Rain sensing wipers - What am I doing wrong?

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Texas
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'19 MX-5, '20 CX-5
Those of you complaining about the operation of the rain-sensing wipers must have never driven a Honda with this feature! I had them on a 2019 RDX, my brother had them on a 2016 Civic, and his roommate has them on a 2019 Civic. On the Civics, they'd often wipe when it wasn't raining or fail to wipe when it was. In my RDX, they worked, but there was about a 10-second lag behind changes in rainfall - I'd be blinded in a sudden downpour then look like an idiot with his wipers on high after it stopped raining.

Also, rain-repellents (the kinda you apply by hand or pour into your windshield washer reservoir) can prevent rain-sensing wipers from working properly.

"If the windshield is coated with water repellent, the rain sensor may not be able to sense the amount of rainfall correctly and the auto-wiper control may not operate properly."

The rain-sensing wipers in my CX-5 work much, much better and I find them to be quite usable.

My Nissan Murano had them, and I turned them off because dust would cause them to come up and it would smear my window all the time.

You're not supposed to leave rain-sensing wipers in the AUTO mode all the time. The purpose of rain-sensing wipers is to adjust the speed of the wipers based on the rate of rainfall or pause them when the rainfall temporarily stops. When it's dry outside, the wipers should be OFF. :)

"It is recommended that the auto-wiper lever be switched to the OFF position other than when driving the vehicle under rainy conditions."
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature
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You're not supposed to leave rain-sensing wipers in the AUTO mode all the time. The purpose of rain-sensing wipers is to adjust the speed of the wipers based on the rate of rainfall or pause them when the rainfall temporarily stops. When it's dry outside, the wipers should be OFF. :)

"It is recommended that the auto-wiper lever be switched to the OFF position other than when driving the vehicle under rainy conditions."

In our Mazda, I agree with this. In my Lexus, I can leave them in Auto mode 100% of the time. They have never activated for no reason. They are sometimes slow to start, but I just have to adjust the sensor and they start working. Mazda's rain sensing system is more about just having the feature, than it is about function.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
In our Mazda, I agree with this. In my Lexus, I can leave them in Auto mode 100% of the time. They have never activated for no reason. They are sometimes slow to start, but I just have to adjust the sensor and they start working. Mazda's rain sensing system is more about just having the feature, than it is about function.
Yes, comparing the rain-sensing wipers on my 20-year-old BMW 528i, my Mazda CX-5‘s rain sensing wipers are just having the feature, nothing about proper functionality at all.
 

7eregrine

The man, the myth, the legend
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Land of Cleve
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2016.5 CX5
My home garage 50% of the time. Not like a downtown garage which is what I think you mean?
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature
My home garage 50% of the time. Not like a downtown garage which is what I think you mean?

I meant a home garage. If we leave the wipers on auto, they keep working even though we're inside it. Not at full speed, but intermittently, like it's drizzling.
 
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Texas
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'19 MX-5, '20 CX-5
I meant a home garage. If we leave the wipers on auto, they keep working even though we're inside it. Not at full speed, but intermittently, like it's drizzling.

Do you know if the windshield has ever been replaced or the rain sensor removed from the windshield for any reason? If there is any dust, fingerprints, tears, or bubbles in the silicone sheet between the rain sensor and the windshield or if the rain sensor is not properly attached to the windshield or if the glass is chipped or if the windshield is not an OE windshield with the Mazda logo on it, it may not function properly.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature
Do you know if the windshield has ever been replaced or the rain sensor removed from the windshield for any reason? If there is any dust, fingerprints, tears, or bubbles in the silicone sheet between the rain sensor and the windshield or if the rain sensor is not properly attached to the windshield or if the glass is chipped or if the windshield is not an OE windshield with the Mazda logo on it, it may not function properly.

No, we picked it up the day after it came in off the truck. Had less than 2 miles on it after they filled it with gas. :)
 
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2018 AWD GT Premium Red/Black
I used to leave mine on auto all the time, max sensitivity. Didn't wipe soon enough or frequently enough for me. I think I'm an outlier. I've disabled auto in favor of intermittent, which I usually have set on the higher frequency end of the range.
 
Those of you complaining about the operation of the rain-sensing wipers must have never driven a Honda with this feature! I had them on a 2019 RDX, my brother had them on a 2016 Civic, and his roommate has them on a 2019 Civic. On the Civics, they'd often wipe when it wasn't raining or fail to wipe when it was. In my RDX, they worked, but there was about a 10-second lag behind changes in rainfall - I'd be blinded in a sudden downpour then look like an idiot with his wipers on high after it stopped raining.

Also, rain-repellents (the kinda you apply by hand or pour into your windshield washer reservoir) can prevent rain-sensing wipers from working properly.

"If the windshield is coated with water repellent, the rain sensor may not be able to sense the amount of rainfall correctly and the auto-wiper control may not operate properly."

The rain-sensing wipers in my CX-5 work much, much better and I find them to be quite usable.



