The Results of These Tests Finally Settle the Windshield Wiper Debate

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Jane Lu
Updated on Apr 27, 2022 · 3 min read
Finally, there seems to be an answer to the age-old debate about whether windshield wipers should be up or down
during a storm
. Why should you care? Well, it’s dangerous to drive around with malfunctioning wipers or a cracked windshield, and you want to avoid needing frequent windshield repairs.
So, what position should you leave the wipers in so you don’t have to worry about paying for repairs? Read on to find out the answer and learn what kind of
car insurance
covers your car in the event of storm damage.
Most people aren't sure what to do with their windshield wipers during a storm | Twenty20

Should the windshield wipers be up or down?

The verdict, according to
The Drive
, is that it doesn’t matter! They spoke to the engineers at Bentley who confirmed it’s all down to personal preference.
There are seemingly logical arguments for both camps. If you leave your wiper up, it might mess with the mechanism that moves the wipers. If you leave them down, they might get stuck to the windshield, causing scratches or cracks in the glass as you pull them free.

How do car engineers test windshield wipers?

Bentley engineers said that every part of the wiper arms are tested way beyond what a driver would encounter day-to-day. They are purposely frozen to the windshield, packed with snow, and then pulled off to make sure the wipers can withstand these scenarios.
For a wiper arm to break off, at least on a Bentley, the wind would have to be hitting your car at more than 200 mph. That’d be close to hurricane levels of wind, based on the wind force scale from
In summarizing their wipers’ durability, one of the engineers claimed "you’ll have to want to break it to break it."
Bentley also tests its windshields against stone, gravel, and hail. But as anyone with a long driving history will know, chips and cracks do still happen. If you’re worried about potential damage to your windshield, outside of a collision, you should explore
comprehensive insurance
as part of your next policy.

How to protect your wipers and windshield from damage

There are multiple fail-safes that car manufacturers implement for their vehicles. With a Bentley and several other popular auto brands, if your wipers can’t complete a cycle when trying to clear your windshield, they will automatically stop to prevent further damage.
If this happens to you, you can try to clear the snow with a brush and use warm water to break down any ice. There’s no reason to risk damaging your windshield if there are easy ways to avoid it.

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