Snow can be pretty but harsh on wiper blades: expert advice on how to avoid damage and fix issues

Dear Mike,
I live in an area where snowfall is a common occurrence. Unfortunately, I made a mistake by using my wiper blades to clear off snow from my car’s windshield. Now the wiper blades don’t work properly. What should I do to fix this issue? Can it be fixed at home or should I take my car to a service center? I’m hoping you can help me out with this problem.

Dear Ilaria,

Thanks for reaching out to me for some advice on your wiper blade issue. Although I’d love to give you a magic solution that would fix everything in a jiffy, unfortunately, this is a bit of a tricky situation. We’ve all been there, trying to take the easy route by clearing snow off our windshields with our wipers instead of getting out there with the snow brush. Unfortunately, your wiper blades may have taken a hit from the heavy snow, and now you’re paying the price.

First of all, let me give you a little background on how your wiper system works. Your windshield wipers are connected to a wiper transmission or linkage, which is then attached to an electric motor. When you turn on your wipers, the motor sends power to the transmission to clear off the windshield. However, if the weight of the snow is too heavy, it can overload the motor and cause damage to the transmission or even blow a fuse in the circuit.

From what you described, it sounds like your wiper blade connection to the transmission has become disengaged. Most wiper transmissions are designed with nylon bushings that are socket-style, which pop onto the ball-shaped connector. They allow free movement, similar to the elbow or knee joint. Unfortunately, if they become disengaged once, they’re likely to happen again.

Now, to answer your question: can this be fixed at home or should you take your car to a service center? The answer is not so simple. If your linkage has been popped back into place and is working properly, you may be able to avoid a trip to the service center. However, if the linkage is still disengaged, you will need to take your car to a professional to get it fixed properly.

My advice to avoid this situation in the future is to invest in a good quality snow brush and scraper, and use it to clean your windshield and windows properly. It may take a little bit longer, but not only will it prevent damage to your wiper blades, it will also give you better visibility while driving in snow and ice.

In conclusion, I hope this advice helps you with your wiper blade issue, Ilaria. Although it’s never fun to have car issues, it’s important to remember that prevention is the best cure. So, stay safe on the roads, and keep your snow brush close at hand!

Yours Sincerely,

Mike Urban