You're not supposed to leave rain-sensing wipers in the AUTO mode all the time. The purpose of rain-sensing wipers is to adjust the speed of the wipers based on the rate of rainfall or pause them when the rainfall temporarily stops. When it's dry outside, the wipers should be OFF. :)

"It is recommended that the auto-wiper lever be switched to the OFF position other than when driving the vehicle under rainy conditions."
I bought a used 2015 Mazda CX9 a couple of months ago...The slow and fast speeds on the front wipers work as does the sprayer but the rain sensitive setting does not....I turn it to auto and adjust the sensitivity but nothing happens....Does anybody know if I can just get another wiper stalk without the rain sensitivity setting and replace this one so the wipers will still work intermittently?
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I bought a used 2015 Mazda CX9 a couple of months ago...The slow and fast speeds on the front wipers work as does the sprayer but the rain sensitive setting does not....I turn it to auto and adjust the sensitivity but nothing happens....Does anybody know if I can just get another wiper stalk without the rain sensitivity setting and replace this one so the wipers will still work intermittently?
After checked 2015 CX-9 owner’s manual, it appears the auto-wiper control function can’t be turned off as the part of Personalization Features like CX-5. It’s the control module, and replacing your auto wiper stalk with intermittent wiper stalk simply won’t work.

I’d be worried a lot more about the water pump, as well as the front transfer case if you have an AWD. These 2 are very common problems for gen-1 CX-9, and are very expensive to fix.
 

Pitter

Pitter
Contributor
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2020 CX-5 Signature Azul Metalico
My Signature is a bit over a year old. I leave the wipers on auto and haven't made any adjustments since driving the car out of the dealership. I'd say they work pretty well. Once in a while they don't catch some splash on the window but not often.
 
After checked 2015 CX-9 owner’s manual, it appears the auto-wiper control function can’t be turned off as the part of Personalization Features like CX-5. It’s the control module, and replacing your auto wiper stalk with intermittent wiper stalk simply won’t work.

I’d be worried a lot more about the water pump, as well as the front transfer case if you have an AWD. These 2 are very common problems for gen-1 CX-9, and are very expensive to fix.
Thank you, I was afraid of that....It is quite annoying that the intermittent wipers don't work.... I checked and nothing seems to be blocking the sensor so I may have to go to the dealer for diagnosis :(....

I will keep an eye on the water pump and transfer case....My daughter has had two gen-1 CX-9 AWD - both with over 130,000 km (81000 miles) on them and no issues.....Mine only has 64000 km (38000 miles) so hopefully I have some time left.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Thank you, I was afraid of that....It is quite annoying that the intermittent wipers don't work.... I checked and nothing seems to be blocking the sensor so I may have to go to the dealer for diagnosis :(....

I will keep an eye on the water pump and transfer case....My daughter has had two gen-1 CX-9 AWD - both with over 130,000 km (81000 miles) on them and no issues.....Mine only has 64000 km (38000 miles) so hopefully I have some time left.
Considering the high price on rain sensor、wiper control module、even the switch, Mazda dealer may be the best route to diagnose the problem if you want to fix it.

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Go to CX-9 forum and do some searches on water pump and front transfer case problems on gen-1 CX-9. Nothing you can do to prolong the service life on water pump other than changing the coolant more frequently with correct type. If the “FL22” mark is shown on the cooling system cap, use only FL22 coolant. But the water pump eventually will wear out, and that’s a very expensive fix even if you can DIY. If you have an AWD, try to change gear lubricant in front transfer case as soon as possible even though it’s not in maintenance schedule. Change it frequently afterwards. Since there’s no drain hole available for front transfer case, some shop or Mazda dealer may not be willing to do the work.
 
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Texas
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'19 MX-5, '20 CX-5
I'm admittedly stupid about Mazda-specific information, but I'm well-versed with Honda. Most rain sensors operate on the same principle and are made by the same manufacturers and used on many different brands. Honda, specifically, has at least one TSB regarding faulty/intermittent rain-sensing wiper operation due to a "silicon sheet" that interfaces the sensor to the windshield. If this sheet is missing, dirty, or contains air bubbles, the light won't refract properly and the system will either operate erratically, not at all, or revert to standard intermittent operation. This typically happens if the rain sensor is removed for some reason such as when the windshield is replaced. Honda says if the rain sensor is ever removed, a new sheet must be installed - the old sheet should not be re-used.


UPDATE: Mazda is similar...

 
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sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
I bought a used 2015 Mazda CX9 a couple of months ago...The slow and fast speeds on the front wipers work as does the sprayer but the rain sensitive setting does not....I turn it to auto and adjust the sensitivity but nothing happens... Does anybody know if I can just get another wiper stalk without the rain sensitivity setting and replace this one so the wipers will still work intermittently?

If the slow and fast speeds work, you still have intermittent wiper functionality, you just don't have auto-wiper functionality. If you want to adjust the intermittent speed of the Low or High setting, you should be able to set the wipers to Low or High, then turn the ring to increase or decrease frequency. As mentioned in the other thread you posted in, this info is described in your owner's manual starting on page 5-81.

*EDIT: Disregard this post, I misunderstood what kenjh@rogers was saying.
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
If the slow and fast speeds work, you still have intermittent wiper functionality, you just don't have auto-wiper functionality. If you want to adjust the intermittent speed of the Low or High setting, you should be able to set the wipers to Low or High, then turn the ring to increase or decrease frequency. As mentioned in the other thread you posted in, this info is described in your owner's manual starting on page 5-81.
??? :unsure:
 
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