Expired

Anyone own a Ford Titanium Fiesta or Focus or Similar? RE: Automatic Headlights / Windscreen Wipers

11 replies
Found 7th Apr 2010
Hi, Im considering buying a new Fiesta Titanium, but two of the features are automatic windscreen wipers and automatic headlights, both of which have the potential to annoy me!

Was just wondering if anyone has one, or knows if you can deactivate the automatic headlights? It would frustrate me if at night time I couldnt turn them off while the engine is running.

Also, how sensitive are the automatic windscreen wipers i.e. if its spitting with rain will they kick in, as this will likely annoy me if there isnt enough water on the screen and the wipers start screeching!!

Silly questions I know, but two important ones, otherwise I will be going for the Zetec, which doesnt have either of these two options.

Thanks in advance and obviously rep to anyone that can help.

11 Comments

They both can be disabled.. -- My tip would be to get all the aoptions you can.....

The auto lights are good if the car is fitted with the coming home lights too.. (The Mondeo is)

There are a few different types of systems for auto wipers... not show which is fitted to fords..

Technologies
The idea of automatic wipers is not new and various technologies have been used in the past, all with some degree of success. The major technologies are briefly described here.

Conductive.
This system uses a sensor that basically consists of two sets of contacts separated by an insulator. When water falls on the sensor, the water conducts a signal that alerts the system to water on the sensor. This system has some fundamental problems, the sensing elements oxidize and become unusable, dirt can foul the sensor and it’s difficult to design a sensor that the wiper can dry completely. I had considered a sensor of this type in the past, not for windscreens, but to close windows and doors on a vehicle when rain was detected.

Capacitive.
Capacitive systems utilize capacitive proximity detection techniques. They are reasonably successful, but can be susceptible to stray electrical fields; the electronics tends to be reasonably expensive due to tuning components used in many designs.

Piezo Electric
This type of system uses a piezo crystal element, this can in fact be thought of as a microphone. Rain droplets hitting the windscreen cause sound waves at certain frequencies to be produced and transmitted through and across the windscreen. The Piezo sensor picks these up, electronics then process the signal to try and distinguish between rain and other noises. Again this system is susceptible to false triggering.

Current Monitoring.
In current monitoring designs, the wipers actually have to be switched on manually when it rains. However the current drawn by the wiper motor decreases when the windscreen is wet, as less friction exists between the wiper blades and the glass. The current is monitored and the delay between wipes varied from full on to intermittent.

Optical
Optical sensors utilise light and the principle of total internal refraction within glass. In its basic form an optical sensor consists of a light source, a light detector and an optical assembly. The optical assembly is two lenses and or light guides. A beam of light is directed through the optical assembly into the windscreen glass, the light is “trapped” within the glass due to total internal refraction. This is the principle used in fibre optic cable. The light bounces from outside surface of the glass back to the inside surface of the glass until it is picked up by the second optical assembly. If rain falls on the glass within the sensing area, light “breaks free” as it is directed into the water droplet, this causes a corresponding reduction in the received light. Usually a microprocessor is used to distinguish between different amounts of rain and runs algorithms to provide best wiping results. It would appear that Optical Sensors are the most popular and reliable method for cost effective detection of rain, they are reliable and maintained free.

I considered the current measuring method and optical detection, as the others really did not appear practical for retro fitting, and or just would not be reliable.

Current measuring was practical and relatively easy, but wasn’t really the answer as the system would have to be switched on in rain any way.


My overall concern would be which engine to go for...

Rick

I have a focus titantium and both of them have manual settings as well as the automatic one.

Personally having the automatic settings is very handy and I tend to leave them on (apart from the fact my wiper blades need replacing so it squeaks atm). But you have a slide button that can decide how much rain is on the window before it wipes anyway, so it goes from just a few spots to virtually covered.

Very nice feature :thumbsup:

