Does putting the windshield wipers up make them last longer?

Arif · May 26, 2021 09:53 AM

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If you walk into an open car park, chances are you would see a few cars with the windscreen wiper up (in the service position). Some say that doing this helps to keep the wiper blades lasting longer, while others think it is an entirely pointless thing to do.

So, should you keep your wipers up (in service position) when parked? 

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Does it make any sense to do it in Malaysia's hot climate? A similar debate happens among motorists living in cold climates.

Now, the main thing damaging windscreen wipers is the extreme heat if left parked too long under the hot sun. The wiper blades dry up and warp under the heat and UV rays, making them less effective.

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Long exposure to heat and UV rays will wear out the wiper blades faster.

For this reason, some say that it is better to keep the wiper blades up (in service position). Since the wiper blade is pressed against the windshield, some believe that the wiper blade gets a bit warped with the shape of the windshield.

How true is that? Read on to find out.

Also Read: Sun damage ruins the resale value of your car, here's how to prevent it

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Will doing this make your wipers last longer?

Is there any benefit to putting the wiper blades up?

Let's look at a few things..

Yes, heat can warp your wiper blades, but whether your wiper blades are up (in service position) or down, it will still get dry and warped anyway. 

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Yes, leaving the wiper blade down (not in service position) will cause it to warp with the shape of the windshield.

However, think about this – Your wipers will warp even while you’re driving in hot weather too. Not just when parked. So, how much benefit are you really getting (if any) from putting the wipers up?

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And yes, dust and debris accumulate at the wiper blades in their "default" position, but it accumulates while you're driving too.

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Left uncleaned, the wiper leaves an obvious trace of dirt on the windshield

It seems then, that having the wipers up (in service position) when parked makes an insignificant difference to the service life of the wiper blades.

Now, keeping the habit of putting your windscreen wipers up poses one irritating problem too. In the event of a heavy downpour when you’re rushing to your parked car. You might find yourself having to exit the car again just to put the wipers down. Such a hassle.

So, how to keep your wipers lasting longer effectively?

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So, what should you do instead to keep your wipers lasting longer? Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Clean the wiper blades
  2. Clean the windshield
  3. Park in the shade

1. Clean the wiper blades

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Photo

Dirt and grime accumulate over time and damage the cutting edge of the wiper blades. That’s not good. Contaminants can also cause the wiper squeegee to wear out faster.

Keep the blades clean and they should serve you longer. Just wipe the blades with a damp cloth to do this. 
 

2. Clean the windshield

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Photo: carcarehunt

Just like the wiper blades, dirt and debris gets accumulated on the windshield too. The benefits are the same as cleaning the wiper blades.

Wiper blades also wear out faster the harder you work them. Extra dirt and grime on the windshield add extra work for the blades.

3. Park in the shade

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The best way to keep your wipers lasting longer is to just park in the shade whenever you can. Since we already know the heat and UV rays from the sun damage the wiper blades, why not just avoid it all together? Simple, right?

This doesn’t just preserve your wipers but every other rubber part on your car too. Parking in the shade is the best habit to have you want the parts on your car to last longer.

Conclusion

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Wiper blade up or down when parked, they will still wear out faster due to exposure to the sun. Yes, keeping wiper down will cause it warp with the shape of the windshield, but it’s already happening as you drive in hot weather conditions anyway.

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Thus, doing this when the car is parked makes a very, very little difference. Unless your car is pretty much unutilised, you’re better off practicing the habits that we have mentioned to keep your wiper blades lasting longer.

Also Read: 5 quick money-saving tips to take care of your windshield wipers!

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Arif

Writer

Previously an engineer in an automotive manufacturing company and a highway concessionaire. A part-time research student on biofuels and diesel engines. Obsessed with vehicle electrification and the future of transportation.

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