It's cold outside, your car is buried in snow. A quick way to get that snow off your windshield is to wipe them off with your wiper blades, right? Well, it may be quicker, but it's NOT a good idea.
Before I get too far into this post, let me assure you that before my days in the shop, I was totally guilty of doing exactly what I'm writing about!
To be brief, your wiper blades are attached to the wiper arm, which is then attached to the wiper motor through a series of linkages. These linkages are also known as a wiper transmission.
Imagine all that snow and slush sitting on your wiper blade. When you hit that button for the wiper blades, the motor comes on and tries to move the blades through a series of linkages. The weight of the snow can be heavy for the blade to lift, and something will have to give in the linkages. Sometimes the stud at the wiper arm (red circle in picture below) gets stripped, or there's damage to the linkages' pivot balls.
Either way, it could get costly and you may be looking at replacing the wiper transmission (where all the linkages are) if a repair isn't possible. Sometimes the wiper motor and transmission comes as one assembly, so the part is even more pricey.
While it's tempting to brush off that snow with the wiper blades, remember they weren't designed for that purpose! Do it the right way—manually, out in the cold. Don't forget to knock off the ice that may be built up on the wiper blade and windshield. Bundle up!
What questions should you be asking yourself when it comes to the maintenance of your vehicle? Click here to find out.