Windscreen wipers need protection in the cold

Do not overlook windscreen wipers in cold weather.

During the cold, wintery months, many obstacles can stand in our way when it comes to driving, but one, often overlooked problem for many motorcaravanners, are windscreen wipers.

Whether it comes from a frozen van, black ice, flash-floods, or even snow-covered roads, the potential driving hazards in winter are numerous. However, one thing that many don’t consider is frozen windscreen wipers. 

When the conditions have been cold and icy, especially overnight, there’s a high chance your windscreen wipers will have frozen to your windscreen. Trying to pry your wiper blades can damage them permanently, leaving you with no wipers and the expense of replacing them. 

Graham Conway, managing director at Select Car Leasing has shared some tips on freezing wiper blades on a vehicle, so you’re not out of pocket and can get to work on time. 

De-icer screenwash

Firstly, de-icing screenwash is a great way to prevent a vehicle from freezing over. De-icer is used to remove ice and snow from your car’s windows. It’s a quick, easy, and safe way to melt ice from the windscreen, windows, and mirrors. This ensures all-round visibility without risk of damaging glass, unlike with homemade solutions like hot water.

Windscreen wipers clearing the rain to allow visibility on a rural drive.

There are various screenwashes available which contain de-icer inside the formula. This is a great preventative method that will make your wiper blades less likely to stick to your windscreen if they freeze.

Lift up your wipers at night

If you have no de-icer to hand, it’s worth lifting up your wipers overnight so they’re away from the glass. This will mean that if the windscreen freezes overnight, the wiper blades won’t be stuck to the glass. 

However, this is only recommended if your van is left in a safe and secure area, as the outspread wipers may become a target for vandals who may pull the blade-arms off.”

Covering the windscreen 

One way to protect both the wipers and the windscreen is to invest in a windscreen cover. These are a sheet of material, usually polythene or fabric. That sits between your car windshield and wipers to offer protection in cold weather.

View through the windshield while driving in the rain along Lake Mary Road in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff Arizona . (Photo by: Universal Education/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Some windscreen covers use magnets, others use tags to tie them to the A-pillars. They can cost anywhere from £10-£30. But the investment will mean you end up saving a lot of money on de-icer, wiper blades. Or even windscreen repairs.”

Turn off automatic wipers

If your motorcaravan has automatic wipers, you must ensure that you turn them off before defrosting your van windshield.  As the ice thaws, the wipers will sweep across the screen. And any residual ice will damage the rubber on the wipers. That means you’ll have to fork out for new ones.

Categorised as Road & Rail