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View Full Version : YACT: frozen windshield wipers


Charlie Goose
02-16-07, 09:15 AM
We had an ice storm here on Wednesday, and my wipers are still frozen. There's no ice on the wiper or by the bottom. The wipers moved a little bit when I first tried them, but stopped. Now, whenever I turn the car on, I hear the wipers trying to move, but they don't. I've even tried the Prestone De-Icer, but still no luck. I'm screwed if it rains.

Anyone have that happen, and what should I do? :(

drmoze
02-16-07, 09:18 AM
YCAT? :hscratch:

Randy Miller III
02-16-07, 09:22 AM
It's possible the wiper motor is broken or damaged.
Mine's never burnt out because of ice, but I guess it's possible.

Can you physically move them to "get them started", or are they completely stuck?

nemein
02-16-07, 09:34 AM
YCAT? :hscratch:

People have taken to abbreviating some thread titles...

YA - Yet Another

CT - Car thread
ET - Ebay thread

etc etc etc...

al_bundy
02-16-07, 09:55 AM
turn car on, heat it up, get the heat to go on the windshield and wait. see if it works. might take 30 minutes

RunBandoRun
02-16-07, 09:57 AM
Build a heated garage. :D

Just kidding. I sympathize. My co-op development doesn't have covered parking or garages, and it has been about 2 degrees here for days on end.

Minor Threat
02-16-07, 10:00 AM
Take your car into a dealer for a tune-up - it should be in the heated work bay long enough to thaw out.....

Charlie Goose
02-16-07, 10:01 AM
It's possible the wiper motor is broken or damaged.
Mine's never burnt out because of ice, but I guess it's possible.

Can you physically move them to "get them started", or are they completely stuck?
I've been afraid to give 'em a push because I don't want to break something, but I might try.

kvrdave
02-16-07, 10:24 AM
I would let the car run for 30 minutes or so, and then try.

Altimus Prime
02-16-07, 10:30 AM
There was an ice storm on Sesame Street? Wow.

Someone should check to make sure Oscar's not stuck in his can.



(Check out the OP's 'location.')

Minor Threat
02-16-07, 10:34 AM
There was an ice storm on Sesame Street? Wow.

Someone should check to make sure Oscar's not stuck in his can.



(Check out the OP's 'location.')


I don't get it.....

garolo
02-16-07, 11:49 AM
We had an ice storm here on Wednesday, and my wipers are still frozen. There's no ice on the wiper or by the bottom. The wipers moved a little bit when I first tried them, but stopped. Now, whenever I turn the car on, I hear the wipers trying to move, but they don't. I've even tried the Prestone De-Icer, but still no luck. I'm screwed if it rains.

Anyone have that happen, and what should I do? :(

The exact thing happen to my wife's Exploder yesterday morning. I told her to warm up the car, turn the defroster on high. No luck. I had her spray de-icer on the wiper arm and on the pivot mechanism. It started to move a little. After a few minutes, she turned the wipers on high and whatever was gumming up the works broke free and they started slapping across the windshied.

Just give it time and some heat.

If that doesn't work it could be one of the relays (about $8 a piece) or the motor ($80 -$150). Since it moved a little it's probably just something frozen.

Charlie Goose
02-16-07, 12:36 PM
The exact thing happen to my wife's Exploder yesterday morning.
I'm not sure I would feel safe in a vehicle named the EXPLODER! -ptth-

Anyway, I let it run for a while, sprayed more Prestone, and gave them a little nudge. I could hear the crunching of the snow inside, but they moved. Still slow, but at least they're at rest now and there's no pressure on the wiper motor. I hate snow!

Thanks for everyone's help.

garolo
02-16-07, 12:41 PM
I'm not sure I would feel safe in a vehicle named the EXPLODER! -ptth-



Thanks for everyone's help.

Just the pet name for the Ford Explorer.

Jeeden
02-16-07, 02:11 PM
yea, the prestone deicer and time should do it. You can also use rubbing alcohol (basically what the prestone stuff is). Just pour it on them really well, good amount of heat.

Careful turning on the motor too often or leaving it on too long while it's jammed, you can burn it out.

Eplicon
02-16-07, 03:24 PM
One trick that I do when there's an impending winter storm is to leave the wipers in their upright position. That way they're not trapped in snow and ice and they move with ease after the windshield is cleared off.

garolo
02-16-07, 03:46 PM
One trick that I do when there's an impending winter storm is to leave the wipers in their upright position. That way they're not trapped in snow and ice and they move with ease after the windshield is cleared off.

That's all well and good but the issue here is not the wiper blades/rubber freezing to the windshield (which lifting the blades off the the glass would prevent). The problem is ice getting into mechanism that turns the blade across the windshield. Lifting the blades off the glass won't prevent that. In fact, it might exacerbate it by allowing water/snow/ice into the hinge more easily.

Charlie Goose
02-16-07, 04:04 PM
I did have the wipers up during the ice storm, which I don't normally do and this is the first time they've gotten frozen like that.

garolo
02-16-07, 04:09 PM
I did have the wipers up during the ice storm, which I don't normally do and this is the first time they've gotten frozen like that.

