wiper problem in real cold weather - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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wiper problem in real cold weather

First, let me say I've searched this forum and other forums and found no similar problem reported.

And I'm surprised. I just got my FJ, a 2010. And right from the beginning, I have this problem with the wipers, all of them, when the temperature gets below about 15 degrees F.

It's almost like the wipers contract from the cold. They don't clear the whole windshield, almost none of the windshield is cleared. Only the ends of the wipers are in contact with the windshield and only the ends of the wipers clear away the snow, etc. Seems the whole middle of each wiper isn't in contact with the windshield. Consequently, most of the windshield, especially at eye level looking straight ahead at the road is obstructed. Only after a long time driving, after many miles, they finally start clearing completely.

Each time I make sure there was no ice anywhere on the wipers or windshield; I'd blasted the defroster at them for a long time until the windshield actually got warm.

When it's warmer than about 15 degrees, there's no problem. Like I said, it seems that the cold, cold air makes them contract and bow away from the windshield. I can't believe I haven't found anyone else reporting this problem! It happens every time, whether there's been snow/ice on the windshield or not.

Anyone know of this problem?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 10:35 AM
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Re: wiper problem in real cold weather

It's not a new problem for the 2010's. I really think it depends on how wet the precipitation is (eg. freezing rain, sleet, heavy wet snow), as to whether or not the wipers have issues. In light dry snow, the wipers work fine. However, over Christmas, we had freezing rain w/ heavy wet snow. I had a heck of a time keeping the windshield clean.

If you want to try a mod, this might help you out ... HEATED WIPER BLADES: Inst. w/pics

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: wiper problem in real cold weather

Thanks. But it has no correlation to precipitation. Only temperature, when it gets real cold outside. Even without precipitation on the windshield, I can tell when I spray the windshield fluid to clean the salt spray off. And only the ends of the wipers are in contact with the windshield and clear it away. Only until I've driven many miles, or it gets warmer outside, do they work correctly.

Thanks for the tip about heated wipers, but I'm hoping that there are other non heated wipers, made of a different or slightly different material, that won't react this way. I'd rather have a simpler solution than heated wipers.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 12:03 PM
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Re: wiper problem in real cold weather

I've experienced similar situations on rare occasions here in Colorado. Do note that there are no aftermarket 'winter blades' that are the same size as the stock ones. And to the best of my knowledge, Toyota doesn't make winter blades for the FJ. So, I'm considering a heated windshield fluid unit:

Toyota FJ Cruiser Accessories from Pure FJ Cruiser - AlphaTherm Windshield Washer Heater #AT-380 D

AlphaTherm Windshield Washer Heater #AT-380 D

De-ice and de-fog your windshield in seconds
Heated spray will not crack glass at any temperature
Saves gas reducing prolonged Winter engine warm-ups
Heated washer spray ready 40 seconds after start-up
Additional heated charges ready in 15 seconds
System activates with your vehicle washer controls
No add-on buttons or wiring required inside the vehicle
Unit automatically turns off when engine is not running
DIY install, 12V, Ground, wash line re-route kit included
Unit is fully sealed against water intrusion and corrosion
Clears ice build-up off wiper blades, extends rubber life
Prevents washer nozzle clogging and improves spray
Heated wash works great in the Summer to remove bugs
Made in the USA to stringent new vehicle specifications
1 year factory warranty
If you have more questions about this product, please Contact Us
See the difference literally when you install the AlphaTherm Windshield wiper washer heater. By heating your fluid to over 125 degrees F, the AlphaTherm Fluid heater sprays your windshield with a hot mist of fluid for powerful cleansing and will not harm or crack the windshield. The unit is made in the US to specific tolerances of factory units.

Once installed, the Alphatherm washer unit works in conjunction with your factory washer spray. Just activate the washer control and the heated fluid mists your windshield to clear ice and frost in winter bug guts and windshield road grime in summer.

The AlphaTherm Windshield heater bolts easily in your engine compartment and utilizes the fluid in your factory washer reservoir. Powered by your vehicle's electrical system, the fluid heater uses very little energy, yet is always ready to mist your windshield with heated windshield washer fluid.

The heated washer fluid also helps preserve the life and bolsters the effectiveness of your wiper blades. Plus, heated unblocks frozen or clogged spray nozzles and keeps them clear for maximum windshield coverage. Best yet, AlphaTherm backs your Windshield Heater with a frost-free 1 year warranty.

AlphaTherm currently has eight global family patents based on Smart System Cycling Sensors, heater controllers, washer heater Elements and Heater Chambers. Alpha Therm is an applied washer heater technology company and has utilized its patented, patent pending and other proprietary heater technology to develop a compact system with a self contained heater source that heats windshield washer fluids.

AlphaTherm is currently the world leader in the design, development and sale of windshield washer fluid heater systems. The company has been involved with Tier 1 electronic system integrators that sell windshield heater units directly to vehicle manufacturers.

AlphaTherm's washer heater patented technology has been applied in over 1.5 million Original Equipment Manufacturer units. The company has been focused on the original equipment car and light truck windshield market but is now focusing its heater products and technology in the heavy truck and aftermarket industries.

Shipping information: 11x8x4 / 4 lbs

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 12:35 PM
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Re: wiper problem in real cold weather

There are winter wiper blades made by both ANCO and Trico in 16" and 13" sizes that work on the FJ on Amazon. I haven't used them myself, but maybe these might work for you. I live in KS and have Bosch wipers that seemed to work pretty well in the 15 or less temps that we have had for the last couple weeks and driving though a blizzard in Nebraska. Hope this might help.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-10-2010, 01:07 PM
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Re: wiper problem in real cold weather

I have winter wipers and it still happens. The middle of the wiper makes a mess and near impossible to see. If I'm going slow, no problem. 70+ miles and hour and forget about using the wipers.
Also... Check that you don't have a pin hole in the rubber. When the condition happens, stop and bend the wipers back and fourth. If it "crunches" it may be water getting in to the rubber cover. This just happened to me this weekend.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 07:22 AM
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Re: wiper problem in real cold weather

I use standard Anco winter blades and Prestone De-Icer windshield fluid. The only problem that I have seen is from the passenger blade not making full contact in the middle of the blade when it is really cold. I just flex the blade by hand just before starting the FJ after it has sat for a while, and then run the defrost on high for a while.
Winter time I generally leave the heat on defrost and feet for best results.

All in my opinion only....
Central NY state--- lots of cold--- lots of snow---

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 07:13 PM
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Re: wiper problem in real cold weather

This exact same issue happens to me as well. I put on a set of new Anco winter blades (1 - 16", 2 - 13"). When the temp drops below 20, the passenger blade only contacts on the outside edges. The middle blade does the same when it gets even colder. So far, the driver blade has been fine.

Perhaps the rubber is shrinking at extreme temps and makes the blade curl just enough to lift the center off the window.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 07:20 PM
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Re: wiper problem in real cold weather

i just bought some Trico NeoForm. Had to order the short ones, Advanced Auto has the 16" in stock...
I have to run the deforst on Hi no feet in cold bad snowy weather in order to keep the window clean...

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