Wipers sensitivity

Wipers sensitivity

I am a new model 3 owner. I have noticed that the auto setting on the windshield wipers are kind of sluggish. I believe the sensors need to be adjusted (become more sensitive) in order to turn on the wipers a bit sooner when there is a small drizzling. The wipers on my car takes a while to turn on and most of the time I have to clean the windshield manually in order to see the road.

Any suggestion

nicholb | 17 août 2018

It would be nice if they would add a sensitivity setting to the auto wipers. It lets the window get more rain covered than I like too.

daveklaus | 17 août 2018

Put on some Rain-x and while wipers still slow, don't notice

neil.weinstock | 17 août 2018

I have this problem, as do others (but not *all* others). I have a mobile service appointment on Monday for other reasons, I'm going to ask them to check out the wiper sensor while they're here.

A user-adjustable sensitivity setting would be fine, but it should also be possible for Tesla to calibrate the sensors to work "correctly" without needing user adjustment. But I'd settle for user adjustment at this point; right now the auto setting is useless to me.

RichardKJ | 17 août 2018

There isn't a separate rain sensor. It done by software using the cameras.

Iwantmy3 | 17 août 2018

RainX aside, is anyone happy with the sensitivity of the wipers? I know I am not. I have resorted to treating them as manual only wipers. I would live to be able to adjust the sensitivity higher.

jvcesare | 17 août 2018

The owner's manual says not to use RainX. Screws up the wipers.

gadget63 | 17 août 2018

So far, knock on wood the wipers are working rather well. The first few days I owned the car I thought like others here there was something wrong with the wipers, but now, they work flawlessly

rpc_in_va | 17 août 2018

I’ve found that sometimes they’re appropriately sensitive, but most times not sensitive enough.

Larochelle.Paul | 17 août 2018

I’ve had the opposite experience. In really light rain, the wipers appear to come on too often as if the camera is sensing much more rain than there. I have resorted to just manually controlling them in those conditions. On more constant and heavier rain they appear to do a nice job.

irushwald | 26 novembre 2018

i have the same issue. i live in seattle and now the rainy season has started. the wipers are not sensitive enough and i often have to switch to manual mode otherwise i can't see very well, which is inconvenient and shouldn't be necessary. other cars have had this for years and don't have a problem. it would also be nice to have the sensitivity be adjustable, again, like many other cars available at much lower cost. seems like a very easy fix that could be done over the 'air' to make the wipers more sensitive.

Santimobil | 26 novembre 2018

Same issue as all of you describe, I have a service appointment today for auto wipers, breaks squeaking, and also there are some bubbling on the rubbers from each top rear door, only 5 month owner and 10 K+ miles, I forgot to mention that the initial appointment is to replace the Front Trunk hardware-is not opening since October 25th, Tesla mobile unit came by my office and verified that I needed a new part, that was ordered on Oct 30th, so we have not used out front trunk.

CST2 | 26 novembre 2018

I heard that 44.2 makes wipers more sensitive.

CorkChop | 26 novembre 2018

Never had an issue. Mine works quite well.

CharleyBC | 26 novembre 2018

It finally rained in Sacramento for the first time since we got our car in July, so we got to experience this the past few days. We agree it's not so sensitive as we'd like in some situations, and we either did little bumps on the left stalk, or just went into manual mode.

Looking forward to the alleged improvement in 44!

Warp Drv | 26 novembre 2018

I've always felt the wiper sensitivity was too low and I've been hoping for a fix--basically, a sensitivity setting. The same is true for the auto high-beams. I'd like there to be an adjustment for that too. And while we're at it; the auto high-beam should provide an override you can use to force the high-beams on without having to take them out of the automatic setting.

SalisburySam | 26 novembre 2018

Recent 1300-mile trip over Thanksgiving with lots of various rain from misty, to rainy, to T-storms. I’m on firmware 44.2 and, while I think the wipers are more sensitive, I’d MUCH prefer a normal user interface: Off-Intermittent-On-OnFast-Auto with a slider bar to adjust the Intermittent setting to MY preference. Auto worked pretty well in my 2002 GMC Envoy, and previous vehicles I’ve had, but I liked being able to make adjustments as I needed to.

