TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Windshield wiper issues (modes and settings)

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by michaelwm, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. michaelwm

    michaelwm Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    So there are 4 wiper modes, both as explained during my delivery process and according to page 18 of the owner's guide:

    - 1: Auto with lo sensitivity
    - 2: Auto with hi sensitivity
    - 3: Continuous, slow.
    - 4: Continuous, fast.

    Am I the only one that finds the only difference between 1+2 to be speed? They seem equally sensitive, it's just that the wipers move faster.

    And speaking of sensitivity... I find the "auto" modes very frustrating. In a ridiculously-light spray, they actuate way too easily/often. They *ALWAYS* wipe once when the car turns on, if I left them on when I park, even if the windshield is bone dry. And then in reasonable light rain, it feels like they don't actuate frequently enough... I find myself having to manually trigger a wipe way too frequently in light rain, after the windshield fills with drops at low speed and they fail to wipe on their own.

    Last but not least, I finally drove through some pouring rain this last weekend (San Jose area... anybody else?). Mode 4 was COMPLETELY inadequate for a heavy downpour. Nobody in the car could believe that I was on the top setting. There was too much pause when the wipers reached the bottom of their swipe.

    What are other owners' thoughts/experience? Is this just me?
     
  2. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    I've heard about it from others. This is definitely a problem for anyone who gets regular downpours or is subject to snow.

    Sent via Tapatalk.
     
  3. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    2,209
    Not just you. We've noticed the same stuff.

    The only exception might be your last point; the wipers on FAST have always done a good enough job for us. Note that I haven't driven in really heavy rain yet; but our area got hit really hard yesterday while my wife was driving, and even though she mentioned one of your other problems with the wipers, she didn't mention any problem with the screen getting cleared.
     
  4. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,164
    Location:
    MA
    Before I respond, I'll note that I have applied Rain-X and use Rain-X wiper fluid. *HUGE* difference no matter the car. This stuff should be required for all cars.

    The automatic mode is usually OK, but not always. I agree, the difference between lo/hi sensitivity is simply the wiper speed (as far as I can tell). I've had times where it didn't wipe when I wanted it to, and vice-versa. So I'll use manual modes for that. And those modes have been fine given that I have Rain-X. I can see how, without Rain-X, they'd be inadequate -- they're slow.

    I do also experience the single-wipe on startup (which has gotten me and the interior of the car soaked once). I've asked ownership @ Tesla to send feedback to at LEAST make it so the wiper won't activate until you've hit the brake to turn the car on.

    No matter the case, I strongly urge you to send this to the ownership team as feedback if you haven't already. Who knows what they'll do with it -- but they've heard from me, possibly others, and hopefully you. We can help them improve the car.
     
  5. ahimberg

    ahimberg Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Woodinville, WA
    So the model S doesn't have a delay wiper setting, only the auto's, and ON?
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,380
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    So it isn't a sensitivity adjustment then. It sounds like it is simply an automatic on/off with the difference being which speed the wipers operate at when "on". If so, that's a step down from how most auto wipers work. Mine, for instance, has a true sensitivity adjustment (at least 4 steps) and work almost like intermittent wipers in light rain/mist.
     
  7. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,213
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Technically, the auto wipers are the delayed setting. Apparently, they are too sensitive to behave that way...
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,231
    I'll keep my opinion brief:
    The current wiper behavior is high on my list of "thank the stars they can fix stuff with software updates."
     
  9. michaelwm

    michaelwm Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    After submitting my description/complaint to [email protected], I was pleasantly surprised to get a call back from a service manager today. He insisted that I bring the car in sometime so they can spray water on it and verify that things are/aren't working properly. It's not a super-high-priority, but I do intend to swing by and do this at some point in the next week or two. I'll try to report back when I do.
     
  10. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4,738
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    The only downside to Rain X that I have found is that bugs that get on a Rain X coated windshield are more difficult to remove.
     
  11. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,380
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    It does seem an odd set-up, but I wonder if that's how they work on M-B models since that's where Tesla sourced the switches/stalks?

    The systems I'm familiar with have "Off-Auto-Lo-Hi" switch settings with an adjustable dial on the stalk for sensitivity. In use, on Auto, the wipers will make intermittent wipes that increase in frequency the harder the rain gets. If it rains hard enough, the wipers will switch to Lo and even to Hi automatically, depending on conditions, then slow down or go to intermittent as the rain slows down.

    I take it that is not how it works on the Model S.
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,220
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts about Rain-X moved here
    Rain-X
     
  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    The trouble with a California-built car is that the designers don't grok this "rain" concept....
     
  14. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Los Altos (Silicon Valley), CA
    Robert I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. Winter here in the bay area usually means a crap ton of rain where I am, but there are a crazy number of microclimates along the peninsula the the bay area in general so this varies widely. We do get some north east style storms for sure, just minus the lightning and thunder most of the time. I promise I'm not a born and raised Californian who doesn't know better. I went to High School in MA, and grew up in PA. Also spent time in SC and LA. I know rain. We do get real rain here. Honest Engine... we can blame the lack of wiper speed choices on something else I am afraid.... I'm just not sure what.

    I agree that on a car this expensive it seems silly. They need to have a variable wiper dial, and they also need the "holy crap its raining so hard I can't see over the hood" wiper warp speed setting.

    Cheers.
     
  15. jerry33

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

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,458
    Location:
    Texas
    +1 When it rains in Texas it's often of the "I can't see to the end of the hood" variety.
     
  16. JoshG

    JoshG Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    333
    Rain-sensing Auto Wipers

    Well, in NorCal we're sure getting a chance to test out the wipers in the last few days!

    I've had the car just 24 hours, but it's been raining at every possible rate in that time... from massive downpour to drizzle. I am so far NOT happy with the auto-sensing wiper settings. There are two sensitivity settings and I can't tell the difference... neither seems to swipe fast enough for the given rate of rainfall. Our Lexus RX450 has auto-sensing wipers that are perfect with just a single "sensitivity" setting, and my 7-year old Mercedes also always seemed to pick a perfect rate. Surprised Tesla didn't get the technology for this from Mercedes like they did for cruise control and the shifter. Hoping they can get it adjusted via a software update.

    I find it frustrating to just have to switch to manual speeds. Anyone else noticing this?
     
  17. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    It has been noted before and, yes, the wipers could use improvement.

    With a coating of RainX on the windshield it seems better. At this point I think the wipers NEED RainX to perform at all well.
     
  18. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,841
    Location:
    Seattle
    If you want give valuable feedback to TM I'd have a passenger take a video of how the wipers are not moving fast enough for you during normal driving in rain.

    Also, I'd recommend getting rainx as it almost removes the need to use wipers in heavy rain. Use it once and it might satisfy your needs.

    It works by making the surface hydrophobic like cats :wink:

    Amazon.com: Rain-X 800002244 Glass Treatment Wipes: Automotive
     
  19. leeunkrich

    leeunkrich Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Northern California
    Me, too. Seems to be no rhyme nor reason to what triggers the wipers to finally come on. I ended up just using the manual controls. Not ideal.
     
  20. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    Vancouver WA
    Agreed, the auto settings are not sensitive enough. Now I know why the Daimler turn signal/wiper stalk has the "wipe once" button right there where your left pinkie can keep pushing it as needed :wink:
     

Share This Page