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Do you "just live with" the front windshield ghosting?

Model S: Front windshield ghosting?


  • Total voters
    58
May 13, 2019
675
2,718
Raleigh, NC
I recently purchased a 2016 Model S 90D and I love the car but my only real complaint is the front windshield ghosting which is most noticeable on car headlights and tail lights at night. I took the car into the service center and they tested it and said it was "within spec" and recommended I try to lower the position of the drivers seat but i am tall (6ft+) and the seat is already in the lowest position so that wasn't possible.

My windshield model is 1061565-00-B. Do you guys have issues with your MS? I posted a poll to let me know what you guys are experiencing. It seems like it should be a bigger issue (like the yellow around the screen) considering you spend 90%+ of your time looking through the front windshield. I tired to take a picture from my phone but it doesn't give a good representation of the issue but below is a picture I found online:
qjds0ew8kyegaxcfp3x5.jpg
 

Ande

Member
Jul 28, 2017
743
623
Norway
Never seen that, we drive basically in dark, as if at night half the year here north.
Seeing that photo I don't even know if it is the camera or windscreen that causes that effect... Or if crazy high angle is needed to see that.
 

RScottyL

Member
Dec 19, 2016
269
163
Arlington, Texas
Stupid question, but have you tried cleaning your windshield on both the inside and outside with a really good cleaning product?

If you recently purchased it, then I assume it was previously owned, so the previous owner could have not taken good care of the windshield and cleaned it!

Mix a solution in spray bottle. Popular and effective options include:
  • 50% alcohol, 50% water, and a capful of white vinegar.
  • 70% water, 15% window cleaner, 15% alcohol.
  • *Use an auto-specific glass cleaner, avoiding ammonia-based cleaners which can damage, vinyl, leather, and tint.
 
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Reactions: Holo and P85_DA

P85_DA

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 25, 2015
4,262
3,368
CA
I recently purchased a 2016 Model S 90D and I love the car but my only real complaint is the front windshield ghosting which is most noticeable on car headlights and tail lights at night. I took the car into the service center and they tested it and said it was "within spec" and recommended I try to lower the position of the drivers seat but i am tall (6ft+) and the seat is already in the lowest position so that wasn't possible.

My windshield model is 1061565-00-B. Do you guys have issues with your MS? I posted a poll to let me know what you guys are experiencing. It seems like it should be a bigger issue (like the yellow around the screen) considering you spend 90%+ of your time looking through the front windshield. I tired to take a picture from my phone but it doesn't give a good representation of the issue but below is a picture I found online:
qjds0ew8kyegaxcfp3x5.jpg

Ghosting was mainly on early X’s on both my S (2013,2014) I never had that issue ..I’m with poster above try cleaning windshield ;)
 
May 13, 2019
675
2,718
Raleigh, NC
Never seen that, we drive basically in dark, as if at night half the year here north.
Seeing that photo I don't even know if it is the camera or windscreen that causes that effect... Or if crazy high angle is needed to see that.

100% the windshield doing it and not the camera. That is exactly how mine looks when driving at night at a normal driving position (I am "tall" 6'3"+)
 
May 13, 2019
675
2,718
Raleigh, NC
Never seen that, we drive basically in dark, as if at night half the year here north.
Seeing that photo I don't even know if it is the camera or windscreen that causes that effect... Or if crazy high angle is needed to see that.

You might have a different windshield from me if you have "every option" such as the sub-zero package that adds the heating elements into the front windshield.

Stupid question, but have you tried cleaning your windshield on both the inside and outside with a really good cleaning product?

If you recently purchased it, then I assume it was previously owned, so the previous owner could have not taken good care of the windshield and cleaned it!

Mix a solution in spray bottle. Popular and effective options include:
  • 50% alcohol, 50% water, and a capful of white vinegar.
  • 70% water, 15% window cleaner, 15% alcohol.
  • *Use an auto-specific glass cleaner, avoiding ammonia-based cleaners which can damage, vinyl, leather, and tint.

Is the alcohol to drink when I am cleaning it? Just kidding. Thanks for the tip. I have cleaned the outside with windex and have washed the car and it hasn't changed but I will try cleaning the inside with some auto glass cleaner as well.


