Model 3 Auto Wipers

Model 3 Auto Wipers

The auto wipers do not turn on soon enough in light rain/drizzle so very often I have to start them myself.

Seems like an item to address in a future software update!

bein.tien | May 30, 2018

I have the same issue. San Diego is notorious for its light drizzle/fake-out rain, which is enough to impair my vision through the windshield, but not enough to trigger the auto-wipers. I find pushing in the left stalk to do a single swipe helps as a quick fix when the auto-wipers don't want to do their job.

slasher0016 | May 30, 2018

It needs to be configurable IMO. The latest update made them wipe quicker and they're just right now (for me), but I could definitely see wiping them more frequently. Most auto-wipers have sensitivity settings (my previous Audi had four settings.) Hopefully Tesla adds this at some point.

mfong | May 30, 2018

When I first got my Model 3 3-weeks ago, the auto-wipers would come on when i was in my garage with no moisture on the car. But at some point, it stopped going on at the wrong times. Not sure what that was about.

stockbandit91 | May 30, 2018

This morning there was light mist driving into Irvine in SoCal, wipers did great, sometimes you end up with a double wipe as the water from returning to the start ends up thrown back on the sensor. I thought it did great in the mist this morning, didn't even have to hit the 1-swipe on the stalk at all this time, vs. every other day in the mist I did.

I had noticed previously unless the street was well lit in the mist the wipers did not go on until you were near some street lights, but today it did fine on the dark 71 freeway.

rxlawdude | May 30, 2018

@stockbandit, there is no rain sensor on the M3. It uses the camera and an algorithm to determine if it's raining.

And that explains why in the dark, it may not work as well. Glad it worked on CA-71.

Rocky_H | May 30, 2018

Every time I see these threads, it seems there are people across the spectrum with some thinking it's too fast and others thinking it's too slow. That shows the issue that how much water you want to deal with before wiping is a personal preference. I don't want it wiping too often when there not enough water, because then I get to hear SQUEEK SQUEEK SQUEEK. But other people don't ever want to tolerate having to see a drop remaining in their sight. That's why I just don't get this automatic thing. It's one particular setting, so it will work for a small group of people who prefer it just that way, but for most people, that particular setting will be too fast or too slow, and with no way to adjust it, it's just a frustration.

LostInTx | May 30, 2018

If Houston has Harvey Part Deux, auto wipers will be thoroughly tested.

ReD eXiLe ms us | May 30, 2018

Rocky_H is correct.

lilbean | May 30, 2018

Yes he is.

CST | May 31, 2018

@Rocky_H: Typically, auto wipers have a setting that allows the driver to set the sensitivity.

rdavis | May 31, 2018

"The auto wipers do not turn on soon enough in light rain/drizzle so very often I have to start them myself.

Seems like an item to address in a future software update!"

Actually, this has just started being the case as of 2018.18.13 update. Prior releases the Auto wipers on drizzle have been perfectly good. The new release seems to have made it less sensitive. Maybe a lot of complaints about false wipes prior?

spuzzz123 | October 15, 2018

Rainy Monday. Happy to report since V9 installed dramatically improved behavior. I really undervalued OTA's when I first read about them. It is amazing to own a continuously improving vehicle.

derotam | October 15, 2018

I agree, I noticed much improved automatic wiper function this morning running v9 39.7

billtphotoman | October 15, 2018

@derotam - this is good news because I am about to head off into a 200 mile round trip through what looks like a mix of rain intensities.

ramoska | October 15, 2018

Since we are talking wipers... what is a good replacement for when they wear out...and I am already noticing on the outside the wiper marks... hard to explain but like a ghost of the area they wipe... Is there something that will clean the outside better to remove that ghosting.

