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Rain-Sense Nonsense - 2016 Honda Civic Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 9,714
edited January 3 in Honda
imageRain-Sense Nonsense - 2016 Honda Civic Long-Term Road Test

Our 2016 Honda Civic Touring has rain-sensing wipers, but they don't work because the sensor wasn't properly seated when the windshield was replaced.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • wasabi911wasabi911 Posts: 47
    thanks for the update. I miss these instant and frequent updates on the long term cars vs the new sporadic monthly updates. b/c of this new format, i realized i rarely visit the site anymore vs visiting several times a week as i did in the past w/ the old format.
  • dldavedldave SacramentoPosts: 46
    When I needed my windshield replaced in my 2015 Audi, I knew that might be a problem. I went to the dealer and asked them who they used to replace a windshield figuring that they are used to dealing with it. With that information, I contacted my insurance company and made sure that they used the installer and also used OEM glass. Having plenty of messed up windshield replacements in my previous vehicle, I made sure it didn't happen again.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    edited January 2
    wasabi911 said:

    thanks for the update. I miss these instant and frequent updates on the long term cars vs the new sporadic monthly updates. b/c of this new format, i realized i rarely visit the site anymore vs visiting several times a week as i did in the past w/ the old format.

    Me too. I also having a screen unimpeded by an undismissable banner add hogging the bottom 20% of my laptop screen.
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 497
    wasabi911 said:

    thanks for the update. I miss these instant and frequent updates on the long term cars vs the new sporadic monthly updates. b/c of this new format, i realized i rarely visit the site anymore vs visiting several times a week as i did in the past w/ the old format.

    Same here. It's become much less interesting to visit the site.

    As for the rain-sensing wipers, I never knew how they worked. Now that I do, I'll remember not to get them on my next car.
  • snipenetsnipenet Posts: 11
    This site has become incredibly boring and inconsequential.
  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Posts: 817
    Yeah, I considered the Rain Sensing Wipers to actually be a DISADVANTAGE for the Touring model and was one reason to stay with a lower EX-T. My understanding is that even if everything is correct they STILL don't work very well.
  • jjhenry5jjhenry5 Posts: 3
    wasabi911 said:

    thanks for the update. I miss these instant and frequent updates on the long term cars vs the new sporadic monthly updates. b/c of this new format, i realized i rarely visit the site anymore vs visiting several times a week as i did in the past w/ the old format.

    IIRC, it used to be mandatory for the editors/staff to blog every week or whatever the interval was. It seems like that requirement was lifted. Possibly because the hit counts don't justify the effort. It is a shame; Edmunds was my daily gearhead fix. The real world reports are much more interesting to me (even as someone who isn't in the market for a new vehicle) than the magazine sites that just gush over the latest and greatest. I still check here every once in a while, but the monthly updates don't do it for me. Keep the good stuff coming Dan.
  • agentorangeagentorange Posts: 877
    I think an undismissable banner constitutes illegal interference with the operation of my computer. Maybe we should get an opinion from the FCC and Homeland Security. Either way I think I'm largely done here. My previous habit of daily visiting is certainly out.

    As for the failure of the automatic wipers, add that to the list of things I won't use, like automatic high beams and non-defeatable adaptive cruise control. They will go wrong and/or fail to operate as expected.
  • john_in_tcjohn_in_tc Posts: 27
    They have also reduced the content of the site. You used to be able to find specifications of a make and model of car here, but no longer. For example if you want to know the height or ground clearance for a vehicle it is no longer available on this site!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,490
    Rain sense wipers have to be the DUMBEST option ever! In second place I would place auto on headlights!

    Ah....raindrops? turn on the wipers! Getting dark? Takes less than two seconds to turn on the lights!

    Never thought I would see things like this on a Civic!
  • dm7279dm7279 Posts: 63
    I'm surprised so many hate the rain sensing wipers. My Volvo has that feature, and it works really well generally swiping every time I would want if I were adjusting the wipers myself. It's perfect in an intermittent rain where many adjustments to the wiper speed are required.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 61,723
    Ditto, have them on a couple of BMWs. They work really well. Unless, intermittent wipers are too high tech for you. ;)

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,490
    edited January 6
    I guess I've never had any trouble "sensing" rain on my windshield and giving the switch a twist.
    I don't "hate" them I just they are a silly option but that's me.

    But I never thought the day would come when a person could spend close to 30K on a Civic!

    Both of our cars have auto on headlights that don't bother coming on until it is nearly totally dark so I don't use that function either. Also I like to have them on in lousy weather which we get a lot of here.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 61,723

    I guess I've never had any trouble "sensing" rain on my windshield and giving the switch a twist.
    I don't "hate" them I just they are a silly option but that's me.

    But I never thought the day would come when a person could spend close to 30K on a Civic!

    Both of our cars have auto on headlights that don't bother coming on until it is nearly totally dark so I don't use that function either. Also I like to have them on in lousy weather which we get a lot of here.

    Well... they don't work like that. They don't "sense" the rain, and turn on automatically (like headlights). You still have to turn them on. They just adjust the intermittent function to keep up with the actual rainfall.

    If you have a car with adjustable-sweep intermittent wipers, the rain sensor does the adjusting for you.

    Good ones (like on BMW) work really, really well. You turn on your intermittent wipers, then forget about it.

