Piston Slap: Do The Dew?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

TTAC Commentator Riz writes:

I’ve just got my first “commuter” car – 2009 Civic DX-G and I’ve been surprised at the amount of dew on all the windows most mornings and how much ‘crud’ dries on after rain. Compared to any of the cars/minivans we’ve owned or our current family driver (’06 Mazda 5) it’s really annoying. And it’s not just the front / back (although the lack of rear wiper is lamentable) – side windows are also an issue. So what’s the ideal product – RainX or another brand? And any concerns for application (like don’t get any on the non painted side mirror covers or that sort of thing)? And how long does it last? Note – this product needs to also deal with frost and snow as I live in Calgary.

Also – is this common on Honda’s? We’re looking at a new minivan next year, and if the Odyssey is more likely to do this than the Sienna then I’d like to plan for it.

Sajeev answers:

For those without a garage or carport, dew (http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2000-07/962721935.Ph.r.html) is something you simply put up with. I’ve used three products to minimize the effects of condensation on your morning drive to work: glass cleaner, automotive wax, and sandpaper. Rain X (or equivalent) is always a good idea for the windscreen, but check out my additional ideas.

Glass cleaner: clean the inside of your car regularly, using a cleaner designed for automotive applications for the best results. Temperature differentials cause fogging on the inside face of glass, which really sticks to the thin film of grease, oil and smoke residue (if you smoke) already on there. Remove the contaminants and you’ll have a far better driving experience as your HVAC’s defroster works its magic.

Wax: Oh, I’m gonna take some flack for this: whenever you wax, apply it to the side and rear windows (not the windshield, that makes the wipers streak) using the same procedure used with painted surfaces. Not only does wax leave a slick finish to keep water and “crud” off the glass, it keeps you from needing another product that collects dust in the tool shed.

Sandpaper: take a piece (about the size of your thumbprint) of 800-ish grit sandpaper and fold it in half. Place the folded paper over the rubber portion of your wiper blade, then hold it between your thumb and index finger. Move your fingers up and down the blade several times and then wash it with soap and water to remove the old rubber. Congratulations, you’ve now fixed a streaky wiper. And effectively doubled or tripled its lifespan.

Granted, your vehicles (the Aerostar-looking Civic and your Minivans) mean you have a lot of real estate to cover, but that’s the price you pay for your love of Hondas and your need to carry a family. Hopefully this will help manage your condensation problem, and makes your morning commute less irritating.

(Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com)

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • Newcarscostalot Newcarscostalot on Nov 26, 2009

    golden2husky: I think the iPhone has an app for that. I remeber seeing something about it online.

  • Riz Riz on Nov 26, 2009

    This was more for the outside, so film isn't all that useful. And rolling down the window doesn't work for the back glass. Oddly enough the stripping on either side window doesn't provide enough contact to wipe down the window - tried that first day. I'll check into the Aquapel stuff, though.

  • 1995 SC PA is concerning, but if it spent most of its life elsewhere and was someone's baby up there and isn't rusty it seems fairly priced.
  • CanadaCraig I don't see ANY large 'cheap' cars on the market. And I'm saying there should be.
  • 1995 SC I never cared for the fins and over the top bodies on these, but man give me that interior all day. I love it
  • 1995 SC Modern 4 door sedans stink. The roofline on them is such that it wrecks both the back seat and trunk access in most models. Watch someone try to get their kid into a car seat in the back of a modern sedan. Then watch them try to get the stroller into the mail slot t of a trunk opening. I would happily trade the 2 MPG at highway speed that shape may be giving me for trunk and rear seat accessibility of the sedans before this stupidity took over. I ask you, back in the day when Sedans were king, would any of them with the compromises of modern sedans have sold well? So why do we expect them to sell today? Make them usable for the target audience again and just maybe people will buy them. Keep them just as they are and they'll keep buying crossovers which might be the point.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X As much problems as I had with my '96 Chevy Impala SS.....I would love to try one again. I've seen a Dark Cherry Metallic one today and it looked great.