I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t find it anywhere, so I’ll bring it to the surface again. I use a great product which I believe the masses have yet to discover :–
Rain-X is a vehicle window treatment which helps to repel water in the same way as car body wax, by making the water, snow or ice bead off the surface rather than sticking to it. When the car is stationary, the rain forms into beads that either fall off due to gravity, or get blown off by the force of the wind as you drive along. This means an end to the streaky splodge mess that you often get with a car that hasn’t been treated with this product, giving far better visibility even in the heaviest of storms and vehicle spray. My Dad showed me the product about 6 years ago, and I’ve been a loyal fan ever since. Its so good that once, I was driving down an unlit section of motorway in the dark, and I didn’t realise it had been raining until I came upon a lit section and could see other car’s wipers going furiously to clear the water.
Two disadvantages with the product:-
1) It takes time to apply it to get the best effect. First, you have to clean the windows of any existing grease, grime and other gunk (for example the wax from car washes), but a glass cleaning compound should sort this out. Then, you have to make sure that the glass is really dry – I usually use a squeegee/paper towel combo to sort that, before applying the product (again with a paper towel) before buffing it clear. If I’ve not topped it up recently, I’ll repeat this twice to get the best finish, but normally a single coat is enough, especially if done regularly. Finally, a good buff will bring it back to clear.
2) It wears out fairly regularly. It used to be much better, but now only lasts about a month before needing a top up. I suspect they’ve made the formula a bit weaker in order that you use more and hence buy more (that’s the cynic in me talking) but at £10 for a year, its hardly a massive investment.
It also depends on the angle of your windscreen as to what speed the water blows away – on mine 30mph is enough, but I’ve heard some people saying that 40mph is required, and on an old car I had with a flat windscreen, it was about 20mph.
I’m surprised that fleet’s don’t give this out to all their drivers, as it certainly helps improve safety, and I’ve never heard race teams using it – ideal for F1 drivers visors in the wet. Rain-X claim a 1 second reaction time advantage in poor weather conditions, and I can see that this may have mileage (pun intended).
As a final note, I’ve heard of other products which claim to be better/longer lasting/cheaper and all the rest, but I’ve not had any experience of these. I’ve also heard of special wiper blades which leave a thin trail of silicone across the glass each time you use the wipers, giving the same effect. If you’ve got any experience of these product, feel free to get in touch – id like to see if a competitor has exceeded the yellow standard