Freezing rain, heavy snow, and cold weather can cause a windshield wiper to become frozen to the windshield. That can be a major safety hazard, and finding a fix isn’t quite as simple as turning the wipers on. In fact, doing so can burn out the wiper motor, destroy the wiper blade, or damage the wiper assembly transmission.
Filling the reservoir with de-icing solution isn’t effective if the blades are frozen though. So, how do you fix a frozen windshield wiper without damaging the system? Fortunately, the solution may be a little simpler than you might think.
First and foremost, make sure the windshield wipers are off. Turn on the defrosters to their maximum setting. Do what you can to redirect the heat toward the windshield.
Move outside the vehicle while the heating system does its work. Remove as much snow and ice from the windshield as you can. Use an ice scraper or snow brush. Clean the washer reservoir holes as best you can. Make sure to remove frost from around the blades, but be careful not to damage them!
Under no circumstances should you throw hot water on the frozen windshield. Doing so can cause the glass to expand then contract in the cold. Such a quick change can result in a significant chip or crack in the windshield.
Once you’ve removed excess snow, ice, and frost, gently try to pry the wiper arm from the windshield. Stop once you feel resistance. Spray de-icer onto the blades and windshield. Continue removing snow and ice from the windshield.
After two minutes, try to scrape more ice away from the wiper blades, then try to lift them again. If that doesn’t work, wait for the defroster to melt more ice.
As soon as the wiper blade parts ways with the windshield, tap the ice off them with the scrape. Use a dry cloth to remove any frost, then place the wiper blades onto the windshield.
If you need more work done to prepare your vehicle for winter’s worst, consider a visit to Jack Miller Parts.