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Any one bothered by the windshield wiper control?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by PhilBa, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    It bothers me that there is no way to see the state of your WSW setting without looking at it and that is hard because it is hidden behind the steering wheel. I would be happy with little bumps that allow you feel it's location. I find myself turning the wipers off and then back on to make sure I have it set the way I want. Kind of clumsy in an otherwise very well thought out user interface.
     
  2. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I agree that a small icon showing the status on the dash would be beneficial. My wife has this habit of leaving them in auto-sensing mode, and while it doesn't hurt things to leave them there, I'd like to know.
     
  3. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

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    Yes. This is a small nit of mine, amplified by recent Seattle weather. On a related note, why can't we adjust the wiper frequency? Neither of the auto-sense settings has the right frequency. A physical adjuster like on nearly all vehicles, or better yet a software slider would do wonders. Put it on one of the steering wheel thumb wheels.
     
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I can't visually verify where the wiper control setting is at without either turning the wheel significantly or dropping my head down over a foot to look under the steering wheel spoke.

    Regarding the lack of an intermittent setting, I believe the design philosophy is that the two auto sensing choices are meant to obviate the need for such a setting. The problem is that the auto sensing system is not as smart as it should be. But I've slowly become used to its eccentricities ;-)
     
  5. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    +1. I am the one looking through the droplets on the windshield so I would like to be the one to decide the wiper frequency - not some insensate gizmo.
     
  6. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    I had a VW that would set the wiper frequency based on the time between two presses of the "mist" button. Tesla could enhance the auto-sense based on how often one pushes the "mist" button to force a wipe.
     
  7. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

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    Like that idea too. But a slider under the Controls would work too.
     
  8. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    I drove through that recent Seattle weather! Unfortunately no better at home. :) I agree re not being able to check what setting I left the wipers at is a pain. I've gotten used to the half-press in for a forced wipe when the auto-sensors are on a coffee break.
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    The ergonomics of the entire steering column stalks is pretty bad IMHO. I'm used to it now, but the turn signal stalk is uncommonly low, you can't see the wiper settings due to the steering wheel spoke and the Cruise settings still seem backwards to me (push forward to essentially slow down).

    I also don't like the huge pregnant pause between the last wipe when using the washers and the final wipe, presumably to clear any washer fluid run down. I drive in such horrid salt spray that what happens to me is that I get the windshield clean, and then by the time that final wipe comes I already have enough salt droplets on the glass that all it does is smear that all over the glass.
     
  10. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Yes major annoyance. I regularly turn off my wipers, then turn them back on.

    The end of the wiper stalk is squared off a bit. I can tell if the wipers are in the second (supposedly more aggressive) auto setting just by feel alone. But I also have a huge problem keeping the headlights (and thus tail lights) on when it is misty and overcast. My auto wipers don't wipe frequently enough and the auto lights turn off. It is very annoying, and using the screen for headlights is pure crap.

    The next major update needs physical headlight controls. They could put them where the mirror controls are, and put the mirrors on the screen. I only adjust those if they get knocked out of place.
     
  11. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    I've actually gotten to the point where I can get the headlights on with the screen quite quickly, but it is indeed a terrible and erroneous design decision. I told Tesla before the car was manufactured that they needed physical headlight controls. They didn't listen, as is typical for the company.

    The wipers are actually awful in every way; worst wipers of any car I've ever driven, just barely fit for purpose. Auto-sensing is completely useless, of course. But the high and low speeds really don't work very well for many types of weather conditions either. I feel like they only tested them in California or something.

    It's such a small thing, and yet it's so annoying. Hopefully for future model years Tesla can come up with a better wiper design, ones which can:
    - clean off light rain without sticking and squeaking
    - not get glued to the windshield by ice while parked
    - successfully clean off a sticky snow/freezing rain combo (I had to get out and manually clean the window repeatedly on one of the legs of my Michigan trip)
    - clean the entire visibility-valuable portion of the windshield (they leave really large blind spots, both on the left and on the right)
    Some of this might be alleviated if the defroster worked better. It's been improved since the original (with one hardware and at least one software change), and now it basically works, but it's still pretty mediocre.

