The Windshield Team: Windshield Wipers, Defroster & Washer Fluid

27th Oct 2014

When the weather is foggy, rainy or snowy, your windshield depends on its partners to keep your visibility good for safe driving. Without the defroster, your windshield wipers and quality washer fluid, your windshield will continue to collect moisture and dirt as you drive, impairing your line of sight. But how do these elements work together?

Your Windshield Battles the Elements of Nature

Whether parked in the driveway or driving down the highway, your vehicle’s windshield encounters the hardest elements of nature. In the warmer months, it gets littered with road grime, battered by flying pebbles, and or course the singing birds are not your windshields best friend. In the colder months, it must hold up under the weight of snow and ice, fight off heavy flakes and freezing rain and battle moisture. No matter the season, your vehicles windshield wipers, defrost system, and washer fluid must work together to keep your windshield clean and clear.

You can easily see how your windshield wipers come into the equation – especially when using a quality windshield wiper like Everblades! You turn them on, they swipe across your windshield and brush aside moisture. And you undoubtedly rely on your washer fluid when your windshield is dirty, hopefully remembering that different seasons call for different types of fluid. But how does your defroster team up with your windshield wipers to keep your windshield clear?

Understanding Your Defroster

You probably hit the defroster button in your vehicle automatically when warming it up in the winter, or driving in the rain, without a second thought. But don’t underestimate its importance! Your windshield wipers won’t work effectively or last as long if your defroster system isn’t operating, and you can be left with fogged up windows that will easily accumulate ice.

Defroster + Windshield Wipers = Clear View

Your defroster uses the blower motor, fans and vents to direct warm air to your windshield. It warms up the glass, removing condensation and preventing ice buildup. The generated heat comes from the engine coolant (make sure to check those fluids!) through the heater core, and then uses the air conditioner evaporator to dry the heated air. Dryer air is better equipped to absorb the water from your windshield, where the moisture accumulates when the warmer interior of your vehicle meets the colder exterior.

Electric defrosters, like those used in the rear windows of most vehicles, rely on electricity to warm up the glass. There are small electrical wires running throughout that allow an electric current to pass and create a small level of heat, not even warm enough for you to feel with your bare hands on the glass.

If your defroster isn’t working properly, you should have it checked right away. Your windshield wipers will have a harder job working if the windshield remains a colder temperature, and allowing the wiper blades to scrape over an iced up window is very bad for the blade. Similarly, your defroster can’t do all the work by itself; the windshield wipers are a crucial component. Both elements must be performing properly to prevent moisture from building up on your windshield.

Best Practices for Your Windshield Wipers and Windshield

Now that you have a better idea of how your vehicles defroster pairs up with your windshield and windshield wipers, let’s discuss good and bad windshield habits.

  • DO allow your defrosters time to heat up and work properly before hitting the road.
  • DON’T run your windshield wipers on a frozen windshield!
  • DO take the time to scrape off the ice on your windshield completely before turning wipers on. Even heated blades cannot do this chore for you, and you could risk damaging the windshield wipers AND your windshield otherwise.
  • DON’T try to drive with snow built up on your windshield or windshield wipers (hint: Everblades feature heated elements that prevent ice and snow from building up on your wiper blades and wiper arms while you are driving).
  • DO make sure that vents aimed at your windshield are open and unimpaired by paper, gloves, or any other objects.
  • DON’T allow debris to build up on the base of the windshield that can impact the performance of the defroster; make sure to clear the ice and snow from this area when scraping the windshield.
  • DO have your vehicle serviced if your defroster isn’t working properly.
  • DON’T forget to replace worn windshield wipers – even the most durable wiper blades wear out and stop performing as well.
  • DO choose a quality winter windshield wiper, like Everblades, to work with your defroster for the best visibility in rain or snow!

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