leave your wiper blades up or down.

During the times when the temperature drops below the freezing point, it’s important to be aware of the conditions of your windshield and how they can affect your visibility while driving.

Here’s what we suggest to help you see the road clearly when driving in these cold months:

In What Cases Do You Want to Put Your Windshield Wipers Up

The main point of this ritual is to prevent them from freezing into the windshield, which can lead to the wiper motor or rubber blade damage.

Here are 2 scenarios when you want to lift your windshield wipers upright position before leaving the car for an extended period (e.g., overnight) in the winter.

If you need to drive immediately

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to drive immediately after a frosty night, lift your windshield wipers up in the evening.

Simply clean snow and ice off the windshield, put the wipers back down, and you’re ready to go.

Your car doesn’t have a heated windshield or autostart

If your car has no heated windshield or autostart, you can put the wipers up. If your car has those features, there is no need to put the wipers up, as your windshield will be defrosted before you start to drive.

Again, this advice is applicable only if you don’t want to wait a couple of minutes when you start the car, as a standard heater blower usually does the job of releasing frozen wipers without any problems.

Why Frozen Windshield Wipers are Not an Issue (Leave Them Down!)

Rear view on a luxury car parked on a country road surrounded by fields

As we’ve mentioned above, your car manufacturer already solves the problem of frozen windshield wiper blades with the vehicle’s standard heating system. Every car, without exception, must have it in order to maintain visibility through your car’s windshield and windows.

Wiper defrosting usually doesn’t take much more than a couple of minutes, as they’re typically located right above the air vents on the other side of the windshield.

To start the defrosting process, start your car’s engine, locate air on the windshield and turn on the heater blower at the max speed. Wiper blades will be defrosted faster than the rest of the windshield as they’re located closer to the air vents.

After engaging the defrosting process, you can go outside the car and try one of our windshield and auto glass defrosting hacks we provided in one of our previous blog posts! 🙂

The Risks of Putting Windshield Wipers Up

If you consider to use the advice of putting your windshield wiper blades up position, there are several risks you may face:

Wipers may snap back on the windshield and crack it

If the wipers are not properly secured, or the springs inside the wiper arms are not working correctly, wipers can snap back and crack the windshield. That can also happen due to the strong wind or acts of vandalism.

Wipers can lose their tension against the windshield

When you leaving windshield wipers up, you engage the spring inside the wiper arm. That can weaken it over time and reduce the amount of pressure that windshield wipers are able to put on the glass. That may result in streaks or even missed spots while you are trying to clean your windshield.

How To Prolong the Lifespan of Wiper Blades in the Cold Weather

The harsh conditions can take a toll on your wipers, causing them to wear out quickly. There are a few simple things you can do to prolong the lifespan of your wipers and keep them working properly all winter long:

  • Be sure to clean them regularly with rubbing alcohol. This will remove any built-up grime and residue that can cause the blades to become stiff and brittle.
  • Use silicone-based wipers rather than rubber wiper blades. Silicone is more resistant to freezing and cracking in cold weather.
  • Don’t turn on your wipers if there is still ice on the windshield. The blades can get damaged if they’ll run over hard ice.
  • You can also cover wipers with plastic wrap or plastic bags overnight. The wrap will insulate the blades and prevent them from freezing on the windshield.
Completely shattered side window on a white hatchback car, hole in a window

By following these simple tips, you can keep your wiper blade in top condition all winter long.



People sitting in a car behind acoustic windshield, office workers

So, the next time you’re wondering why put windshield wipers up, think about the benefits and make your decision based on that. In most cases, it’s best to leave them down – even when it snows! And if you do decide to put them up in certain conditions, just be careful of the risks involved.

What do you think? Do you put your windshield wipers up or down? Let us know in the comments below!



Oliver Nordsve is a unique individual with bilingual skills; he speaks five languages and is a father of 4 lovely children. In his spare time, he loves to prepare big meals for the family, go for long walks and meditate every morning. He has worked in the auto glass industry for 15 years and is a company veteran. At carglass.io, he is the head of business development which, during his time, has evolved into a business with several branches globally. Oliver used to replace windshields on trucks and buses during his time with MAN.


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