Those who might wander into an outdoor parking space will invariably find cars with their wipers raised. It’s a common practice every time the weather happens to be particularly hot, and the vehicle is expected to be parked under the sun indefinitely.
There's bound to be more than one car with wipers raised at outdoor parking lots
This is called putting the wipers in the service position, as it allows users to easily replace the wiper blades by propping up the spring-loaded wiper arm. The general consensus among those who do this is that it helps preserve the wiper blades. But does it work?
Consider the fact that the Philippines is a tropical country, which means that we often get more than our fair share of sunshine especially during the dry season. As the blades are made from rubber, the belief is that they tend to dry up and warp when exposed to extreme heat and ultraviolet (UV) rays while resting against the hot windshield surface.
Wiper blades are affected by heat and UV rays no matter what their position is
It sounds good in theory, except for one thing: whether the wipers are in service mode or not, the fact is that the entire car is sitting under the sun to begin with. In other words, the wiper blades are still exposed to harmful heat and UV rays no matter what their position is relative to the rest of the vehicle.
And even if you’ll be parking the car for just a brief moment, you’ll still be putting down the wipers before you drive off in hot weather. Where will the blades end up then while you’re traveling? That’s right: against the windshield, where it will still be warped according to the curvature of the glass with help from the ambient heat anyway.
Raising the wipers in service mode also yields the inconvenience of having to set them down first if you’re rushing to get inside the car in the middle of a thunderstorm. Those precious seconds are already enough to get yourself drenched even before you reach the driver’s seat.
Lifting the windshield wipers is more practical in snowy climates
Use of the wipers’ service mode is more practical in temperate regions that experience winter seasons. This keeps the rubber blades from sticking to the frozen glass, and if the blades are out of the way, it’s easier to scrape off the accumulated ice and snow from the windshield. While the car has a defroster to thaw the ice, having to release the stuck blades means giving the car more time to warm up, increasing fuel consumption.
Whether you choose to raise the wipers or not when parking the car, the best way to preserve them is to regularly clean both the blades and the windshield to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime. More importantly, try to minimize your car’s exposure to the sun by going for covered parking spaces as much as the opportunity allows.
Find more tips for beginner car owners at Philkotse.com.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo
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