Original Poster

RickT;8305799

They both can be disabled.. -- My tip would be to get all the aoptions … They both can be disabled.. -- My tip would be to get all the aoptions you can.....The auto lights are good if the car is fitted with the coming home lights too.. (The Mondeo is)There are a few different types of systems for auto wipers... not show which is fitted to fords..TechnologiesThe idea of automatic wipers is not new and various technologies have been used in the past, all with some degree of success. The major technologies are briefly described here.Conductive.This system uses a sensor that basically consists of two sets of contacts separated by an insulator. When water falls on the sensor, the water conducts a signal that alerts the system to water on the sensor. This system has some fundamental problems, the sensing elements oxidize and become unusable, dirt can foul the sensor and it’s difficult to design a sensor that the wiper can dry completely. I had considered a sensor of this type in the past, not for windscreens, but to close windows and doors on a vehicle when rain was detected.Capacitive.Capacitive systems utilize capacitive proximity detection techniques. They are reasonably successful, but can be susceptible to stray electrical fields; the electronics tends to be reasonably expensive due to tuning components used in many designs.Piezo ElectricThis type of system uses a piezo crystal element, this can in fact be thought of as a microphone. Rain droplets hitting the windscreen cause sound waves at certain frequencies to be produced and transmitted through and across the windscreen. The Piezo sensor picks these up, electronics then process the signal to try and distinguish between rain and other noises. Again this system is susceptible to false triggering.Current Monitoring.In current monitoring designs, the wipers actually have to be switched on manually when it rains. However the current drawn by the wiper motor decreases when the windscreen is wet, as less friction exists between the wiper blades and the glass. The current is monitored and the delay between wipes varied from full on to intermittent. Optical Optical sensors utilise light and the principle of total internal refraction within glass. In its basic form an optical sensor consists of a light source, a light detector and an optical assembly. The optical assembly is two lenses and or light guides. A beam of light is directed through the optical assembly into the windscreen glass, the light is “trapped” within the glass due to total internal refraction. This is the principle used in fibre optic cable. The light bounces from outside surface of the glass back to the inside surface of the glass until it is picked up by the second optical assembly. If rain falls on the glass within the sensing area, light “breaks free” as it is directed into the water droplet, this causes a corresponding reduction in the received light. Usually a microprocessor is used to distinguish between different amounts of rain and runs algorithms to provide best wiping results. It would appear that Optical Sensors are the most popular and reliable method for cost effective detection of rain, they are reliable and maintained free.I considered the current measuring method and optical detection, as the others really did not appear practical for retro fitting, and or just would not be reliable.Current measuring was practical and relatively easy, but wasn’t really the answer as the system would have to be switched on in rain any way.My overall concern would be which engine to go for...Rick



Thanks, I appreciate the information. As long as I can disable them when I want to, I will be happy. I will be going for the 1.6 TDCI, which is the biggest they do for the fiesta. Hopefully it will be nippy enough.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Rep added :thumbsup:

Original Poster

RedDev11;8305826

I have a focus titantium and both of them have manual settings as well as … I have a focus titantium and both of them have manual settings as well as the automatic one.Personally having the automatic settings is very handy and I tend to leave them on (apart from the fact my wiper blades need replacing so it squeaks atm). But you have a slide button that can decide how much rain is on the window before it wipes anyway, so it goes from just a few spots to virtually covered.Very nice feature :thumbsup:



Cheers for replying. Think I too will leave them on, but at least if the blades need replacing you do have the option of disabling the automatic feature. Same goes for the lights. If I'm sitting outside the chippy waiting while my missus picks some food up, I don't really want my automatic lights on.

Rep added :thumbsup:

Original Poster

whatsThePoint;8306093

Auto headlights should be required on all cars so no more idiots driving … Auto headlights should be required on all cars so no more idiots driving with lights off at night, its very old technology now so should be standard



I see your point, but where i live there are no street lights, so I wouldn't get very far without them on. To be honest I don't really need an automatic light feature, quite capable of turning the little dial myself. I guess I'll have to be dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming :w00t:

Best bet... to help you understand the products, call into your loca l Ford garage and get them to show you,,

You always have the option to overide the lights, by turning the side lights on...

Rick

Original Poster

RickT;8307029

Best bet... to help you understand the products, call into your loca l … Best bet... to help you understand the products, call into your loca l Ford garage and get them to show you,,You always have the option to overide the lights, by turning the side lights on...Rick



Yeh I should have checked it out when I was there, but I was looking at the Zetecs and test drove the Zetec, which I based my decision to buy the car on, but then at the last minute ive decided to go for the titanium as theres not much in it price wise. Hence i wanted to get my head around the automatic features before i ordered something that would just bug me.

Cheers again :thumbsup:

Hi i have a fiesta titanium, and I have a turn dial to change from automatic to manual, as it annoys me too!
Windscreen wipers do not go on in rain where it is very light though, but kick in when it gets slightly heavier.
Hope that helps : )

Original Poster

*katie*;8309708

Hi i have a fiesta titanium, and I have a turn dial to change from … Hi i have a fiesta titanium, and I have a turn dial to change from automatic to manual, as it annoys me too!Windscreen wipers do not go on in rain where it is very light though, but kick in when it gets slightly heavier.Hope that helps : )



Thanks Katie, that is useful information. Rep added. :thumbsup:

Just out of interest, what do you think to your Fiesta overall? Have you got the new shape?

scream85;8309910

Thanks Katie, that is useful information. Rep added. :thumbsup:Just out … Thanks Katie, that is useful information. Rep added. :thumbsup:Just out of interest, what do you think to your Fiesta overall? Have you got the new shape?



Your welcome, and yes it's the 59 plate, I actually love it!! Quite a beast for a small car, mines a 1.6 and it's good on fuel and very fast! Would recommend it to you definately :-).
If you need to know anything else let me know x

Original Poster

*katie*;8310079

Your welcome, and yes it's the 59 plate, I actually love it!! Quite a … Your welcome, and yes it's the 59 plate, I actually love it!! Quite a beast for a small car, mines a 1.6 and it's good on fuel and very fast! Would recommend it to you definately :-).If you need to know anything else let me know x



Cool, I'm glad you're pleased with it. I've not found anyone that doesn't like it yet so I'm confident its the right choice. I test drove the 1.4 TDCI originally and found that even that picked up well, but I'm going for the 1.6 like you, in diesel. Currently do around 20,000 miles a year and spend around £220/month on petrol, so looking forward to some savings on fuel :thumbsup:

Thanks for your help again :-D

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