    California designers, what are you gonna do.
     
  12. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    I don't know if I'd say they're awful, but I've certainly used better. I, too, have trouble getting the wipers set properly. I can't see the stalk behind the wheel, and I haven't been able to figure out by feel what setting they're on.

    In limited testing I've found the auto-sensing function does not work well in town (slow when driving, warp speed when sitting at a light), but seemed to work fantastically on the highway. On the highway, they seemed to read my mind on when I needed more frequent wiping.

    I still lament the lack of a manual dial for speed, though. I find myself more distracted by wipers than rain on the windshield, so I'd prefer slower wipes and a hydrophobic windshield coating. All the settings are too fast, IMO, so 90% of the time I just operate them manually by pressing the button.

    Minor gripes given how much rain I see, though.
     
  13. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Your blanket criticism seems way over-the-top to me, though you are welcome to your opinion.

    In my experience the wipers in the two fixed speeds work as well as those on any of the over a dozen cars I have owned, in light or heavy rain. The two auto sensing modes certainly have some issues, and I tend not to use the wipers in those modes.
     
  14. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

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    At first the location of the turn stalk seemed odd. Now I actually find I much prefer it over the more common 10am location. That said visibility of the wiper setting and the fixed frequencies are definitely things I've noticed.
     
  15. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Compared to all the vehicles I've owned, the Model S gets a score of 8/10 on the wipers, all things considered (to include performance, quality, strength, and convenience). The single-speed, off/on, 12" wipers on the 64 1/2 Mustang are the winners of the booby prize.

    On the model S, I've found the auto-sensing to work well, and you couple it with a quick push on the stalk when you need a manual wipe. In the heavy rain, I use the "on" mode.

    I live in thunderstorm country with torrential downpours, so it's not like we have gentle spring rains, either.
     
  16. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Hah! That was my next complaint to post about. There are lots of reasons to turn off the headlights. On military bases you are supposed to turn off your headlights when passing through the manned gate, for example.

    Although, I also adjust my mirror every day as there is a road I drive that crosses a freeway off ramp at a sharp angle. It's hard to twist around to see cars zooming down the off ramp at 60 MPH.
     
  17. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

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    In Seattle we often have rain that lands right in the middle of the two auto-sense speeds or just beyond the second auto-sense speed but less than "on." So I am constantly doing the bonus wipe OR using the "on" mode even though its wiping a dry wind-shield every other swipe. It is hard to imagine that a software controlled frequency adjust would be any more complicated than auto-brightness adjust for the center console. For rainy locales it would be a huge improvement.
     
  18. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Hmmm, I'm going to have to work on memorizing the position. It is pretty subtle to me but maybe. Thanks.
     
  19. JST

    JST Active Member

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    I've always disliked cars that combine wiper controls and turn signals onto a single stalk. This was quite common on Fords and GMs for a period (likely as a cost cutting move), though thankfully they both seemed to have moved back to having two stalks, one one either side of the wheel. A dedicated stalk for the wipers means you get a much better sense of when the wipers are on or off, and the single-swipe feature is a lot easier and less finicky to use.

    I suppose Mercedes must use the single stalk model, since that's the parts bin Tesla raids for the minor controls. It's a shame, because while the Tesla stalk is the nicest implementation of the single-stalk concept I've seen, it still sucks compared to having two.

    I also agree on the physical headline switch. It's a control that really should not be buried in a submenu that requires taking your eyes off the road to operate, particularly since the very time you will need to use it are times when visibility is poor and maximum attention on the road is required.
     
  20. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I have yet to encounter a situation where I had to force my headlights to be off but I suppose it will happen some day. I love being able to leave the headlights on auto and not having to think about turning them on when needed; so far they have always come on automatically as needed. Just another thing I love about the Model S. I don't feel the need for a physical control on a stalk or on the dash.

    I have been on many roads where signs stated that headlights must be on during the day, but I figure my LED running lights are more than bright enough to meet that requirement so never manually turn on e headlights in those situations.
     

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