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View Full Version : How do you keep ice off the wipers??


devauxb
12-20-2008, 01:15 PM
.... I know 'Move to Florida' ...

Yesterday thanks to a winter storm that dumped a foot of snow on everything, I got a chance to really check out the capabilities of my 328xi in the snow. I've got the standard 16 inch wheels with all season tires and I have to say that it performed admirably. I had to travel about 75 miles on unplowed roads and it just pulled through all of that like a tractor. Even up a steep incline, very impressed. That being said, when these tires wear out, I'll probably mount dedicated winter tires for added braking and steering and make this set of rims my winter ones.

Anyway, the biggest problem I had was keeping the windsheild and especially the wipers clear of ice. The snow was coming down pretty heavily, temp was about 23 degrees, average speed was 20 mph or less. All those factors conspired to the wipers loading up with ice and several times having to pull over to clear them (in conditions where pulling over was pretty sketchy)

I at first had the settings on auto. Then I hit the de-ice mode (with heat and fan setting high, I had the front windows half open to be able to even stand it - heater is MOST impressive). It ended up kind of doing the job as the snow instantly melted when hitting the windshield and I didn't use the wipers much to keep them free of ice. That seemed not optimal. Anyone have any settings that are more recommended?

In other vehicles I've had in similar situations, I had reasonable success by keeping the ALL heat off the windshield, therefore the snow did not melt, just blow off and the wipers did not load up. When I tried it on this car, all that happened was the windshield fogged up instantly. I didn't have the A/C on, probably should have and that might have helped.

Thanks,

blue_dolphin
12-20-2008, 02:53 PM
Personally, I solved this sort of problem by moving from upstate NY to So Cal :)

BerkleyBMW
12-20-2008, 06:48 PM
Don't think you can.

:dunno:

Pedal2Floor
12-20-2008, 07:28 PM
Rain-X De-Icer (or similiar products)-- found in most automotive stores. Put it in your washer fluid bottle. Also, if you park and you know it is going to snow, lift your wipers up off the wind shield. In a spray bottle, use some of the rain-x de-icer and spray on your wipers before taking off.

Make sure your windshield is nicely heated before you drive off

Not perfect, but better than most solutions I have found. Under some conditions, especially in blowing slow or winter mix of sleet, snow and rain -- there is little you can do.

jwac
12-20-2008, 07:30 PM
Have you tried asking nicely?

Lanc3r
12-20-2008, 07:36 PM
Rain-X De-Icer (or similiar products)-- found in most automotive stores. Put it in your washer fluid bottle. Also, if you park and you know it is going to snow, lift your wipers up off the wind shield. In a spray bottle, use some of the rain-x de-icer and spray on your wipers before taking off.

Make sure your windshield is nicely heated before you drive off

Not perfect, but better than most solutions I have found. Under some conditions, especially in blowing slow or winter mix of sleet, snow and rain -- there is little you can do.

+1

They sell de-icing windshield wiper fluid. This along with the E90's heated fluid system, just blast em off.

mbushnell
12-20-2008, 07:55 PM
Since I have an '03 E46, I'm not sure how the climate controls are set up on the E90's, but isn't there a setting for having the air directed to the upper defroster vents (without being in the "Defrost" mode)?

On the E46, you can select "Auto", or select which vents you want the air to come out, either the Upper Defroster Vents, the Panel A/C vents, or the lower heater vents, depending on which button you have pushed. This way, you can direct all of the air directed to the defroster vents, yet not have the the blower going at max speed & full hot (that is, once the car interior has warmed up) as it would if you had selected the "Defrost" mode.

With the upper defroster vents selected, all the warm air would be directed on the windshield in the area wipers are located when they are in the "Parked" position, helping to melt the ice off of them.

From the Helm
12-23-2008, 03:06 PM
I use this set-up with good effect on a several cars. Get the windshield clear but not heated, run the defrost on a COLD setting for a minute if you have to once the windshield is clear. If it's 23 you don't want to melt anything on the window, let the wipers move snow, not slush and they won't freeze up. I have to stock wipers and have had good luck with this in my 335. The worst condition for ice is when there's a lot of slush being thrown by other cars.

