Auto wipers not ready for prime time (Mar. ‘18)

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SoFlaModel3

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#1
Tonight was my first extended day/night of driving with rain.

Now before I tell you why I believe the auto wipers are not ready for prime time, I will preface this with I have never found a car with auto wipers that I liked. Personally I like in frequent swipes and generally find auto wipers to swipe too frequently for my liking.

I will say the Tesla Model 3 lives up to expectations from past experience with auto wipers. They’re just too frequent in swiping. Now to elaborate as to why they’re really not ready for prime time, it’s because they chatter on the windshield since the glass is dry.

Switching the wipers off and using the single swipe as necessary or the slowest intermittent swipe speed proved to be a lot more to my liking.
 

AEDennis

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#2
Tonight was my first extended day/night of driving with rain.

Now before I tell you why I believe the auto wipers are not ready for prime time, I will preface this with I have never found a car with auto wipers that I liked. Personally I like in frequent swipes and generally find auto wipers to swipe too frequently for my liking.

I will say the Tesla Model 3 lives up to expectations from past experience with auto wipers. They’re just too frequent in swiping. Now to elaborate as to why they’re really not ready for prime time, it’s because they chatter on the windshield since the glass is dry.

Switching the wipers off and using the single swipe as necessary or the slowest intermittent swipe speed proved to be a lot more to my liking.
Funny...

My experience is opposite... I was just commenting with my wife that the Auto Wipers were a little aggressive but did a great job in the "not so frequent" rain that we experienced in Southern California today... (we took the 3)...

So, YMMV. But I was quite happy with Auto-Wipers... considering this was unavailable when we first picked up our 3 at the end of 2017... And the Firmware upgrade added it a week or so later.
 

John

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#3
It's been a while since I had a car with auto-wipers, but I used to really enjoy having them.

Normally when I'm wearing my product designer hat I think settings are a cop-out (more settings = more confusion), but I think this is one of those areas where people have radically different desires and anxieties. Some people want to see and hear the wipers as little as possible, other people hate drops. Might also vary by amount of glare, fog, darkness, whatever. So maybe it would be nice if there were a sensitivity setting for them.

Maybe.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#5
Is the chatter actually caused by the glass being too dry?

Others seem have observed that it's somehow unique to the "auto" setting itself, and not the frequency of the wipes or dryness of the glass:
https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/model-3-drive-in-rainy-condition.109654/
You know what as I think about it more this 100% right. I can do a single swipe on a barely wet windshield and it’s fine. Also manually adjust speeds and it was fine as well. There is something wrong with auto where it chatters. Maybe all hope is not lost there with subsequent update. Bigger issue is probably just my personal preference for less swipes though.
 

garsh

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#6
For those who think it swipes too often - did you put some sort of hydrophobic coating on the windshield (ex. Rain-X)? I can drive through a torrential rainstorm on intermittent when using Rain-X. But when I had my windshield replaced, I had to put the wipers on high-speed during a light rainstorm, and it was still very hard to see.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#7
For those who think it swipes too often - did you put some sort of hydrophobic coating on the windshield (ex. Rain-X)? I can drive through a torrential rainstorm on intermittent when using Rain-X. But when I had my windshield replaced, I had to put the wipers on high-speed during a light rainstorm, and it was still very hard to see.
Yes, I use Optimum Opti-Glass Clean & Protect

https://optimumcarcare.com/product/optimum-opti-glass-clean-protect
 

TrevP

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#8
For those who think it swipes too often - did you put some sort of hydrophobic coating on the windshield (ex. Rain-X)? I can drive through a torrential rainstorm on intermittent when using Rain-X. But when I had my windshield replaced, I had to put the wipers on high-speed during a light rainstorm, and it was still very hard to see.
I treated mine with Aquapel and it makes a big difference, rain barely sticks and at speed you almost don't have to use wipers at all.
 

TesLou

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#9
I have auto wipers on my 2010 Lexus and they are fantastic - in the rain. My ONLY 2 complaints about them is they tend to stay on the fast setting too long after being on during a torrential downpour. This past Thursday night when driving through Pittsburgh during a blinding snowstorm, they were a little tardy in responding. Rain - good. Snow - not so much. Hoping the Model 3 is able to recognize both.
 

