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MASTER THREAD: Auto Wiper issues

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merlin337

Member
Jun 13, 2019
30
38
NY
I can almost never use auto wipers. It seems under most conditions my visibility gets to borderline to outright dangerous before they activate. Even in a steady downpour they only wipe intermittently leaving intervals of near total blindness.

Adding to the danger is the fact that to change the manual settings you have to look down to the screen and tap not once but twice to get the right wiper rate. This is under poor visibility. Not good.

All other cars have steering wheel wiper controls so you don't have to take your eye off the road to adjust. This is my number 1 complaint with the Model 3 right now. Its a safety issue. There has been no fix to the wiper controls since I bought the car in April. Auto wipe is still unusable.
 

kgoroway

Member
Apr 24, 2019
166
85
Jersey
I see these complaints occasionally, and they just leave me baffled. There must be something random about whether the car you get is either good at this, or bad at it.

In my case, I'm at about 3 months of ownership. It's been one of the absolute rainiest summers I can remember (my automated lawn sprinklers keep telling me that they've activated "rain skip"). I drive my car daily, and I've never once had to take my wipers out of "auto" mode. They just plain work. Perfectly.

In fairness, sometimes they seem to go on for a few wipes when there is no rain at all (like, in my garage), but that's only happened a small number of times. And, also in fairness, there have been a few cases where I chose to tap on the left stalk to get a quick wipe. However, on the whole, they just work...so well that I've forgotten how I might even get to the setting if I need to find them.

This is all true from minor sun showers all the way to absolute deluge that causes some cars to pull off the road to wait it out. Shrug?
 
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darkenergy

Member
Apr 13, 2018
254
212
Canada
We had a lot of rain here over the weekend and I did about 700km over the two days in quite variable conditions. I'm finding 28.2 to require fairly regular manual intervention. It definitely underwipes when there are slow but steady bigger drops of rain, and when there is steady levels requiring level II wiping.

If Tesla can't get the automatic algorithm right, perhaps they would give us some kind of adjustment setting to raise or lower the trigger rain amounts for each of the wiper rates.
 
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azred

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,877
2,169
Chandler, AZ
Oddly enough mine on my 3 actuated yesterday while cruising on NOA and sky was clear. At first I thought I might have bumped the end of turn signal stalk — but no — they were fully on. Not a big deal, but saw this new thread and thought I would mention my experience. I prefer to manually control light dimming and perhaps should do the same for wipers.
 

Avid

Member
Oct 1, 2018
327
192
Houston, Tx.
I just back from a round trip from Houston to Gulf Shores Alabama. Both ways there were rain events, some of it torrential, did not have any situation where auto wipers were a issue. It did it's job quite well.
 

novox77

1.21 Gigawatts
Nov 25, 2017
1,637
3,543
NH, MA
no issues here in recent torrential summer squalls. Auto wipers wiped fast. Still couldn't see very well so I slowed down, along with everyone else.
 

brobinson

Member
May 23, 2018
621
639
Ohio
Auto here. They work great to me, much better than at first. I occasionally hit the left stalk button for a manual wipe when it first starts drizzling.

This is my experience as well. It still has trouble with a very light mist or drizzle, but its nothing that an occasional push of the left stalk doesn't take care of.

Worlds better than it was last year.
 

Formula1

Member
Nov 19, 2018
25
37
Baltimore
I can almost never use auto wipers. It seems under most conditions my visibility gets to borderline to outright dangerous before they activate. Even in a steady downpour they only wipe intermittently leaving intervals of near total blindness.

Adding to the danger is the fact that to change the manual settings you have to look down to the screen and tap not once but twice to get the right wiper rate. This is under poor visibility. Not good.

All other cars have steering wheel wiper controls so you don't have to take your eye off the road to adjust. This is my number 1 complaint with the Model 3 right now. Its a safety issue. There has been no fix to the wiper controls since I bought the car in April. Auto wipe is still unusable.
Do you have the latest software version on your car? My auto wipers work great now. They did not initially when I got the car in Nov of last year but since then they are pretty much perfect now.
 
