My wipers suck, what can I do? How to replace, alternative options etc

Last modified: 09/09/2020
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Most new cars from Tesla have had stickers on the exterior glass and often get cleaned/waxed which makes the car look great on collection but often leaves a residue on the windscreen which isn’t ideal for seeing though when it’s 9pm and raining! For existing owners, there are several additional things you can do before you simply replace the blades. As a bit of history, Tesla in 2015 moved from OEM blades to Bosch blades, interestingly it was a UK forum post about on how superior the Bosch were than the Tesla OEM ones that led to the factory fitting Bosch (or so the rumour goes!), however, the Bosch blades Tesla use are generally USA spec which last longer but offer an inferior clean compared to EU spec.

If you have an issue with your wipers, try the following:

  1. Clean them + the windscreen (even if it’s a new car) with some decent window cleaner + some decent microfibre clothsWARNING: Make sure you put them into service mode and don’t pull on them hard they will bend/break! 
  2. Or use a hydrophobic glass cleaner or isopropyl alcohol wipes or equivalent.
  3. Get Tesla to adjust – “If they are not PERFECTLY aligned the rubbers don’t roll from side to side and clean properly. The flat end of the arm must be at exactly 6 degrees to the windscreen. Pop into you nearest Service Centre – they have a hand jig to measure and adjust – 30 seconds per side standing in their car park, and my wipers are soooo much better.” Discussion – ” I think when they do replace the blade they change the angle of the new blade to the glass and that results in silence. My OEM wipers were the top Bosch ones so I couldn’t upgrade!”
  4. Get Tesla to replace them with Bosch EU versions or do it yourself (details below) – The ones from the factory are US versions which are longer lasting but offer an inferior clean
  5. Replace with Bosch Aerotwin Fronts (available from most places & directly from Tesla online shop) or Michelin Stealth (available from most places and normally stocked in Costco)
    As always be sure to check they’re the same size as the ones you’re removing for your car before buying just in case something has changed

  6. Buy replacements from Tesla (Model 3, Model X or Model S) these are likely Bosch ones
  7. Buy replacement rubber (discussion)
  8. Coat your windscreen with a ceramic coating or RainX (be careful with this and follow the instructions/test on other glass first) WARNING: Some people swear by this but others warn against doing it.

How does Tesla adjust them?

Tesla use one of these Wiper Adjustment Tools (pictured above) to properly follow a step-by-step method of adjusting the wipers, it’s best to get Tesla to fix than a DIY job.

If the wiper blades streak or chatter during cycling, Tesla recommends the following:

  1. Use the touchscreen to set the wipers to Service Mode.
  2. Clean the wiper blades thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol wipes or equivalent.
  3. Clean the windshield thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol wipes or equivalent. Check that the windshield has no dirt, residue, commercial coatings, etc.
  4. Spray the windshield with the washer jet.
  5. Cycle the wiper blades on high. If streaking or chatter persists, complete the following procedure or procedures that address your issue.

If the issue persists book in with service.

How do I do replace the wipers?

My issue is the wipers leave a large mark on the side of the windscreen

How to fix:

  • Get Tesla to adjust
  • In the meanwhile apply Rain-Ex on the edges

The issue: You trade how low and hidden they park at the bottom (better aero behind the bonnet) with how wide they sweep, as the length of arc will be mechanically fixed. Should be a 30s fix with a spanner if it’s like cars I’ve had before (it’s a common problem after windscreens are replaced as fitters tend to just stick them in at a low parked position).

I have a Model X and when driving at speed the water from the jets doesn’t seem to do much…

The MX doesn’t have conventional jets like the MS. It has a flexible hose that runs up the arm and dispenses water halfway up the blade, however, a common issue is the screen doesn’t appear to clear even with water, if this is the case (as the image above) book in the car for a service appointment. They will adjust the blade angle so it works properly. Discussion

What other 3rd party wipers will fit? (Model S)

The Bosch EU Aerotwin blades appear to be the best although Bosch do a full range of wiper blades that should fit S + X vehicles but finding stock of these appears to be almost impossible.

Discussion

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