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Rain not beading on windshield

Taddpole

Member
Oct 13, 2020
8
2
Vancouver
Hope this has not been covered elsewhere in these forums.

I've got a late-2018 model 3, and am located in Vancouver BC. We have reasonable amounts of rain, so wiper functionality/good rain visibility is (obviously) important. I'm having difficulty seeing through the windshield in heavy rain though, and it doesn't seem that I can clean away whatever problem I'm having. There is an obvious difference between the sections of the windshield that are covered by the wipers, and the sections that are not. Water beads easily on the non-wiped sections, and on the windows, roof, rear glass, etc., but water does not bead at all on the wiped sections. This requires full speed wiping for even moderate rain, which leads to another issue: what look like hard water stains (faint slightly opaque spots) show up on the windshield momentarily when the wipers are operating at high speed.

I tried washing the window with regular car wash (Meguier's something), household vinegar, dish soap, Windex, and none have made any difference at all.

I've attached some photos below where the clear difference is apparent. I also have a video of hose water spraying ont the windshield, showing the difference in beading/coating - (
)

What is the problem here? Have I somehow used the worst wiper fluid in existence and built up an indestructible coating of water-attracting junk? Is it a windshield issue? A colleague has suggested Rain-X. but I've seen all of the posts regarding Rain-X and Tesla, so don't want to go down that route if possible. I need a solution, though...
 

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subieworx

Member
May 29, 2020
87
43
ohio
You need to create a barrier to the glass that the water cannot get through for it to bead. This can be as simple as a wax or can be more purposeful like using Rainx or Aquapel. All of the washing you have done has stripped all coatings off the glass which will make the water sheet instead of bead.
 
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jdw

Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2015
689
1,317
Vancouver
What worked for me:

1-Physically lightly polishing the windscreen with something like Carpro Ceriglass and an abrasive pad. You can do this by hand if needed. In my experience, you cannot remove whatever Tesla has put on the window with cleaners and trying to, gets you what you are seeing. Cleaners strip off the top layer, but leave the underlying gunk which can cause chatter and interfere with subsequent coatings and beading. Claying the window helps also.

2-After the polish, clean the windows (maybe twice) with an alcohol based cleaner to remove residue. Polish with a waffle weave (non-linting) towel.

3- After the window is decontaminated and as clean as you can get it, consider a window treatment - I use RainX, but cannot stress enough that it needs to be applied following the instructions ...

-Apply a first coat and polish it in (I use a glass fiber cloth); wait for it to flash/haze over
-Apply a second coat and polish; wait for it to flash/haze over
-Sprinkle a very small amount of water on the window and polish to dry with a waffle weave towel.

If you see any haze, sprinkle a small amount of water and re-polish.

Improperly applied RainX will create a haze on the window when it rains and may contribute to wiper chatter.

There are other window treatments, some of which have longer life than RainX but in all cases you need to make sure you have decontaminated the windshield before applying them.

I rarely have to use the wipers now. From the factory, the wipers and windscreen were awful. The sheeting you see is what happens when the top layer of Tesla gunk is removed by the wipers and cleaners but the residue is still there.
 
Last edited:

Taddpole

Member
Oct 13, 2020
8
2
Vancouver
Not obvious, no. So far I’ve been told
-I washed away the coating
-the wipers wiped away the coating
-there is no coating
-I have applied a coating to only the wiper area.

seems the solution is to try and clean and polish the windshield then apply rainx, but I’ve been given different explanations for why this is necessary.
 

SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,310
Greenville Wisconsin
This is what happens when we teach music instead of science..........

The water is beading due to some post production wax/sealant/coating. Might be as simple as a car wash additive.
The wiper strip that away, thorough cleaning of the windshield strips it away too. So when you noticed a lack of beading in the wiped area you doubled down on making sure there was no beading agent left. As has been said thorough cleaning and a RainX like product are how you get it back.
 

I<3URANUS

Member
Dec 9, 2019
122
116
Dallas
Not obvious, no. So far I’ve been told
-I washed away the coating
-the wipers wiped away the coating
-there is no coating
-I have applied a coating to only the wiper area.

seems the solution is to try and clean and polish the windshield then apply rainx, but I’ve been given different explanations for why this is necessary.
Just use rainx, it will solve your problem. Tesla doesn't use any different glass than anyone else, there's no coating. You can get better wipers if yours are worn out but this isn't any different than any other car.
 

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