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JOPLIN, Mo. (KSNF/KODE) — Where it gets cold in the winter and you have to leave your car out in the elements, you’re likely looking for ways to keep your vehicle as ready to go as possible when snow or ice begins to fall.

One tip that many people follow is to leave your windshield wipers up in the event of ice or snow. The idea is this: Your wipers will remain relatively untouched by winter precipitation if left upright. Plus, if they’re not touching the vehicle, the wiper blades won’t freeze to your windshield, making it harder to clear the frozen precipitation when you need to go somewhere (especially if you need to leave right away).

If you’re one of those who lift up your car’s windshield wipers before winter weather strikes, you could be doing more harm than good.

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“The Drive” (a website featuring news, reviews, and guides about the modern automotive culture) reports that wipers aren’t built to stand up. The blades are designed to withstand pressure from the front, and without the support of the windshield on the other side, they could easily become too weak to withstand even a moderately strong gust of wind.

The result could be damage to the plastic gearing that keeps the wipers and attachment hardware, securely in place. What may be worse is you might not even notice anything is wrong until it’s too late, because the damage could be hard to see and difficult to assess.

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Vehicle experts say the better option is to cover your entire windshield if you want to save time in bad weather. This will also prevent any potential damage to your car’s wipers. An old rug or tarp will work as a good windshield cover.

You’ll find several important and potentially life saving tips, regarding winter weather driving, HERE.