How to protect the windscreen wipers on a frozen car

Frozen windscreen wipers

There’s plenty of advice about how to clear a frozen windscreen on a cold morning. But it’s not so easy to find information on how to protect the windscreen wipers.

The chances are, the wipers will be stuck to a frozen windscreen. Prizing them away from the screen risks permanent damage to the wiper blades, leaving you out of luck – not to mention out of pocket. A new wiper blade for a Ford Fiesta will cost between £10 and £25.

You’re unlikely to have one to hand on a cold and frosty morning, so you can add being late to work to your list of problems.

If you’re fortunate enough to own a car with a windscreen wiper de-icer, you’ll never encounter the issue. The likes of Subaru and Lincoln feature wiper de-icers that clear the lower part of the windscreen. The systems work automatically, so many owners may not know they are there.

For the rest of us, prevention is better than cure. While a can of de-icer will begin to work its magic, a few preventative steps can keep your wipers ice-free, minimising the risk of permanent damage.

The simplest method is to lift the wipers away from the windscreen. This is possible in most cars, although in some vehicles, it might not be possible without opening the bonnet. With the wipers clear of the glass, there’s no chance of them being stuck to the windscreen.

While you’re there, rub some full-strength alcohol along the entire length of the wiper blades. This will prevent the wipers from sticking to the screen if you’re caught unawares.

Getting covered?

Frozen windscreen with wipers upright

To protect the wipers and the windscreen, you should consider investing in a cover. They cost as little as £10 – although the pricier options tend to be more robust and offer better protection – and they sit between the wipers and the screen to prevent ice from forming.

Some windscreen covers use magnets, others use tags to tie them to the A-pillars, while the Delk Frostblocker even comes with door mirror covers. At £28, it isn’t cheap, but it could save you a fortune in de-icer and wiper blades. Furthermore, just think of the time it will save you on a frosty morning.

One further piece of advice. If your car has automatic wipers, be sure to turn them off before defrosting the windscreen. As the ice thaws, the wipers will sweep across the screen, and any residual ice will damage the rubber.

For more motoring advice, check out our dedicated advice section.