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Rear View Camera Doesn't Like Winter Driving in Massachusetts

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Pollux, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    I thought I've seen mention of this problem elsewhere in this forum but can't find it now.

    Anyone else seeing the rear view camera easily, quickly, almost trivially clogged up by dirty snow, slush, backsplash? The back of the car seems to be a veritable winter-crud magnet. I can clean the lens in the garage, have a nice, clear pretty picture as I'm leaving the house, and within a mile of driving on slushy, snow/rain-wet roads my rear view is practically wiped out.

    Does anyone have any solutions for this problem? I've considered training my 9-year old son to jump out of the car at traffic lights and run back to swipe the lens clean. I'd just hate to have to leave him there if the light turns green before he makes it back into the car. :tongue:

    Thanks,
    Alan
     
  2. Odenator

    Odenator P2607

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    Rain-X or Aquapel to the lens. Only other thing would be to install mud flaps on the rear (if that is possible).
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Because of the aerodynamic design, the back sucks up any spray from other cars and from the wheels. Like Odenator says, a hydrophobic product helps but it doesn't totally solve the issue. Probably the right thing to do is to have a "windshield" over the camera and a small wiper and/or spray system to keep it clear.
     
  4. quartzav

    quartzav Member

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    My RAV4 EV and both Volts also have the same issue with it's lens snow covered.
     
  5. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Every car I've driven that has a rear view camera has the same issue. Most don't let you look at the camera while you're driving, though, so you only notice when you go to back up.

    Short of having a little windshield wiper on the thing I don't know what one could do about it.
     
  7. Bearman

    Bearman Member

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    I have had this problem myself so I have thought some about this, and doing so I have seen some solutions to this.

    1. Mount the camera inside the rear window, this might work if the rear window stays clean or has a wiper blade.
    2. Rotating the lens or a protective screen at high speed ~1500 rpm. This is the solution of clear view screens at sea where wipers wont cut it.
    3. Ultrasound, the swedish fighter jets use ultrasound to bounce any droplets of the window.
    4. Regular wiper over glass covering the lens.

    Using stuff like rain-x works if you have high wind speeds passing the lens but in the rear all you have is turbulent doldrums.
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I actually keep a small bottle of washer fluid and some paper towels in the back to wipe it off. I was afraid that wiping it "dry" might scratch the lens due to the salt. I've pretty much given up since there is so much salt spray it gets blocked after about a minute of driving. I use nearly a full washer fluid tank every day just getting to/from work just so I can see out the windshield. I kinda wish Tesla didn't have that delayed second wipe after using the washers. I clean the glass with the washers, and by the time it does the second wipe, there is already so much salt spray on the glass that the second wipe just smears it all over the windshield.
     
  9. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    I've encountered the same problem. I was thinking, maybe a small compressed air blast could clean it as long as it was not frozen. The MS already has a compressor if you have the air suspension.
     
  10. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Thanks, @Odenator! Will follow up on this possibility.

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    @jerry33, agreed. But I'm not the man to design & implement such a "windshield". Do you know of any existing third-party product that fits the bill? Thanks.

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    @ItsNotAboutTheMoney - right you are! Done. Thanks!

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    @quartzav - I believe you. Could be a general problem with many cars. But I notice that this issue is considerably worse with my Model S by comparison with my 2012 Prius v and 2010 Prius. The Priuses (Prii?), for whatever reasons, offer much better rear camera views in adverse weather.

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    @woof - awesome! Have you done it? How well did it work?

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    @Doug_G - I would completely agree except for the fact that my Priuses do significantly better on this issue. Even though I can only check when I'm driving the Priuses in reverse, but since I live in Massachusetts, I can do that on all major highways and at any time I wish. :)

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    @Bearman - these are far and away my favorite solutions yet! I am particularly fond of #2 and #3, even if only for bragging rights! I wonder whether there's a #5 which is something like Rain-X plus an air nozzle aimed across the lens. Thank you.
     
  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Neither am I. I don't know of any existing product but then I haven't looked. However, I'd think that because the mounting would be unique to the Model S, a custom piece would be required.

    I kind of like the compressed air and ultrasound solutions. They would be much easier to implement. I use my camera rather than the rear-view mirror about 90% of the time.
     

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