You Can Now Control Your Tesla's Wipers Using the Steering Wheel Buttons

Tesla owners have been complaining about their cars' wipers for a long time. The Autowiper function is especially criticized, as it triggers false wipes when the windshield is dry and fails to wipe it when it's raining. The manual function was also poorly implemented, as it always wiped the screen at the highest speed setting. Thankfully, Tesla decided to offer more control with the 2023.20 update.
Tesla adds the ability to control the wipers from the steering wheel buttons 6 photos
Photo: Not a Tesla App | Edited
Tesla's annoying automatic wipersTesla’s Autowipers don’t work in the rainTesla’s Autowipers dry-wipe in sunny weatherTesla sensor arrayTesla's annoying automatic wipers
Tesla has a devoted fan community since it was a niche carmaker targeting EV enthusiasts. Still, as electric vehicles entered the mainstream, more regular car owners switched to electric vehicles, and many chose a Tesla. This significantly diluted the fan base, and Tesla owners became more willing to complain about various issues. The number of petitions sent to the NHTSA increased exponentially, and one of the most complained-about features was the Autowipers.

Owners noticed that the automatic function would start wiping the windshield even when it was sunny outside. At the same time, it failed to activate in the rain. A manual trigger was available via the stalk button (in the models that still have one), but it starts wiping at the maximum speed setting. To worsen the situation, the Autopilot requires the wipers to be in the Auto position, causing irritation for users forced to choose between Autopilot and normal wiper operation. Many confessed that they avoid using Autopilot in the rain because of this.

People really liked the ability to easily adjust the wipers via dedicated buttons, like they were used from other car models. Tesla made a tentative step with the 2023.12 update when it allowed owners to customize the scroll-wheel function. The left scroll wheel could be set to control many functions, from climate temperature to backup camera, but, you guessed it, not the wipers. Still, changing the wipers' speed was possible by tilting the scroll wheel left and right. This only worked after pressing the left stalk button to activate a single wipe of the windshield.

According to Not a Tesla App, better control of the wipers arrived recently with the 2023.20 software update. This is a feature-reach build that brings many new functions. With the update, Tesla owners can set the wipers' speed, turn them off, or set them to auto. Like other steering wheel scroll button functions, this can be customized from the Controls > Display menu on the touchscreen interface.

Hopefully, this will work as advertised because improvements to the Autowiper function may not come soon. Elon Musk apologized recently for the disappointing Autowiper performance but said a truly smart Autowiper function might take longer. The Autowiper 4 was supposed to use video from all cameras to decide when it rains and the windshield needs to be cleaned. Still, according to Musk, Autowiper will be one of the last neural nets to be updated to surround video.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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