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

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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: my 04 eclipse wont start no spark from plugs or anything i was driving and it just shut off i replaced timing belt crank sensor an

In the event that diagnostic trouble codes have been set by the PCM, downloading those codes will greatly narrow the possibilities that you have to consider. No spark could be due to bad grounds (possibly in the plenum area; see...

Q: What Kinds of Wiper Blades Are Available?

There are many types of wiper blades to choose from today with traditional factory replacement or OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, up to special dual and triple blades, or winter blades that combat freezing of the wiper arm and ice...

Q: Truck won't stay running no check engine codes

You should first identify if the vehicle has California emissions or not. The difference is one will have a mass air sensor in the air cleaner and the other will have a MAP sensor mounted on the a/c evaporator case...