Dalebackwards | 26 novembre 2018

I’m on 44.2 and unfortunately the wipers sensitivity has not improved. It remains my biggest gripe with an otherwise amazing car.

spuzzz123 | 27 novembre 2018

So guessing that the camera(s) in front of the rear view mirror are what's monitoring for auto wipers? If so could the aerodynamics of the car can play a role in this complaint? What I mean is, if it's drizzling and airflow at this specific location of the camera tends to push more rain above and clear of the section of windshield that the camera can see then perhaps that's why we have worse visibility from the driver's perspective, than from the camera's perspective. Shot in the dark

No_ICE | 27 novembre 2018

44.2 did not help the sensitivity for me. They still don’t wipe frequently enough in light to moderate rain. Everyone, please send an email to customer service about this and maybe Tesla will give fixing this higher priority.

Bighorn | 27 novembre 2018

The Model S wipers are still wonky after 6 years. Don’t think an email is going to do much.

gmkellogg | 27 novembre 2018

Yeah so far this is my biggest gripe. When I'm stationary the Wipers are too sensitive. When I'm moving the wipers are not sensitive enough, it should be reversed. Manual works, just wish it was on the stalk.

No_ICE | 27 novembre 2018

@BH, I’m hopelessly optimistic about wiper sensitivity and autonomous driving...

Bighorn | 27 novembre 2018

I’d love no more than to be proven wrong. Auto wipers don’t work in the dark and that’s when I do my best work. Then they’ll go nuts parked at a supercharger.

AmpHog | 27 novembre 2018

We also had our first experience with rain here in Northern California last week. The auto wipers were just 'okay,' but my sense is that the ideal windshield speed is very much a matter of personal preference. Having the ability to tweak the setting, much as we can with following distance, and having the car learn from those adjustments would be helfpful.

finman100 | 27 novembre 2018

is it too difficult to press the end of the left stalk, then select a "speed" from the pop up window on the lower left of the screen? I'd like more sensitivity as well, but the "manual" override is already there for use. 42.4 version right now.

I chuckle when the car has been left wet, overnight in the garage. Then in the AM i boot up and the wipers go cra-cra for the 1st 30 seconds inside the garage, wiping away at what I'm assuming is condensation. The actual windshield is clear! Then I back out into falling rain, from the sky, they go back dormant. mystifying. there might be a pun in there somewhere.

Yes they are flaky, but the manual override(s) are there for us to use. Can it be better? Hells yes it could be! As with all things Tesla, it will get better. Or worse for some. That's the challenge right there to hit that happy medium for most users...

anmphilly | 27 novembre 2018

I'll just add my agreement here -- wiper sensitivity is not sufficient for normal rainy conditions (I might even say dangerous if I leave it on 'auto' while in a moderate rain). Not sure how other brands do this, but they have it right in terms of sensitivity/speed. Being able to adjust via the stalk or touch-screen would be a nice add.

Sel61 | 27 novembre 2018

I had a Lexus with automatic wipers. Their accuracy depended on ambient light conditions. I have the same impression about my Tesla. I think part of the problem is the sensor is right against the window looking through a very small area of glass. I assume the sensor or camera depends on light diffracting through a drop that acts like a lens. We see a large portion of the window in our field of view and see the overall distortion or blurring of the field regardless of drop size or distribution.

finman100 | 27 novembre 2018

I am very curious how the "sensing" happens. Algorithm for how much refraction equals enough rain to start a wipe?

Would be cool to learn about these types of things with our cars!

fjarr | 21 décembre 2018

I've been driving my new Model 3 for a few weeks here on the wet east coast. I'm in the "not sensitive enough" camp. The windshield gets soaking wet and hard to see through, especially at night, before the auto wipers decide to come on. A user-settable sensitivity would be most welcome. My wife's Ford Fusion Hybrid wipers work better than these.

walnotr | 21 décembre 2018

My 1931 Model A had a vacuum motor on the wipers, accelerate and they would stop, let off the gas to make them go. Backup was a little crank you could use if the going go tough. I like the Model 3’s much better. :-)

landaflowers | 21 décembre 2018

Just here to agree - I was hoping someone would post - oh all you have to do is go to this setting but no : (. Today it was raining and I could barely see until I turned them on manually. and because rain is a dangerous driving situation I end up hitting the button multiple times to turn it on until I feel comfortable enough to look away to the screen to turn them on manually.

thedrisin | 22 décembre 2018

48.12.1. Still no improvement. Every time it rains, I start off with wipers in auto mode hoping they will work better, but no luck. Interval between wipes is to long and don't go on until I can't see. I have to switch to manual then keep selecting different speed as rain changes. Very frustrating. Sensitivity adjustment needed.

keith | 22 décembre 2018

New owner. Picked my M3 up yesterday in the rain. Auto mode definitely nees ot be calibrated better. OTHERWISE so far amazing!

howard | 22 décembre 2018

@Bighorn | The Model S wipers are still wonky after 6 years. Don’t think an email is going to do much.

