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Ongoing problem for me on many cars is the buildup of road oil or other crap that becomes a grey smear when using the wipers. In our misty mountains, the wipers get used, a lot.

I cannot find a foolproof way to remove it (even tried judicious use of lacquer thinner), and I use windshield washer fluid and vinegar in my garage squeegee bucket.

I noticed that this grey gunk may be affecting the response of the rain sensing wipers; gave a good cleaning (with lacquer thinner) to the sensor area, and the wipers seemed to be much more logically responsive. I still have times that the wipers either run or don't run in no predictable fashion (my wife's car has the rain sensing wipers as well, and sometimes they do weird stuff), but having degreased the sensor area, mine seem to be working better. Trouble is, it's not totally degreased.

Here's my question(s):
-Any better ideas for removing windshield gunk? I've even stopped waxing cars because of wax residue finding its way on the windshield, and road oil gets anyway. Even lacquer thinner has not totally removed whatever is smearing on my windshield.

-Anyone else notice this gunk affecting wiper operation, or any other ideas about the rain sensing wipers?

Thanks,
Moon
 

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I've waxed my windshield a few times over the summer. I like the results. I've read that using a clay bar on the windshield helps. Can't find it at the moment, (think its from griots garage or something like that), they have a cleaner designed for getting the gunk off windshields. Still looking for it. Was thinking of picking it up, but I guess I got sidetracked or something.
 

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No advice on a better way to clean the windshield. But i will suggest that you use a wax of some kind on your windshield, it should make it easier to clean when it gets dirty. I use a silicone based spray wax, I don't have a brand name. The detailer at my work uses it on all cars he cleans and i rarely see any issues with the rain sensing wipers( I work on SAABs not Fords so there could be a difference in the sensor logic).
 

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Yes, clay bar works great. I just used a clay bar on the entire car then waxed with "Mother's wax"
I ordered my clay bar from Griots Garage.
 

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you use a clay bar with one of the detailing sprays, keeping it wet at all times. The idea is that sliding the clay bar across the surface, back and forth until the surface feels smooth, the clay bar pulls or shears off the junk that's on the surface of the paint. Not sure how abbrasive it actually is, as it's supposed to pull the crap out.
Here's the link for the product on their site.
http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/glass+cleaning+clay,+3.5+ounces.do?sortby=ourPicks

I think they also have tutorials if you poke around. Looking for that link now.
 
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