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#10
Anyone on 2018.4.9 feel like the wipers got worse after this latest update?

Previously I've had no problems with the wipers even when it rained really hard, but after 4.9 it seems they don't swipe as often. I ended up toggling between Manual level 3/4 for the commute home. IMO seems the fastest setting of the wipers on "Auto" is equivalent to Manual level 3; whatever it is, Auto wiper mode was way too slow for the amount of rain today.
 

GDN

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#11
You know what as I think about it more this 100% right. I can do a single swipe on a barely wet windshield and it’s fine. Also manually adjust speeds and it was fine as well. There is something wrong with auto where it chatters. Maybe all hope is not lost there with subsequent update. Bigger issue is probably just my personal preference for less swipes though.
I don't recall which forum, but there is a video someone has posted of this very thing. They only get the chatter when on auto. Didn't matter too much how wet or dry the windshield was, the chatter really only happened when on auto, not with a single wipe of the same amount of water.
 

rareohs

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#12
Here in Portland alot of the rain is kind of slow and misty and if anything, I'm finding the auto wipers to be not sensitive enough - a good amount of rain will accumulate before it fires.
 

Bokonon

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#14
+1 for sensor-based auto-wipers being insufficient. My e-Golf has them, and I find that I'm constantly adjusting the sensitivity during anything short of a full downpour. And just as @rareohs observed, they fail at the infamous Miserable Portland Drizzle (which sometimes visits us here in Boston!), as well as with spray from other vehicles traveling at speed.

The net result is that I'm constantly adjusting the sensitivity switch, which is the same switch that controls wiper speed in manual mode. In other words, enabling or disabling auto-wipers makes little difference in how I interact with the car, which is disappointing.

So, the way I look at it, the Model 3 auto-wipers can't be any worse than what I already have... And oh BTW they can improve with OTA software updates!
 

jsmay311

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#15
So, the way I look at it, the Model 3 auto-wipers can't be any worse than what I already have...
Except that with the Model 3 you can't adjust the wiper speed from a stalk. You have to do it from the screen, which requires taking your eyes off the road momentarily. That's an important difference.
 

Bokonon

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#16
Except that with the Model 3 you can't adjust the wiper speed from a stalk. You have to do it from the screen, which requires taking your eyes off the road momentarily. That's an important difference.
Agreed, but with two caveats:

1. If I press the the swipe-once button at the end of the stalk, it brings up the wiper menu on the screen, which I suspect I'll learn to adjust by feel, just like I don't need to look down at the physical wiper speed control to know which way I need to flick it. (And even before I get to that point, it only takes a split second to identify the position of the manual speed I want on the screen, so it's not too different from checking the speed or turning on a heated seat.)

2. Tesla is allegedly working on an enhancement to the wiper button that will allow for more fine-grained control without using the screen at all. (My guess: double-press to advance to the next wiper mode, triple press for maximum.)
 

MelindaV

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#17
Here in Portland alot of the rain is kind of slow and misty and if anything, I'm finding the auto wipers to be not sensitive enough - a good amount of rain will accumulate before it fires.
I think it is really personal preference... the rental I had a couple weeks ago I thought did very well in typical Portland 'rain', if anything I would have preferred it to wait a little longer.
 

Insaneoctane

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#18
Seems simple that the auto wipers need a "sensitivity" setting that allows you to bias the speed of the wipers from what the system thinks to what you want. It is crazy to assume that windshield wiper speed is one-size-fits-all. Most smartphones have auto brightness but still offer the user a bias to their liking. I sure wish Tesla had a much larger software development team!
 

SoFlaModel3

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#19
Seems simple that the auto wipers need a "sensitivity" setting that allows you to bias the speed of the wipers from what the system thinks to what you want. It is crazy to assume that windshield wiper speed is one-size-fits-all. Most smartphones have auto brightness but still offer the user a bias to their liking. I sure wish Tesla had a much larger software development team!
Well much like phone screen brightness this is actually the same thing ... accept auto or manually adjust. There are 4 set speeds, manual swipe, and auto.

I guess I’ve come to acceptance that there will literally never be a car that has the exact swipe frequency that I want and I’m ok with that :D