In South Dakota and the upper Midwest, we enjoy 4 seasons - 5 if you include road construction. Well, "enjoy" might not be the correct word when the winter season hits. We get our fair share of snow, cold temperatures, and icy days.

As winter wears on, I've noticed more and more people putting their windshield wiper arms up when leaving their car. At work on some mornings, we see a parking lot full of vehicles with wiper blades sticking up like a classroom full of kids who want to get the teacher's attention.

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The reason is so the windshield wipers do not freeze into their resting position and this may save time but is it really the right thing to do?

Car tips website The Drive has a very compelling reason to not do this and says it can do more harm than good.

The windshield arms are designed to push the wipers against the windshield because of wind coming from the front of the vehicle. When the arms are stored up, they’re now subject to wind and forces they were not designed for. Now, they’re at risk of damaging the gearing, which is often made of shockingly brittle plastic, that holds the wiper blades and arms securely to the windshield.

If you have "chattering" wipers after a cold-weather event, this could be the reason why.


In short, it's best to leave the windshield wipers down to save a costly fix down the road. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't clear the snow that's sitting on your windshield first.

Snow is heavy and if you don't clear your windshield you can easily strip the gears. If they are frozen to the windshield, you'll probably strip the gears as well. Rather, carefully scrape around the wipers and let the car's defrosters do the work.

Safe driving, everyone!

MORE: 19 South Dakota Winter Driving Tips

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