Ghosting was mainly on early X’s on both my S (2013,2014) I never had that issue ..I’m with poster above try cleaning windshield ;)

You also might have a different windshield from me if you have "all options" such as the sub-zero package that adds the heating elements into the front windshield. But it's nice to know that the issue might be "fixed" on your windshield model number
 

Ande

Member
Jul 28, 2017
743
623
Norway
AFAIK the winter package is 6kW PTC heater that is used on the windscreen, but I do *not* have electric windshield heating, had that ugly crap on Mercedes, never got used to the tiny pattern of threads inside the glass.
 

Galinette

Member
Jan 2, 2018
256
240
Nantes
Hi,

Glass optics expert and model S owner here...

What you are experiencing is the "double image" effect. Most of the light passes through the windshield just being refracted twice at each glass interface. That's why you can see through the windshield. Some light is reflected on either the outer or inner interface. That's why you see reflection on the glass. But a smaller part enters in the glass, reflects twice inside the glass, and exits the glass. This also contributes to transmission, but as the glass is slightly curved, the resulting image is slightly offset vs the main image. It is also much fainter, so you only see it when there is a bright object on a dark background, ie night conditions.

This effect exists on any windshield, but:
- Is somewhat compensated by some manufacturing tricks, depending on the windshield shape
- Is very dependent on viewpoint. Especially, the compensation generally only works at an average driver height.
- May vary slightly within and between production batches
- May vary between suppliers.

I did not notice it upon delivery, but I did not drive much by night as I had the car in spring. I quickly had some "clicking" noise issues coming from the windshield when accelerating/braking, after a few visits to the SC they finally changed it in autumn. After this I drove by night and noticed the double reflection a lot, but I'm not sure if the first windshield had it or not.

The problem with this effect is, as soon as you noticed it, you don't see anything else... But it's potentially there on any car brand (especially since the same few glass manufacturers supply every car brand). It will be hard to have the windshield replaced under warranty for this.
 
May 13, 2019
675
2,718
Raleigh, NC
Hi,

Glass optics expert and model S owner here...
- May vary between suppliers.

The problem with this effect is, as soon as you noticed it, you don't see anything else... But it's potentially there on any car brand (especially since the same few glass manufacturers supply every car brand). It will be hard to have the windshield replaced under warranty for this.

So what you are explaining is that it is a manufacturing defect from some suppliers that does not produce the same quality of product. Sounds like exactly why a warranty replacement would be expected to fix it. You are right though, as soon as i noticed it, i cannot un-see it.

Also possible the windshield has a tint film on it?

I have the 3M Air tint on my windshield and sometimes I have that effect.

I checked and it doesn't have any tint on it.

I cleaned the inside and outside of the windshield last night with some auto glass cleaner and a micro fiber cloth but haven't had a chance to take it for a drive at night yet.
 

stakker

Member
Feb 4, 2019
45
39
TX
So what you are explaining is that it is a manufacturing defect from some suppliers that does not produce the same quality of product. Sounds like exactly why a warranty replacement would be expected to fix it. You are right though, as soon as i noticed it, i cannot un-see it.



I checked and it doesn't have any tint on it.

I cleaned the inside and outside of the windshield last night with some auto glass cleaner and a micro fiber cloth but haven't had a chance to take it for a drive at night yet.

Does the windshield have the dot matrix on all sides? Mine did and it was ghosting bad especially on the new led brake lights that new cars have(BMW/Audi). Tesla mobile service accidentally cracked my windshield while replacing recalled airbags so I got a new windshield replacement (dot matrix is just on the bottom) and it still have a slight ghosting on them new brake lights but tolerable.

I think Tesla windshields have tint or some uv blocking applied to it but not a film material.

Anyway...another issue might be you have astigmatism (Viral tweet has people finding out they have astigmatism). I thought I did but I compared windshield and door window view on the brake lights and brake lights were not blurry on the door windows lol
 

JMG

Member
Feb 26, 2015
386
264
NE Texas
I definitely have it on my '15 Model S. When I first got it, it was super distracting and irritating although I thought it was because I tinted it (I now know that doesn't have anything to do with it). After a while, I just got used to it and I don't notice it anymore until I drive my wife's Volvo at night and then get in mine.
 

