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Windshield wipers and de-icing

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Soflauthor, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Soflauthor

    Soflauthor Model S, Sig#422

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    #1 Soflauthor, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
    Tesla just came out to fix my Model S windshield wipers — they had stopped retracting to the fully closed position. The results are interesting and something that new owners should watch for.

    Background: The wipers exert considerable downward pressure on the windshield. (Owners, go out and try to left them). That results in good wiping efficiency, but apparently, it can be problematic when they wipe a dry windshield or a windshield with a little tree sap or other gunky material on it. Note also that the autowipe feature is very sensitive, and a simple leaf can cause a wipe of a dry windshield.

    The Problem (hypothesized by the TM tech and me): It looks like my autowipe activated when just a few rain drops were on a windshield that may have had a little tree sap on it (I know, don't park under a tree :)). The extra friction caused by the sap may have caused the wiper motor axle to slip on a conical gear and cam assembly that drives the wiper blades, and as a consequence, the wiper arm end point was changed.

    The solution: The TM tech got under the hood removed the wipers, readjusted the assembly so that the wipers zeroed out, and then replaced them. Fixed.

    Ideally, there should be a way to set the sensitivity of autowipe so that dry wipes don't happen frequently. In my case, at least, it looks like the sliding friction of a dry windshield and a little tree sap caused the wiper to slip on the drive axle.

    photo copy 6.JPG
     
  2. donauker

    donauker Member

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    This is good to know. Now the little issue I have seen with my vehicle has become more of a bit of a concern than the minor irritation it was. My wipers do a single autowipe every time the car powers up including when it is parked in the garage.
     
  3. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Hmm, I suspect this is going to happen constantly anywhere that has significant vegetation. I'm in Oregon, tree sap or other organic junk blown on the windshield while parked is practically a given.
     
  4. PRJIM

    PRJIM Member

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    If memory serves correct, I believe that this also true for Mercedes vehicles . Perhaps it has something to do with the switch gear.
     
  5. Babylonfive

    Babylonfive Power12

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    Wonder if things like RainX might lessen the drag? Worth an experiment (says the guy without an S, or a Mercedes)
     
  6. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Soflauthor, a couple of tangential questions here:

    - This was treated as a warranty item, I suppose. Any hint on how this might have been treated out of warranty?

    - What service plan have you chosen or are planning to choose (you are not out of your 30-day-post-delivery window yet, I presume)?

    - I forget now but, would such a warranty visit (if so) by a Tesla ranger/technician be free irrespective of the service plan chosen?
     
  7. Soflauthor

    Soflauthor Model S, Sig#422

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    Yes, this was a warranty visit. BTW, tech was excellent, knowledgeable, and prompt.

    I'll probably choose the ranger-augmented maintenance plan for an extra $600 (have not yet been given a choice). Reason: convenience.

    The car is well within the 30-day period.

    My understanding is that the ranger visit is no extra cost if you choose the ranger-augmented plan, but I could be wrong. I'll wait for TM to provide the details and ask for money.
     
  8. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Can the auto-wipe feature be turned off?
     
  9. Soflauthor

    Soflauthor Model S, Sig#422

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    Yes. It's set on the lower left hand stalk of the steering wheel. You don't have to use it.

    However, it's a really nice feature, when it works properly.
     
  10. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    Speaking as a Mercedes owner, my advice is to leave the auto-wiper turned off until it starts raining. Once it starts raining, I flip it over to automatic. The cool thing is that the speed of the wipers is automatically set depending on the amount of rain coming down - at least in my Merc.
     
  11. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Your Tesla MS does this?

    I'm wondering if this might be a problem for us Midwest folks. Garage is no problem. However, nearly every time I park outdoors in the winter when there is rain, sleet or snow, I specifically do not turn on the wipers or leave them reflected off the glass so they don't snap if frozen. Can I assume the same can be done for the MS?

    EDIT: I see the function can be turned off.
     
  12. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Glad it's not only me.

    The same sensor / sensor area is also responsible for day/night mode, too. And mine's going to night mode 1.5 hours before sunset with the sun still shining (plus things like going to day mode at night when driving by moderately-lit (not brightly-lit) areas). I'm going to have service check. I reported via ownership.
     
  13. donauker

    donauker Member

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    Yes it can be turned off but that somewhat diminishes the benefits of auto wipers. It's easy to forget after it stops raining.

    The frozen wiper issue raises another concern of mine. The parked wipers are actually nearly under the back lip of the frunk and if you try to lift them from the glass the metal arm hits the edge. I expect the paint to be chipped in that area on many cars. It also looks like it will be very difficult to remove snow and ice from the wipers. Also you can't lift the wipers to wash there.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, I have noticed the same issue with day/night mode
     
  14. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Anyone else share this assessment? (Should have had a Chicago native on the design team.)
     
  15. Jgdixon

    Jgdixon Member

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    And a Canadian!
     
  16. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    I've seen other cars designed this way. This is the first time I've owned such a car. I'm also wondering how it'll work out. There are times when I go to work where I park the car and leave the wiper up off the glass while I work, knowing it'll be sleeting or whatever, to prevent them from being glued to the windshield. Can't do that with this design obviously ... will be curious about snow packing in there; that's also where the wiper fluid jets are (under the hood).
     
  17. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    I assume the positioning of the wipers and fluid jets was done in a manner to maximize the aerodynamics. Either the arms will have to be redesigned or there will have to be some mechanical or software option to leave them on the glass and manually raise them when parked in snow or freezing rain, etc.
     
  18. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    My GTI wipers sit below the hood lip also. To get them off the glass you have to turn off the car and within about 10 seconds hit the wiper stalk. They then wipe, but stay in the up position. I don't know if the Model S does something like this, but you can't replace wiper blades otherwise.

    Maybe the maintenance plan will be worth the wiper blades!?!

    EDIT: And the one time it really snowed here, and my car was outside, my wipers were seriously snowed/frozen in their little crevice.
     
  19. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Good one :)
     
  20. joefee

    joefee Over 2 Million TMC page views

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    "it looks like the sliding friction of a dry windshield and a little tree sap caused the wiper to slip on the drive axle."

    Good reason to buy the outside car cover & keep it in the frunk!

    Model S - Functional Tesla Motors
     

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