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Poor windshield wiper performance in winter

badlydrawnboy

Member
Jun 9, 2016
69
26
Berkeley, CA
I've noticed that my driver-side wiper leaves residue/streaks along where the bottom half of the wiper travels. I thought that the wiper blades needed to be replaced, so I had that done a couple of weeks ago when the vehicle was in for service for something else (a coolant leak). But this is still happening with brand new wiper blades. See attached image.

This can be significant enough that it obscures my view and feels dangerous. I don't recall it happening when it was raining during the warmer months; it seems to be an issue now that it's colder.

I have wiper fluid that is rated to -20F, and I often turn on the windshield wiper warmer when I get in the car. I haven't contacted service about it yet. I wanted to check with folks on the forum first to see if anyone else has this issue.
 

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JasontheBeaver

Jason Barker
Jan 11, 2018
381
359
Beaverton, Oregon
A few comments:
Are you sure you properly diluted your washer fluid?
I recommend using Opti-coat No Rinse as your washer fluid in addition to the anti-freeze. It cleans really well and leaves behind a polymer that helps the windshield stay cleaner longer. Plus, it can't leave hard water spots on your paint and glass when it dries, especially if you're not using distilled water.
Lastly, a Glassparency ceramic glass coating makes a HUGE difference and helps your wipers quite a bit during rainy weather, and it's guaranteed for 3 years!

 

Richbot

Member
Oct 16, 2020
245
159
STL
I complained about poor windshield/blade contact at the dealer at my first service and they replaced the driver's side blade and the problem went away. They've worked great in the cold and ice so far since then (they were leaving a bad streak right in my line of sight before)

The streaking you're experiencing looks like run of the mill winter road salt/wiper fluid grossness, just in an inconvenient spot
 

Padelford

Supporting Member
Jul 1, 2017
394
366
Seattle
You should "superclean" your windshield to get all residues/contaminants off. There are videos on YouTube on how to do this, but I've used 0000 steel wool to scrub down my windshield after cleaning with Invisible Glass. After the 0000 steel wool, again clean with Invisible Glass. Some instructions use a clay bar and lubricant instead of 0000 steel wool.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,921
3,014
Northern California
You should "superclean" your windshield to get all residues/contaminants off. There are videos on YouTube on how to do this, but I've used 0000 steel wool to scrub down my windshield after cleaning with Invisible Glass. After the 0000 steel wool, again clean with Invisible Glass. Some instructions use a clay bar and lubricant instead of 0000 steel wool.
Invisible glass is the great. Smell toxic, but the windows are so clean.
 

guydot

Member
Sep 8, 2020
17
6
Philadelphia, PA
I have the same issue - bottom part of the driver's side looks just like the OP's picture. It's as if the windshield fluid does not get to that part. Slowing down/stopping and pressing the wash button for a LONG time with a lot of fluid finally removes it. I wonder how Tesla screwed up such a basic functionality (while being so successful in other areas.)

Has anybody found a solution that does not involve coating/scrubbing/using special and rare concoctions blessed by the delai lama? In my other cars I just... use the wipers... (also - automatic wipers actually works!)

(I can try to get the wiper replaced if it's worth the effort.)
 

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