Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Do Rain-Sensing Wipers Work?

Rain-Sensing Wiper System

Several decades ago, the only settings windshield wipers came with were low, high, and off. Later, an intermittent wiper feature was integrated into many windshield wiper switches, allowing drivers to reduce the frequency of wiper movements based on the intensity of precipitation. The most innovative addition to windshield wiper technology has come in recent years, in the form of rain-sensing wipers.

Rain-sensing wipers turn on when precipitation or another obstruction is on the windshield. The wipers engage on their own and the frequency of windshield wiper swipes is adjusted based on the weather conditions.

So How Do Rain-sensing Wipers Actually Work?

Mounted on the windshield, usually close to or integrated into the rear-view mirror base, is a sensor. Most rain-sensing wiper systems use an infrared light that is projected through the windshield glass at a 45-degree angle. Based on how much light returns back to the sensor, the wipers engage or adjust their speed. If rain or snow, or dirt or another substance is on the windshield, less light returns to the sensor and the wipers turn on independently.

Rain-sensing wipers will turn on faster than you can respond, especially in a surprising situation like your windshield getting splashed by passing traffic. Your vehicle is still equipped with a manual override with at least a low, high, and off switch in the case of rain-sensing wiper malfunction.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...


Related questions

Q: I was wondering if you could tell me what happens when the camshaft gears get stuck?

Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. Lock camshaft gears will not turn the camshaft and cause the timing belt or chain to break. This is not your issue. What could be happening is the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) or Idle...

Q: Aftermarket wiper blades just seem to smear water on my windshield

I would recommend stoping by your local dealer and getting a pair of Nissan wiper blades for your car. Then I would get a good quality window cleaner and try and clean off the windows. If you are using a...

Q: Coolant thermostat sensor 2008 c300 benz

Your temperature sensor is going to be located behind the engine on the driver side. You will need to remove the engine cover and you will need a torx bit (30) to remove the sensor. You can find the info...