Jeffjaslow | December 27, 2018

Just put in a request for a windshield wiper variable setting - controlled with a slider that is similar to the current temperature and volume setting slider.

christian | December 27, 2018

Living in Seattle, the auto mode for wipers is my biggest annoyance with the Model 3. I've had 3 Audis and a Ford all with auto-wipers and I never had to touch the wiper controls in any of those vehicles. The Model 3's "Auto" mode is almost unusable up here, at least on my car. I seemed to remember a tweet from Elon about them working on this, but I'm surprised it's such a difficult thing to get right. My 2010 Q5 did it perfectly.

christian | December 27, 2018

(And for the record, I love my Model 3 and realize this is a first world problem, so here's a pre-emptive "thank you" to those of you who want to show us how enlightened you are.) :)

Macscott M3 | December 27, 2018

Just one more voice... the AUTO setting needs to offer an ajustment slider for “sensitivity” WITH a warming message if you set it too low and an automatic override if you don’t confirm within 3 seconds. IMHO, the truth is in the details. Make it so.

nakedgravity | December 29, 2018

I'm just south of christian and I completely agree with him. It rains here pretty much constantly this time of year so I'm getting very well versed in the the functionality (or lack of) with the Auto wipers. However, I feel this is more than a first-world problem because switching between manual modes from the touch screen is far more difficult (and sometimes even dangerous) compared to spinning a dial on a stalk. It's unfortunate Tesla chose to remove the dedicated rain sensor since it appears the forward-facing cameras are not up to the task of detecting precipitation.

One suggestion I'd love to see implemented that would at least hold us over until rain detection is perfected is to allow us to change between Off > Low speed > High speed modes by pressing the left steering wheel button to the left/right. This would allow us to quickly get the wipers to wipe without taking our eyes off the road. These buttons currently control cycling through song titles, which I personally never use anyway.

This is really my only complaint about my Model 3. I love everything else about the car and the company.

mark.tomlinson | January 1, 2019

I'm going to add my two cents and agree. Having a neural network determine if it's raining is way overengineered and prone to getting it wrong. A lot.

We'll get one of those midwestern fine mist days and the wipers won't go at all. Then I'll get in the car in the garage and the wipers will go like crazy for no perceivable reason.

I thought the last update was supposed to improve the wiper behavior. I'm not seeing it.

david | January 3, 2019

Another 2¢ that the auto wipers is an issue. A sensitive sensor is a no-brainer. Surprised it isn't higher on the fix-list. On the pat-on-the-back list is the GPS "how much time saved for alternative route" feature. Been barking about that since GPS came to cars! Hallelujah!

alex | May 19, 2019

+1 for the Tesla 3 auto-sensing wipers reacting too slowly. The wipers basically wait until you can barely see anything, then they wipe once, and wait again. Yesterday I timed it in a constant drizzle that completely covered my windshield, it took 14 sec between wipes. I have had various other cars with auto-sensing wipers, they were not remotely slow like that. Their algorithm was more like: First raindrop - wipe immediately.
I hope engineers are reading this; if we could at least configure the sensitivity, this would make a world of difference.

Joho.keith | May 19, 2019

I’ve had my M3 for almost a year coming from a 2013 S. The auto wipers is the only big issue I’ve had with the car. They simply don’t work well enough and the controls take too much of your attention to use.

aperfectecho | May 19, 2019

I've had a good experience with auto wipers so far. I did replace the blades with Kimblades (from Indiegogo) and that made a difference. Otherwise, I think auto mode works well 95% of the time

Lonestar10_1999 | May 19, 2019

Two things that I wish would have been better if they had been designed more like typical cars:
1) I wish the wipers were completely controlled on the stalk as manual control. Maybe have a manual/auto switch but that switch would need to be on the stalk.
2) I wish the global door lock/unlock was a button on the driver door. Maybe keep the screen function but as a redundant control.

lilbean | May 19, 2019

My wipers are perfect now after the update.

BuffaloBillsFan | May 19, 2019

I personally don’t use the auto wiper function. It just doesn’t seem to work the way I want it to. I also don’t use the auto high beam function for the same reason.

It really doesn’t bother me at all to manually turn on the wipers or the high beam. If they improve with updates? Great! If not, I still love my new car!

ODWms | May 19, 2019

I don’t know if I’m in the majority or minority, but I’ve never had a problem with the auto wipers since day one. Always worked fine for me.

lph | May 19, 2019

Since the latest update last week, the wipers seem to be much improved. Hope it is for real.

alex | May 20, 2019

This is a picture I took from the windshield, it usually took this kind of visibility and more until the wiper engaged:
It could take up to 15 seconds of progressively worse visibility before the system would trigger a wipe.