    I don't use auto-headlights, either, though my car is equipped with them. But, headlights don't require multiple adjustments, either. I've got a coffee maker that automatically turns off after 90 minutes. I like that, too. ;)

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,180
    MB auto wipers don't seem well-mated to Seattle rain - either too fast or too slow. I only use mine in steady rain, otherwise I use the manual pulse button/

    My car has LED DRLs, which are bright enough for daytime driving. The auto lights work well, coming on at appropriate times and also if the wipers are on steady.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,490
    Thanks for explaining how the rain sense wipers work. I didn't know. I do use the intermittent feature.

    One evening I was driving our Avalon with the auto headlights turned on. I wanted to see just how dark it had to get before they engaged. I waited and waited as it got darker and darker. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and as I reached for the switch they came on. I don't know if there is a way to adjust the interval or not but I don't care. I am still physically able to grab my turn signal stalk and give it a twist!
  • jrsfjrsf San FranciscoPosts: 10
    I have an Avalon Hybrid, and you can adjust the point at which the headlights trigger. I also think it has one of the better rain-sensing wiper systems--my stalk is permanently in the auto position, and whenever it rains, they fling themselves on. The interval is adjustable. I echo everyone else's comments about the declining utility of this part of the Edmunds site. The last thing I want to read about is the monthly mpg. I want to read about things like this.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Posts: 671
    It's been 7 days since any Edmunds editor has posted anything. I was still waiting to read if the apparent reflash to the Jeep Renegade's transmission did anything. Guess this site has just fizzled out.. :(
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,180
    jjhenry5 said:


    It is a shame; Edmunds was my daily gearhead fix. The real world reports are much more interesting to me (even as someone who isn't in the market for a new vehicle) than the magazine sites that just gush over the latest and greatest. I still check here every once in a while, but the monthly updates don't do it for me. Keep the good stuff coming Dan.

    It is inevitable that the technical information that used to be easy to grasp and then share would start posing too daunting of a task to try and write about. Just the rain sensing wiper systems reported on here could fill volumes of reports which would end up reading like SAE white papers if they tried to explain too much and likely be full of omission type errors if someone didn't. This failure was relatively easy since it is associated to the windshield replacement, many failures and issues with these kinds of systems are anything but easy and few people if anyone other than a professional technician have spent any time really learning how to work with them let alone have the tooling that is required. Case in point, at this time the only scan tool that would support this system is the Honda factory one. Without that there is nothing that anyone could do with this car and this system if the problem was anything other than a visible installation issue.

  • drex2drex2 Posts: 23
    edited January 12
    Non-functional rain-sensing wipers caused a bad installation of a replacement windshield don't seem to me to be newsworthy here. It tells us nothing about the feature, just something about the quality of the installation of the windshield.

    That said, we're now on the topic of the rain-sensing wipers (RSWs), so I guess I may as well speak to it. I'd have to say that it's the only thing about my 2016 Touring that I find truly disappointing. I made the same bad assumption that some others did here... thinking that the RSWs augmented the standard intermittent wipers rather than replaced them. Sometimes they work just fine, particularly if the rainfall is pretty constant. But they seem to get confused when you have drizzle with occasional bursts of heavier rain. When the heavier rain comes, the system acts as if it doesn't notice that the rain increased, so I have to adjust them so that they begin to wipe quickly enough. Other times, they'll suddenly start wiping at high speed during very light rain, again requiring an adjustment to get an appropriate speed.

    So basically, I seem to have to adjust the RSWs pretty much as often as I had to adjust standard intermittent wipers, since the former doesn't seem too adept at adjusting to changes in how heavy the rainfall is. Which kind of defeats the purpose. When they work correctly, I consider them to be a convenience, but that happens too infrequently. Guess I'll mention it to the techs the next time I go in to check if mine are defective. If they aren't, Honda needs to improve the technology considerably.

    As for automatic headlights, I just leave them on AUTO and forget them. They come on when they need to be on, turn off when they need to turn off. The only time I need to turn them on manually is in fog. So as long as they work well, I'm perfectly happy to let them do their thing.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Posts: 600
    I'm looking forward to seeing how the glass installer addresses the mistake. Especially if they DON'T know the situation is being blogged about by an automotive publication.

    BTW, I have rain sensing wipers on my BMW and I don't particularly like them. Yes, they work, but during light rain I end up having to fiddle with them more than with the intermittent wiper knob on my other vehicle.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,180
    By now they know about the failure as well as the fact that this is being discussed online. This is just one more way that the pace of technology can be outpacing an individuals ability to keep up. Saying that another way this is just another "you don't know what you don't know" and there isn't anyone who doesn't have to learn something new once in a while. No matter how much you try to learn in advance there will always be the lesson that comes after the test.

    Now let me tell you one more thing. It sucks when you have to learn something the hard way but learning from a mistake is part of life. When we don't tolerate that happening the absolute worst thing that can come from it is the person quits and then we will have to go through the whole routine again with the next person that chooses to try. If we again fail to allow them to sometimes fail and learn from it, then they aren't the problem.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 179
    Audi RSWs (at least my '14 A5) work quite well as long as the car is moving. However they seem very reluctant to wipe after you start up a rainy or dewy parked car, which is hard to understand and a little bit annoying. And I've never figured out the adjustability, increasing little white bars shown on the stalk. Does a bigger bar mean more wiping, or more delay? Flipping the switch seldom makes much difference.
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