Not all rain sensing wipers are created equal.
Some work better than others.
But when rain is in season, maximum visibility is important. Rain sensing wipers are windscreen wipers that automatically come on when the rain sensors in your car detect rain.
Some systems are so sophisticated that they can adjust the speed of the wipers depending on the amount of precipitation detected.
First a feature of premium cars, now you can get rain sensing wipers on entry-level cars. This is driven by increased demand for comfort features and driver safety.
Here are some of the key industry players that have cars with rain sensing wipers.
Among all the economy cars on offer the Mazda 3 is my favorite. Next to the Honda Civic, it is so much fun to drive.
It also has one of the best rain sensing wipers of any auto manufacturer. To turn them on twist the windshield wiper stalk to the Auto position.
You can adjust the sensitivity of the rain sensor (which is located in the windshield) by twisting the center part of the windshield wiper stalk.
You can even get rain sensing wipers on a Kia Sorento.
The sensor in the windshield behind the rearview mirror detects moisture and adjusts the windshield wiper speed accordingly.
Use the speed control knob located on the windshield wiper stalk to vary the speed settings.
When the ignition switch is in the ON position and the wiper switch is set to AUTO mode.
The wiper blades will sweep once to perform a self-check. But you’ll want to turn the wipers to the OFF position if you’re not using them.
The RAV4 is among the many Toyota models that come with automatic windshield wipers.
Toyota’s system uses infrared reflections to feel for rain on the windshield.
When the infrared light is scattered from precipitation, the windshield wipers kick on to clear your windshield.
The speed of the wipers change according to the intensity of the rain.
To make adjustments, you’ll find a ring on the windshield wiper stalk like on the Mazda that you can spin up and down.
The latest Passat comes with rain sensing wipers. They automatically adjust their speed depending on the intensity of the rain.
This system uses an LED sensor which can be found behind the interior rear-view mirror in Volkswagen cars equipped with this feature.
This convenience features extends to Volkswagens with rear-window wipers.
When you select the reverse gear the rear window wiper comes on automatically. How’s that for convenience?
Of course, BMWs come with rain sensing wipers like the one on this X5.
Like most cars the sensor is located on the windshield behind the center rearview mirror.
To activate the rain sensing wipers, press the button at the end of the windshield wiper stalk.
The LED in the button will light up to let you know that it’s now active. Then you can rotate the thumbwheel on the stalk up or down to adjust sensitivity.
The C63S is one of my favorite Mercedes-Benz cars.
Unlike most of the cars on this list the windshield wiper controls are located on the same stalk as the turn signal since the left stalk is reserved for the gear selector (this is the only feature of the car I’m not crazy about).
To turn on the rain sensing wipers you’ll want to twist the knob at the end of the left stalk.
You can use the first two positions to adjust the intensity of the rain sensors.
You can get the new Bronco with rain sensing wipers if you choose the Outer Banks trim. Ford cars with rain sensing wipers will have a letter A on the wiper stalk.
Once the sensor in the windshield detects droplets the system kicks on. To turn on the rain sensing feature move the stalk up one notch.
Like the BMW you can change the sensitivity setting by rotating the inner ring up.
Among the upgrades for the latest GMC Sierra 1500 is a new rain sensing windshield wiper.
Once it detects that rain is falling the wipers automatically turn on.
To activate it, move the windshield wiper lever to AUTO. The Driver Information Center will show that Rainsense is enabled.
From there you’ll want to turn the Rainsense band up or down to increase or decrease the sensor’s sensitivity to moisture.
Tesla has a neural network called Deep Rain to improve its automatic wiper system.
The automatic wiper system automatically matches the speed of the wipers to the intensity of the falling precipitation.
But unlike all the other rain sensing wiper systems we’ve shown you, Tesla doesn’t use a rain sensor.
Instead, it uses Autopilot cameras to feed its computer vision neural net to determine the speed of the wipers.
This feature is included in every Tesla model.