Auto-wipers vs Auto-headlamps: You had to pick one, which would it be

Not all manufacturers offer these features together. Some offer only one of the two and in most cases, it’s just auto-headlamps that make it to the equipment list.

BHPian Aditya recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Today, cars offer various features to make driving more stress-free. Among these features are auto-headlamps and wipers which switch on or off automatically depending on the light and weather conditions. In the case of auto-wipers, the wiping speed is altered depending on the intensity of the rain as well.

However, not all manufacturers offer these features together. Some offer only one of the two and in most cases, it’s just auto-headlamps that make it to the equipment list. Some of the cars that offer only auto-headlamps include the Honda Amaze, Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Hyundai Venue, Hyundai i20, Kia Sonet, Maruti Baleno, Maruti Brezza, Maruti Grand Vitara, Maruti XL6, Toyota Hyryder and Toyota Innova Crysta.

Auto wipers are available on more expensive Hyundai and Kia cars and Mahindra, Skoda, Tata and Volkswagen vehicles, but then, they come with auto headlamps as well.

GTO and I prefer to have auto-wipers ahead of auto-headlamps as they are a big boon in the 4 monsoon months when you have to continuously switch the wipers on or off, fiddle with the speed, intermittent setting etc. In an hour of varying levels of rain, one would probably change the wiper setting a dozen times! The monsoon has just withdrawn from Mumbai and from my innumerable drives during the season, I can safely say that a well-calibrated rain-sensing wiper setup would have reduced my effort considerably.

Compare this to auto-headlamps which you usually just switch on once, at the time of sunset. On the flip side, the headlamps of a car are used throughout the year whatever the season, while wipers are not.

So, if you had to pick one, which feature would you prefer – auto-wipers or auto-headlamps?

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

Voted for auto-wipers. However, with the way prices are climbing today, OEMs should just offer both & close the matter.

Here’s what BHPian vb-san had to say on the matter:

I would say both. But if the selection must be one, then it would be auto headlamps. I find it super useful especially when getting into a basement car park, tunnel, etc.

Here’s what BHPian corvus corax had to say on the matter:

I find intermittent wiping superior to automatic wiping or atleast that’s the perception I have got from the dumb automatic wiping system in my Polo. I find myself constantly fiddling with the knob adjusting the sensitivity mid driving as sometimes the wiper speed is too low or too fast with respect to the amount of rain water falling on the wind screen, which is at times quite frustrating.

Here’s what BHPian shankar.balan had to say on the matter:

Ideally both.

But if I have to make a choice then it is Auto wipers any day. Drizzle or rain or indeed snowfall or sleet of varying intensities can happen rather suddenly in a completely unpredictable manner, especially when on a nice long road trip. I would much rather have auto wipers to clear my windscreen.

I mean, I can see perfectly well, hence I will know when to switch the headlamps on, for example if entering a tunnel or a basement or in misty conditions in the day time, or when twilight fades into darkness!

Here’s what BHPian narayans80 had to say on the matter:

I would choose and use auto-wipers.

It is easier to identify a dark spot and proactively switch on the headlights, also you are better off switching headlights on your own than factoring electronics delay in a dark spot. My current car has auto headlamps, and I’ve not bothered using it yet.

On the contrary, gauging the intensity of the rain and setting the wiper speed accordingly is not something that you’d be so quick to respond to. Also the intermediate speed settings are something I have never done on the move. On all the cars I’ve owned, I’ve only used the 3 main speed settings. This is sometimes either too fast or too slow, which I have to manage as I drive.

Rear wipers are those out of sight-out of mind things during rains. While switching on is easy, you decide based on what you see on IRVM. I sometimes forget to switch off in traffic.

Here’s what BHPian condor had to say on the matter:

Auto-headlamps. Will be used much more than auto wipers.

The other point about wipers is that, if the windshield is dirty, plus any gravel/dust resting on the wiper blade, these can cause scratches on the windshield. (Whenever in doubt I stop, wipe the blades clean and then use the wipers).

Here’s what BHPian Dr.AD had to say on the matter:

To be honest, I care for neither features. I have one car with both of these features, and another car with neither of these two features. While I appreciate both these features when driving my first car, it is not that I really miss those when driving the second car. It is a very trivial matter of switching on and off the headlights or wipers myself when needed or not needed, and I do that with muscle memory without even realizing it or finding any need of automation there.

However, if I have to choose one as per the topic of this thread, I would choose automatic wipers over automatic headlamps. The primary reason is the same one mentioned by Aditya, that one has to adjust wiper speeds multiple times during a typical spell of rain, and the auto-wipers take care of that to some extent (but not completely eliminate that – there are times when even with auto-wipers I do not like the speeds they are running at and I end up manually fiddling with the speeds of my auto-wipers).

Here’s what BHPian GrammarNazi had to say on the matter:

If I was hard pressed to care, auto-wipers. Headlamps have just 2 clicks, whereas wipers have different numerous speed settings.

In the XUV7OO, during light drizzle, instead of regular intermittent speed, I simply keep the wiper switch at “Mist”, this setting increases/decreases the intermittence based on car speed.

So, IMO a wiper sensor is better as a driving aid, than a headlamp switch. Factory fitted rain sensors would ANYDAY be preferred over aftermarket ones.

Auto headlamp requires a very simple light sensor to switch on the headlamps, and fitment/removal can be easily (& cheaply) done after-market.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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