Well there you go. Can't say that it's cause and effect but now that I think about it I did have the wipers blade up for an extended time when I was cleaning the windows and defrosting the Exploder. I think I'll cover the windshield with a tarp the next time we get an ice storm.

RunBandoRun
02-17-07, 03:12 PM
The stupid idiots at Jiffy Lube put summer formula wiper fluid in my car in December, and now the whole fluid reservoir is a block of ice so that even winter formula can't melt it, since it's been so cold lately. I keep adding the winter formula hoping the fluid thingies will spit again, but so far ... no luck. :(

OldDude
02-17-07, 03:21 PM
Not only the reservoir, but you have several feet of ice in the tubing from pump to the nozzle (on the hood or wiper). It is not going to squirt until that melts. You need a day above freezing, or a really warmed up engine. Be sure to run it all out when you do get it thawed so it can't refreeze.

RunBandoRun
02-17-07, 03:26 PM
Not only the reservoir, but you have several feet of ice in the tubing from pump to the nozzle (on the hood or wiper). It is not going to squirt until that melts. You need a day above freezing, or a really warmed up engine. Be sure to run it all out when you do get it thawed so it can't refreeze.

Perhaps I should invite Bandoman to sit on the hood of my car. He's such a hottie. :D

matta
02-17-07, 03:43 PM
Sorry to tell you, but you'll have to pee on it to melt the ice.

Heat
02-17-07, 05:27 PM
Are they loose but won't go, or are they frozen in the ice?

If they are loose but won't go when you hit the winshield wiper switch, you need to go into the windshield wipers and tighten them to this post that's on the car.

If they are frozen in the ice, urinate on them like matta said. Just be sure to have somebody take some pictures and post them here. By the way, don't pour hot water on your windshield to get rid of the ice - there's a good chance you'll crack the glass.

The stupid idiots at Jiffy Lube put summer formula wiper fluid in my car in December...
What summer formula? They put water in there? A bottle of windshield wiper fluid only costs $1 or $1.50 and should last a couple complete refills.

RunBandoRun
02-17-07, 05:39 PM
What summer formula? They put water in there? A bottle of windshield wiper fluid only costs $1 or $1.50 and should last a couple complete refills.

Windshield wiper fluid -- the blue stuff that costs a buck or two -- is fine for warm weather or climates where it never gets cold. But it will freeze below 32 degrees. When it's two degrees out, like it has been in Kansas City for the last couple of weeks, you need winter de-icer that will not freeze unless it's minus 20 or colder. It costs more than a buck or two.

Heat
02-17-07, 06:54 PM
... When it's two degrees out, like it has been in Kansas City for the last couple of weeks, you need winter de-icer that will not freeze unless it's minus 20 or colder. It costs more than a buck or two.
The last bottle I bought (which is the only one I have for reference) says that it protects to negative 25F - and when it was around zero outside here (I'm about a hundred miles north of St. Louis so I've been seeing the same cold weather) I was using it just fine.

Some places like to put heavily watered down windshield wiper fluid into cars - that is all that "summer mix" is. Most of the time it works just find and they save a little money by cutting the good stuff with water. Just buy your own bottle and fill it yourself, you'll know what is going into the car then.

ernestrp
02-17-07, 07:21 PM
Take a bucket of hot tap water and pour over affected wipers. Can be repeated until ice is gone. If you try to run said wipers while iced up you will either burn the motor out or blow a fuse.

-popcorn-

Bacon
02-17-07, 07:24 PM
Take a bucket of hot tap water and pour over affected wipers. Can be repeated until ice is gone. If you try to run said wipers while iced up you will either burn the motor out or blow a fuse.

-popcorn-
don't do this if you have a crack in the windshield, I did it once and the crack grew from about 1 inch to about 2 feet :mad:

tbone
02-18-07, 09:14 AM
The stupid idiots at Jiffy Lube put summer formula wiper fluid in my car in December, and now the whole fluid reservoir is a block of ice so that even winter formula can't melt it, since it's been so cold lately. I keep adding the winter formula hoping the fluid thingies will spit again, but so far ... no luck. :(

What do you expect when you go to a place that hires a bunch of teenage idiots? I would never take my car to Jiffy Lube!

Trout
02-18-07, 10:29 AM
Take a bucket of hot tap water and pour over affected wipers. Can be repeated until ice is gone. If you try to run said wipers while iced up you will either burn the motor out or blow a fuse.

-popcorn-

Hot water + cold windshield = potential for very bad.

Nick Danger
02-18-07, 11:37 AM
I must have put summer-weight windshield wiper fluid in my car. When it got cold, the fluid froze, and burst a check valve. Until I had to make the repairs, it never occurred to me that some windshield fluids would be rated for +25 degrees. How useless is that?

The -25 degree fluid cost me about $3 for a gallon.

OldDude
02-18-07, 12:02 PM
Hot water + cold windshield = potential for very bad.


While I agree (at least for a bucketful), there are now luxury cars claiming that they heat the washer fluid so it works better.