If they have always been bad why not put the same sensor in that the rest of the industry uses? It can’t be an intellectual property right at this point. What is Tesla’s issue when the solution has been out there for years?

HawaiiKaiTesla | 22 décembre 2018

Would also like a sensitivity setting till this gets fixed. Our 3 has a lot of water before coming on sometimes.

vmulla | 23 décembre 2018

Update 48.12 + RainX = Just right wipers

I know, I know RainX isn't recommended as per the user manual. But it's true that the combination of the new update and RainX treatment is giving near perfect results for me.

oamike | 23 décembre 2018

In the Pacific NW, the auto-wipers are a safety issue. I resort to clicking the left stalk end button to wipe when needed.
Hey Tesla, could you use that extra click to aid in sensitivity adjustments in the fly?

3ngineer | 24 décembre 2018

seconding @oamike and all calls for better sensitivity.

dwilker60 | 26 décembre 2018

hoping fix comes soon I'm tried of changing from auto to Manuel. I thought a software fix was on it way if sent it is not working,

dwilker60 | 26 décembre 2018

hoping fix comes soon I'm tried of changing from auto to Manuel. I thought a software fix was on it way if sent it is not working,

RJV918 | 27 décembre 2018

It’s not the wipers! The rain has to fall at the proper rate for optimal wiper efficiency.

Nexxus | 10 janvier 2019


Our auto-wipers on the Model S are awesome! I use just the first detent setting with the knob and the other night the wipers made a swipe before I even noticed the few raindrops that had accumulated on the windshield. We've never, ever had a problem with them not activating before too much water buildup. I hope they never change them!

TNGUYEN2268 | 10 janvier 2019

Hi all,
M3, MidRange owner since 12/24/18. I experienced the same...not sensitive enough so I therefore use manual for the last few weeks. I've to check what sw version its on. :P

mike | 11 janvier 2019

Mine suck on my P3.

It is my only complaint, besides no XM.

It could easily be fixed with slow, medium, and fast settings on the auto wipers.

I have emailed Tesla with no response.

Does anyone know how to make Tesla aware of the problem so they can fix it?

Tom11-18 | 11 janvier 2019

Awd since 12/17/18. First few experiences were bad, but lately have been very happy with auto mode. If the road spray doesn't reach the cameras then auto mode won't work. I either turn on manual or tap the stalk.

jdonner4 | 13 mars 2019

I just updated to 2019.5.15. The wiper sensitivity is still to low. I agree with everyone above that a 'slider' or adjustment would solve this problem. Right now I set to manual when it rains.

RedPillSucks | 13 mars 2019

File a bug report

cmdred | 30 novembre 2019

the auto wipers are no where as good as they were in both my 2011 and 2015 Ford Focus BEV's. They used an actual SENSOR, which I can't believe is so expensive that Tesla decided not to add it. The idea that the cameras can see the water on the windshield is funny. If it is dependent on the software, and they charge you $60,000 for the car, then the software should be as good as the hardware on a $35000 Ford from 9 years ago.

cmdred | 30 novembre 2019

the auto wipers are no where as good as they were in both my 2011 and 2015 Ford Focus BEV's. They used an actual SENSOR, which I can't believe is so expensive that Tesla decided not to add it. The idea that the cameras can see the water on the windshield is funny. If it is dependent on the software, and they charge you $60,000 for the car, then the software should be as good as the hardware on a $35000 Ford from 9 years ago.

Tronguy | 30 novembre 2019

Actually.. Never had a car with auto wipers before. This Tesla M3 that the SO and I drive around, we got it in September.
I'll happily report that the September build of software didn't do a wonderful job: Daylight, fine. Nighttime, not so much.
But time moveth on. The last couple of months, which involved driving around in some pretty varied weather here on the East Coast (home of lots of rain), the wipers have been doing a decent job. Even at night.
There's supposed to be an update in the next week or three that, in particular, seems to be aimed at the wipers. I like them now and will probably like them better after the oncoming update.