A Moncton man has made icy New Brunswick winters work for him by inventing polyester sleeves that protect windshield wipers from damage during freezing rain and snow.
Jim White's "Winter Shield" wiper protectors are being manufactured in China and sold at Canadian Tire stores across Canada.
White, a retired police officer, came up with the idea after he ruined a brand new pair of wiper blades a few years ago. They were stuck to the windshield and his scraper wrecked them.
He said the traditional remedy — pulling the car's wipers off the glass — can cause stress on the wiper mechanism and makes the car a target for vandals.
Besides protecting the wipers from damage, the sleeves leave a clear spot on the windshield to start scraping the rest of the ice and snow, White said.
"My problem's solved and hopefully a lot of other people's problem will be solved too," he said. "It's not a garage but it certainly helps and wiper blades aren't cheap to replace."
Richard Reid, auto parts manager at a Canadian Tire in Moncton, said the product is selling well, "especially for the weather over the past couple of days you know — it's been freezing rain and rain and snow — and the windshield wipers work terrible. And if you use these new covers, you don't have that problem in the morning."
The protectors cost $8 for a package of two.