Monday, October 16, 2006

Here Comes the Rain Again: 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring Windshield Wipers

It's been a really dry fall this year and yesterday was the first time I had a chance to drive our new 2006 Honda Odyssey in the rain. Here are a couple of observations from yesterday:
  1. The speed sensitive wipers worked well. After going through two other vehicles with just regular intermittant wipers, it was nice having this feature since I could just turn on the wipers and not worry about having to constantly adjust the speed. They worked probably better than the rain sensor wipers I had on our 1999 VW Passat GLX.
  2. An interesting "feature" of the wipers on the Odyssey is that when you have the front wipers on and shift into Reverse gear, the wiper on the rear window will also turn on--even when the rear wiper switch is off. It's a good idea because the rear window collects water very easily. Also, the rear view camera can be hard to see through because of water droplets on the lens. This clears the window for you and you don't have to worry about taking the extra step of turning on the wiper yourself. However, the implementation could be improved. With this automatic operation, the rear wiper is not intermittent but instead wiping at full speed. Now unless rain is coming down in a torrential downpour, there is no need for the wiper to be going at full speed. Even when the rear wiper is turned on normally, the intermittent wipe is too fast so most of the time I leave it off.
UPDATE: September 18, 2006

After a few more days of rain and getting used to the Odyssey and understanding exactly how the speed sensitive wipers work, I've come to the conclusion that these are inferior to the rain sensor wipers that were in our VW Passat. With rain sensor wipers I did not have to be constantly adjusting the wipers speed everytime I came to a stop. Although the wipers in the Honda Odyssey are better than regular interval wipers, I still have to adjust them everytime there is a stop in traffic. (Note: On the Touring model, the wipers can be programmed by the driver to be speed sensitive or regular interval.)

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