2013 Lexus GS 350: The Windshield Wiper Trick
June 14, 2013
Last February, during what passes for winter here in southern California, an alert reader noticed that the windshield wipers on our 2013 Lexus GS 350 were in the winter park position.
He was right of course, but several of us hadn't noticed. Snow is something we generally keep at arm's length in these parts unless we choose to ski on it.
The so-called "Snow/Service" position reduces the chance that light to moderate snow accumulation will bury the wipers. It keeps them out from under the edge of the hood so they can be lifted and unstuck.
But it's more than that, and GS owners in warm climates like ours should know what's up. That's because this raised position improves access to the wiper blades when they need changing.
During my road trip to the Circuit of the Americas, I put the wipers back in the summer position after reading the manual while I sat munching enchiladas in a café in Grants, New Mexico. I took pictures, filed them on my laptop, then promptly forgot all about them.
So here they are. Better late than never, right?
It's pretty easy to put the wipers back in the normal position once you know you won't break anything. Stand on the passenger side, not the driver's side, and press the blade down parallel to the glass in the direction you'd expect. It takes a bit of pressure to overcome the detent, but not too much. There's no reason to go to the driver's side after this. Both blades snap into position together.
This is where they're supposed to live most of the time, tucked in where they'll generate less aerodynamic turbulence and less wind noise. They look nicer here, too.
How do you put them back into the snow/service position? I don't have a picture of that, but it's not quite what you think.
Again, you must be on the passenger side, but you don't pull the blade back up the windshield toward the roof. Instead you lift the arm straight up off the glass a couple inches or so, then apply gentle backward pressure, if needed.
You can almost do it accidentally when you clean the glass. In fact, that's probably how our GS's wipers got into the snow/service position in the first place.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ Many miles ago