Q:

How do intermittent wipers work?

A:

Quick Answer

Like other types of car technologies, intermittent wipers operate using sophisticated systems; sensors detect weather changes outside, which activates wipers during precipitation and determines how often and how quickly wipers cross the windshield. Cars come with several windshield wiper settings, including manual and automatic, or intermittent settings. When operating at low and high speeds, wipers run continuously, but pause between sweeps when placed on the intermittent setting.

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Full Answer

Some cars have wipers with just one intermittent setting, while others have multiple settings. Unlike manually adjusted wiper settings, which operate at low and high speeds with a trigger from the driver, intermittent blades respond to real-time data that indicates what is happening outside. Sensors or other systems, such as LED lights, connect to the wipers to collect and transmit data on precipitation. These systems determine what kind of precipitation is falling, and how frequent and severe the precipitation is. This information in turn helps cars determine intermittent blade operating speed.

As with conventional windshield wipers with manual settings, intermittent wipers offer some benefits and some drawbacks. They may operate too quickly or too slowly, causing reduced visibility. However, some intermittent wipers, especially those using more advanced and accurate sensors and computer systems, reduce driving distractions and work at optimal speeds, in turn reducing the need for frequent adjustment.

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