Select a cool setting for your windshield by setting mode to window and feet instead of using the defrost setting, and leave the AC switch on (I don't know if the AC is going to run with the mode in floor and windshield unless you have the AC switch on) you need to experiment with this a couple of times. Even with the best de-icer fluid you will get ice on the wipers if you use them in 23 degree weather because the solution will get diluted with the heavy snow.

You will LOVE dedicated snow tires with AWD

SJK
12-23-2008, 03:23 PM
The "defrost" button in an E9x is for a defcon 5 frosting emergency. Use the vent controls to direct air to the windshield and then use fan and temp controls to keep the cabin comfortable.

hollandjean
12-23-2008, 08:08 PM
Rain-X De-Icer is da way to go..

From the Helm
12-24-2008, 06:36 AM
Defrost button for defcon 5!!! That's funny, and totally correct.

Rain-X Deicer works well on window, but does little to prevent ice build up on wipers, the wipers move slush into parked and full up position where the 23 degree air temp freezes it when it's dumping white lumpy rain. Heated wipers would help, but we don't get those on 3 cars do we?

AzNMpower32
12-24-2008, 06:43 AM
I used the defrost button last night while driving through some moderate freezing rain with ice buildup on the windshield. By the way folks, you CAN adjust the fan speed of the defrost function.........

bsell
12-24-2008, 07:23 AM
...leave the AC switch on (I don't know if the AC is going to run with the mode in floor and windshield unless you have the AC switch on) you need to experiment with this a couple of times. ... in 23 degree weather ...

I couldn't get the A/C to operate below about 40 degrees (was raining, we were wet and fogging the windows) and the compressor refused to run.

I don't know what temp BMW set as the lowest operating temp for the A/C system, but I can testify that it won't operate in temps below 40 or so...

I have tried the 'keep it cold to keep them clean' system in the past without much success. I ended up with what looked like frost under the wipers and not much visibility.:(

Would a deflector on the hood's leading edge coupled with driving faster work?:angel:

Or how about grabbing a cup of hot chocolate, put another log on the fire, and watch the dog sleep?

Brian

Lost Horizon
12-24-2008, 09:24 AM
Subaru has it figured. On my wife's car, there is built in heater wiring in the base of the windshield where the blades rest between sweeps. Works like a damn for exactly that situation..

Maybe next year for BMW..

jwac
12-29-2008, 01:09 PM
By the way folks, you CAN adjust the fan speed of the defrost function.........

:rofl: +1. I was thinking the same thing after reading the "defcon 5" comment.

jwac
12-29-2008, 01:23 PM
Subaru has it figured. On my wife's car, there is built in heater wiring in the base of the windshield where the blades rest between sweeps. Works like a damn for exactly that situation..

Maybe next year for BMW..

The 1996 Chrysler minivans also had a heater grid in the base of the windshield in the wiper park area. It was dropped a couple model years later. This feature has been used over the years on and off, but I didn't think it was that good at keeping ice off of frequently sweeping wipers. Now does anyone remember InstaClear fully heated windshields from the late 80's, early 90's??

Who knows why it's not commonly fitted anymore. It might be cost (including replacement cost - you'd probably have to stick with OEM replacement windshields at 3-4x the price) or build complexity. I think heated wiper blades is the way to go but that's another expensive and complicated solution.

I couldn't get the A/C to operate below about 40 degrees (was raining, we were wet and fogging the windows) and the compressor refused to run.

I don't know what temp BMW set as the lowest operating temp for the A/C system, but I can testify that it won't operate in temps below 40 or so...

If the compressor was operated below about 45F it would damage itself as they're not designed to pull heat from air that is already that cold - this is the case on any system.

pony_trekker
12-29-2008, 06:07 PM
Defrost on
AC on (to dehumidify the air)
Plenty of winter washer fluid