ABC2D

Active Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,068
1,386
Home
This ghosting or double vision was very common on Xs in 2017, including mine, and it was much more apparent in some cars. The issue has nothing to do with the tint or cleannenies - it's the windshield problem. You can mediate the issue by wearing polarized glasses (I know, this issue is most noticeable at night, so not really a good option unless you get clear polarized glasses). I've had my windshield replaced by Tesla once a new windshield design became available - no double vision now. I'm sure if you replace the windshield, you will not have this problem (I guess you might want to drive behind trucks as frequent as you can ;)).
 
May 13, 2019
675
2,718
Raleigh, NC
Does the windshield have the dot matrix on all sides?

Anyway...another issue might be you have astigmatism (Viral tweet has people finding out they have astigmatism). I thought I did but I compared windshield and door window view on the brake lights and brake lights were not blurry on the door windows lol

The dot matrix is only on the bottom and stop about 1-3 inches from the bottom and turns into a solid line. My old car (VW Passat) never had the issue and I didn't notice it until I drove my Tesla for the 1st time at night. I checked and lights look normal out of the side windows (Thanks for the link)
 
Last edited:
May 21, 2018
379
133
Connecticut
Just drive behind a gravel truck until you pick up a windshield crack (or come up with a quicker way). Make a glass claim to your insurance - assuming you have glass coverage. This doesn't impact your rate.

Prepare to wait around 3 weeks for the SC to receive one, and to pay for it - as Tesla doesn't bill 3rd party. Cost me about $1300, and was reimbursed by my insurance within 2 days. Problem solved.
 

buzescu

Member
Jul 4, 2018
155
93
Kirkland, WA
You are not crazy - this is real.
I had the same issue with my 2018 S. After the summer ended I started to drive more at night and I Was thinking I need glasses until I realized it wa not me. Moving your head up and down and really down the ghosting dissapears.
The SC has a tool to test it! I saw it, they showed me the results. The problem is that the result is subjective based on how far the light is, where do you observe when ij the car etc.
They changed the first windshield and I got one very very good but guess what .. whoever (3rd party) installed it did a bad job and did not seal it well. .Went back changed it again and this time I had the ghosting again. Went back and had to fight with them for a new one. They showed me how they measure the ghosting with a fix light and if it is within a circle (the tool) then it is acceptable. Mine was close to the edge and finally they changed it again! Now I have one that is better than first but not perfect.
And yes I will leave with it till the first rock ...
Apparently many car have it if you pay attention but it is hard to notice. The ghosting is not as pronounced. The more inclined the windshield is or more curved the more is prone to this, This is why Model X and 3 head it but it was unusual for S. Still don't understand why Tesla insists on making their own glass...
What you can do ... take a rock in it and change it ... but ti is not guaranteed it will be better. However you can then argue with the glass company about the fact and they can reject it.
 

Tesomega

Member
Sep 28, 2017
364
256
Pittsburg, CA
I had recently changed my windshield due to a crack, and the replacement has the Ghosting issue. Reported this to Tesla and they are claiming that its within specs whatever that is...Any one able to get Tesla address this successfully?. I have reported a new case with NHTSA, any one else reported the issue?
 

buzescu

Member
Jul 4, 2018
155
93
Kirkland, WA
They changed 3 for me. First, no questions asked. Second was much better but they installed bad. 3rd had ghosting and had to escalate to service manager. They have a tool to measure it but it is all bullshit. Still stunned by the quality of this windshield and that they can't get it right. I still have ghosting...
 
May 13, 2019
675
2,718
Raleigh, NC
I had recently changed my windshield due to a crack, and the replacement has the Ghosting issue. Reported this to Tesla and they are claiming that its within specs whatever that is...Any one able to get Tesla address this successfully?. I have reported a new case with NHTSA, any one else reported the issue?

I have been just living with mine. It's the one thing i hate about my car. I took it to the service center and they performed some test and said it was fine but it seems like a major safety issue to me. The strange thing is that when try to take a picure with my phone it doesnt show it nearly as bad as i see it with my eyes. How did you report it to the NHTSA?
 

Big Toys

Member
Jan 19, 2019
620
591
Florida
I might add, the effect of the windshield may be mad worse if you have any bit of clouding (cataract) of your eye lens within the field of view, which will diffuse the light into smudges, make streaks, etc.
 

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