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Runt8

Active Member
May 19, 2017
1,986
2,372
Colorado
Adding to the danger is the fact that to change the manual settings you have to look down to the screen and tap not once but twice to get the right wiper rate.
The safer way to do it is to hit the button on the left stalk, which should clear your vision and bring up the wiper settings on the screen. Then it's just a single tap when it's safe to briefly look away.
 
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merlin337

Member
Jun 13, 2019
30
38
NY
I'm glad all of you have a functioning autowiper mode but mine is terrible. There shouldn't be such a dramatic difference. Everytime it rains I wait to see how long it takes to wipe. Usually it is too the point where I can barely see before it starts. Then it wipes intermittently waiting until it's barely visable to wipe again.

I wish I had a setting to up the sensitivity as someone suggested. Seems like it won't trigger a wipe until the entire windshield is completely saturated with water which is way too late.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,086
Vernon, BC, Canada
Ours works for light rain (what we usually get here). Drove to the coast this weekend and the heavier steady rain there caused it to act as you describe: slightly delayed, just after the end of visibility and a bit dangerous. I found myself hitting the manual wipe button on the stalk frequently during some periods.

I'm concerned for the wet ugly winters we have.
 

merlin337

Member
Jun 13, 2019
30
38
NY
The safer way to do it is to hit the button on the left stalk, which should clear your vision and bring up the wiper settings on the screen. Then it's just a single tap when it's safe to briefly look away.

Wiper controls should be manual and on the steering wheel like every car. Sometimes you get sudden road spray or a sudden downpour. If you can't rely on the autowipe mode then you need to be able to access the wipers quickly without looking away from the road. Can't do that in a Model 3. This is bad design no way around it.
 

Runt8

Active Member
May 19, 2017
1,986
2,372
Colorado
I'm glad all of you have a functioning autowiper mode but mine is terrible. There shouldn't be such a dramatic difference. Everytime it rains I wait to see how long it takes to wipe. Usually it is too the point where I can barely see before it starts. Then it wipes intermittently waiting until it's barely visable to wipe again.

I wish I had a setting to up the sensitivity as someone suggested. Seems like it won't trigger a wipe until the entire windshield is completely saturated with water which is way too late.
Mine mostly works very well (and have vastly improved in the time I've had the car), but I've found it's very reliant on the lighting conditions. I've had issues both at night and when I'm driving on uncrowded flat roads when the sky is overcast and a very flat gray color.

Wiper controls should be manual and on the steering wheel like every car. Sometimes you get sudden road spray or a sudden downpour. If you can't rely on the autowipe mode then you need to be able to access the wipers quickly without looking away from the road. Can't do that in a Model 3. This is bad design no way around it.
A sudden spray is easily handled by the manual control you have on the left stalk. A sudden downpour that doesn't activate the auto wipers is annoying, but there's always time for a quick glance at the screen at some point. Until then, press the button when necessary.

I wish the auto wipers were perfect in all situations, but they are improving, which is more than I can say for other brands I've driven which had auto wipers that ranged from pretty good to useless. But using the controls you do have can result in a perfectly safe, if not necessarily ideal, driving experience. Certainly not the end of the world that people here make it out to be.
 
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ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
3,725
Buford, GA
Mime are working pretty awesome these days. I came through a rain event yesterday and only after it was getting really bad did I even think about the wipers. They had "just been working" before that.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,479
3,164
Maine
I can almost never use auto wipers. It seems under most conditions my visibility gets to borderline to outright dangerous before they activate. Even in a steady downpour they only wipe intermittently leaving intervals of near total blindness.

Adding to the danger is the fact that to change the manual settings you have to look down to the screen and tap not once but twice to get the right wiper rate. This is under poor visibility. Not good.

All other cars have steering wheel wiper controls so you don't have to take your eye off the road to adjust. This is my number 1 complaint with the Model 3 right now. Its a safety issue. There has been no fix to the wiper controls since I bought the car in April. Auto wipe is still unusable.
I did two things: one, I put RainX on the windshield, but NOT over the vision camera section. That'll bead the rain where I'm looking, preventing blindness before the vision camera decides it's time to wipe. And two, I practiced putting my fingers around the bottom corner of the screen, so that I use my thumb to manually change the wiper settings, without looking. It's like typing on your phone without looking. The more you practice, eventually you can do it without looking.
 
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