ODWms | May 20, 2019

Yeah, that shouldn’t be. Obviously there’s an issue. The good news is that there are fixes for that in the way of software updates. Plenty of customers have reported the problem was rectified this way.

gthatch | May 20, 2019

Concur, they just don't wipe fast enough. I usually have to take them off AUTO

lelson3485 | May 20, 2019

I notice that you can't turn the wipers off completely, e.g. if you are sitting in a parked car when it's raining. No off switch.

Magic 8 Ball | May 20, 2019

@lelson They can be turned off, touch the wiper icon.

Mdesigns.22 | June 29, 2019

Like many of you I have the same problem with the wipers waiting so long to come on that I can’t see and have to push the button to manually do it. When I drove an Audi A5 I never had an issue. I hope Tesla will work on this.

ODWms | July 1, 2019

I remarked to a friend during a trip from Florida to Georgia and back last weekend that I have never even once started my windshield wipers. They automatically start well enough that I don’t even notice the rain until I see them going and then realize it’s misting. I wonder if this is just an issue affecting some cars and not others?

rpc_in_va | July 1, 2019

When I first got my car last summer the auto wipers were pretty bad. I vividly remember the first rainstorm I drove into. Over the past almost-year they’ve improved markedly, so that now it’s unusual to have to use the stalk (and I no longer need to use manual at all).

So, like ODWms suggested, maybe this is a car-specific issue.

mk4ce | July 1, 2019

@ODWms: I can attest to this theory. My wife's LR AWD M3 (delivered 5/25/19) auto wipers work properly when raining/drizzling. I haven't tested mist as we don't get much here in Denver. MY LR AWD M3 auto wipers never have worked properly. (Delivered in March 2019). Her car also "feels" newer with seemingly more quality materials (softer leather on steering wheel, better feeling brakes and suspension. Overall more solid. I know what people are thinking - its the same car. IMO, they differ in a half a dozen ways - hers being the better car.

bp | July 1, 2019

I live in the Seattle area and have driven the car in the Bay Area as well, and I think the auto wipers work fine. I do occasionally hit the button to force a stroke, but I did that in my previous car (Audi) as well. In any case, IMO all that’s missing is a sensitivity setting for auto. I think that would kill this thread.

smogne41 | July 1, 2019

I would gladly give up a few square inches of the bottom of the screen for some wiper controls that never hide. This is a basic control you need while driving (especially since the auto wipers will never work to everyone satisfaction). They can't, it's physically impossible. Anything camera-based will not work if it is too dark, and sometimes we need the wipers when it is dark. Even better would be an aftermarket physical control we could mount on the steering column to let us engage/adjust our wipers like any normal car.

Harvan Hunter | July 1, 2019

Just got my 3 a bit less than two weeks ago. I've seen the wipers take a bit longer than I'd like to get started in light rain, but once going they do a good job of keeping the windshield clear. I've seen them come on spontaneously while pulling out of my garage, though - specifically when the windshield camera gets hit with sudden sunlight as I'm backing out. Usually only triggers once and then goes idle again.

I haven't had any real complaints with the auto wipers - just a couple minor nuisances. Can't speak to older behavior since my car is so new, and this is the first car I've owned that's had the feature at all, so no real comparisons for me either.

rivfed | July 4, 2019

hello, not very clear how to create a new post. There is only a useless link bound to "Posting to the Tesla Forums is now limited to verified Owners. To verify your account, contact"
I have a bug to report about windshields wiper...

rivfed | July 4, 2019

hello, not very clear how to create a new post. There is only a useless link bound to "Posting to the Tesla Forums is now limited to verified Owners. To verify your account, contact"
I have a bug to report about windshields wiper...

rivfed | July 4, 2019

when entering a tunnel (about 40 between Lugano and Antibes) during the day with blue sky the wipers go 3-4 times by themselves. Probably a sensor bug. The easiest way to fix (at least temporarily) would be to put on position "0" that for obscure reasons does not exist (only I II III and AUTO) . So please, add 10 lines of code to have the button "0"!

FISHEV | July 4, 2019

Rivfed...Best to use "Schedule Service" from the phone app. If you give them a time when the problem occurred they can look at see what was going on. The feedback@ and forums@ are not monitored by Tesla, dead letter files.

Magic 8 Ball | July 4, 2019

Button 0 is the same as pressing on the wiper icon to turn the wipers off.