Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

AP2 Auto Wiper Test and video

This site may earn commission on affiliate links.

Joe F

Disruption is hard.
Sep 19, 2016
2,157
11,294
Outside Philly
The short story:

Here’s a video of my AP2 MS with release 50.3 testing auto wipers and Auto Steering in various road, speeds and rain conditions, on both highways and local roads. The rain ranged from heavy to light. Bottom line, as you’ll see if you watch to the end, auto wipers are not necessary if the windshield is properly cleaned and treated. Apologies for the length, but I wanted to get a mix of conditions in. I did speed things up though, so go by the speedometer. The example in this video is using Rain-X.

Watch this space. With the mantra of, “Friends don’t let friends drive without Rain-X” I’ve adopted over the years, going forward I plan to test various coatings. Historically, I’ve only used Rain-X or Aquapel, sometimes in combination. There are many hydrophobic coatings on the market, and weather and time permitting I will test a few and post videos to this thread as they’re completed.


One caveat: I’m not happy with the results I see with Rain-X on my MS. I’ve never had such small rain droplets on any car I’ve owned before. It’s not clear if it’s this new bottle of Rain-X, or a less polished windshield issue. More to come as this issue is investigated.


The long story:

While firmware release 50.3 has finally provided the long awaited rain sensing wipers, it has debuted to mixed reviews.


Watching the videos our fellow Tesla owners have posted in the rain has highlighted a common problem that I believe many have, that being, rain being ineffectively removed, leaving the windshield smeared rather than cleared. This is easily seen in videos, especially those shot at night.


This problem can be caused by several issues. One obviously being worn wiper blades, and in more severe cases, improper wiper arm pressure due to worn, stretched springs in the arm. Some people raise their wipers off of the windshield to avoid having them encased in snow and ice. This act is the direct cause of stretched springs. While it makes it easier to clear the windshield of winters woes, you will be rewarded with less effective wipers due to the decreased pressure holding the blades against the windshield. And, in a recently revived thread, can lead to broken springs on a MS.


One of the most important things one can do to improve wiper action is to properly clean the windshield as well as periodically clean the blades as well. However, cleaning the windshield entails more than just using the windshield washer spray. Various contaminants, oil from cars, diesel fuel that tractors sometimes spray due to mechanical problems, and hard water spots to name a few, all can contaminate your windshield, and oil and water does not mix.


Deep cleaning is a multi step process using lint free rags, spray cleaners, hard water spot remover, and finishing with more passes with a quality reside free spray cleaner to remove all traces of the mildly abrasive deep cleaner. The phrase “squeaky clean” is what you’re looking for.


After proper cleaning, you’ll find your vision in rainy weather will be vastly improved.


But there’s one final step that will improve your ability to see clearly in the heaviest of rain storms: Coating your windshield with a hydrophobic product which can even eliminate the need for turning the wipers on at all.


I’m sure you’ve seen cars pulled over with their hazard flashers on in blinding rain on the highway. Perhaps you’ve had to do this as well. With a properly cleaned and treated windshield, you’ll never have to do that again. Blinding rain storms will be a thing of the past. You’ll be ables to not only see well without wipers, you’ll be able to drive safer as you will be able to see water ponding on the road, and that alone can help to reduce the problem of hydroplaning as you can safely steer around it, or slow down as needed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Duke
Hard to dispute raw video like that. Thank you.

Is there a thread where similar experiences are posted? No bs - just video and annotations.

Reading opinions and conjecture not backed up with untouched video gets boring. Tired of that.

Great sound track. I'm glad Youtube didn't scrub the music.

Love Rainex.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EinSV
Thanks. While I didn’t start out to show AutoPilot working so well without wipers, merely to show others the benefits of Rain-X or any hydrophobic coating, I was surprised it worked flawlessly in the tests I’ve done so far.

TMC member @Daniellane has posted a few, one at night here, but as you can see when the windshield is illuminated by headlights or street lights, the windshield is not clear. A real example of a car in need of a windshield treatment.

@buttershrimp posted at least one video in the rain, but I don’t remember in which thread. If I recall, he could use a little Rain-X love too. :)

As I stated in the first post, I’m not happy with the results. I’ve had cars where overnight dew simply flew off at less than 25 MPH. Perhaps not quite as aerodynamic or with a less raked windshield as the MS. The solution will be found however. I’m like the proverbial junk yard dog when it comes to solving problems.

Edit: spelling
 
Last edited:
After receiving comments on YouTube (probably from a TMC member, given the video was private) of the video being "blurry" and irresponsible on my part for using AutoPilot, despite the fact it maintained lane centering easily, I just posted a 30 second video of where the wipers were active. It's actually a 5 second clip shown in real time, and repeated, slowed to 25%. It shows the heavy overspray from the road lowering visibility, and the visibility is the same in the full video both with and without wiper action. Comments welcomed. No amount of wiper action can remove water that's not on the windshield. :rolleyes:

On another note, I purchased some Cerium Oxide to polish the windshield with, and will re-coat afterwards. Stay tuned

Edit: Video was uploaded at 1080P if you have a fast enough connection.
 
Last edited:
After receiving comments on YouTube (probably from a TMC member, given the video was private) of the video being "blurry" and irresponsible on my part for using AutoPilot, despite the fact it maintained lane centering easily, I just posted a 30 second video of where the wipers were active. It's actually a 5 second clip shown in real time, and repeated, slowed to 25%. It shows the heavy overspray from the road lowering visibility, and the visibility is the same in the full video both with and without wiper action. Comments welcomed. No amount of wiper action can remove water that's not on the windshield. :rolleyes:

On another note, I purchased some Cerium Oxide to polish the windshield with, and will re-coat afterwards. Stay tuned

Edit: Video was uploaded at 1080P if you have a fast enough connection.

Joe, you need to add a description to your video that you were also wearing a blind fold and high on bath salts.