If you’re like most people, you’ve tried to use your windshield wiper blades to clean off snow and ice at least once or twice. If you’ve never done it, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible. It might be possible, but it’s never a good idea. While it’s true that you might be able to get a certain amount of snow and ice off of your windshield with those blades, you’re also doing a tremendous amount of damage at the same time. In fact, you can almost guarantee that you’re going to have to replace the blades soon afterward. It’s likely to shred them. There are plenty of reasons why this is a bad idea. If you’re not convinced, keep reading.
It Tears Them Up
As mentioned in the above paragraph, cleaning your windshield with your blades tears them up. Most of the time, the tears appear immediately. If you’re using them to get snow and ice off the windshield, there’s a better than average chance that the weather hasn’t dramatically improved in the five or ten minutes since you got in the car. Therefore, you’re putting yourself at risk because you may not be able to see where you’re going now that you’ve torn up the blades. Even if you can’t see any physical damage right away, you can bet it’s there. It won’t take very long for it to show up, either.
It Can Cause Them to Become Dislodged
Every once in a while, trying to remove snow and ice with your wipers can actually cause the blades to become dislodged from the wiper arms, especially if they weren’t properly installed, to begin with. Before you know it, one of them could become loose and come completely off the car. At the very least, you’re going to end up with a scratched windshield when that metal arm hits it.
It Can Break the Windshield Wiper Assembly
Trying to remove snow and ice with your windshield wipers isn’t just a bad idea for the blades. In reality, it can be a bad idea for the entire assembly. You’d be surprised how many people have broken their windshield wipers by doing this. It’s not worth the risk. This can be a costly mistake, and it’s something that’s completely preventable, so there is no excuse for doing it in the first place.
It Doesn’t Work with Frozen Blades
If the snow and ice are very thick, you are quite literally spinning your wheels and going nowhere. If the blades themselves are encased in ice, it isn’t going to do you any good to turn them on because they’re not going to move. However, making a habit out of doing this could burn out your windshield wiper motor, something else that you’ll have to pay to fix.
It Takes More Time Than Scraping your Windshield
For some reason, people jump into their cars and turn on their wipers because they think it’s going to get them wherever they’re going faster. When your windshield is covered in snow and ice, the fastest way to clear it is to turn on the defroster and then scrape the windshield, paying special attention to the windshield wipers.
Once you’ve done that and removed the larger pieces of debris, you can then safely turn on your windshield wipers when you need to. Even in the worst kind of weather, this only takes about 10 minutes so it doesn’t really make any sense just to sit there on the car and keep trying to use the windshield wipers when it could take twice that long.
The most important thing that you need to remember here is that windshield wipers are not designed to remove a bunch of snow and ice that has accumulated on the windshield. If you need to remove it while you’re driving, you can usually do that without a problem as long as you keep running the defroster.
However, there are situations where you will have to pull over from time to time and manually remove the debris from the windshield. The best rule of thumb that you can follow is to refrain from doing anything that might damage the automobile or the blades themselves. If that’s the case, remove the snow and ice from the windshield manually as opposed to using the windshield wipers to do it.