Iowans debate windshield wipers- up or down?

(DES MOINES, Iowa)   The recent blast of freezing rain has prompted the debate about what to do with windshield wipers.   Do you leave the wipers in place when your vehicle is parked, or is it better to put the wipers in an upright position, with the hope that they won't be frozen to the glass when you return to your car?

Jerry Burns, the Program Chair of the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Automotive program in Ankeny says it's a pretty good idea to put the wipers in the upright position when we get freezing rain, and ice build-up.   

He says, however, if you warm up your car adequately, the defrost will likely heat up the window enough to melt the ice and free the wipers.  

 He says he's more concerned that drivers make sure the glass is clear, and not attempt to drive around in the winter, peering through a partially cleared windshield.

He says if your wipers are frozen to the windshield, and the wiper motor isn't strong enough to lift the wipers, some components can be damaged.  He says the wiper transmission assembly which causes the wipers to move back and forth can be impaired. 

WHO Radio News also asked burns how often drivers should replace wipers, he says usually every six months, although he says those living on gravel may need to replace wipers more often.

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