Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-15-2007, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

Hey guys,

Let me start by saying I'm not all that knowledgeable about cars so if you use a lot of abbreviations and technical terms, you might have to dumb it down for me a little. This is a little long so please bear with me on this.

I have an 05 Mazda3 Sport (purchased new February 06) and my problem is this:

Whenever it rains, or is foggy or dewy and I attempt to use the windshield wipers it streaks the glass and I can see spots which I assume are water spots. If I clean the windshield myself, every time I wipe the glass with a cloth I can see this oil like film. I think for the first month after I purchased my car, I did not notice the issue, maybe because it didn't rain and there wasn't much humidity. However I started to notice the problem around May of '06. I put Rain-X on the windshield thinking that would fix the issue - it didn't. I then replaced the wipers after reading how crappy the stock ones were - that didn't work. Then maybe around August of '06 I read on here that sometimes Rain-X can cause the problem, so I removed it. I then read about how to deep clean the glass (from tips on here). I tried everything on the glass that I had around the house. I remember I tried CLR, Stoners glass cleaner(s), water and vinegar, chrome polish - none of those worked, the oily like film with the spots were still there when something damp would wipe across the windshield. I even tried explaining it to auto techs and the mazda dealership, they of course had no idea what I was talking about. Since none of this worked I eventually gave up. The last time I tried to fix the issue was probably last September.

The problem I explained above is very annoying and highly dangerous, especially at night. I completely avoid driving at night in the rain or snow because when the wipers are active and smearing and hazing everything I am blinded by oncoming traffic. It just blurs everything. Also in the morning when there is dew on my windshield, it takes 15 minutes to clear up. I have to keep my wipers constantly going during that time - it is embarrassing sometimes. I have done a search on this issue and only came up with old threads with stuff I have already tried. Also there was no "consensus" on a fix or known problem. I'm hoping there is some more news or a consensus on how to fix the issue, short of replacing the windshield.

Right now, I'm considering purchasing Diamondite Glass Cleaning Kit (Here is the webpage) that uses liquid clay. I've spent at least 6 hours today researching this and the keyword that keeps popping up is "clay". I'm thinking of giving that a try, what do you guys think? Will it be worth the money or will it probably not work?

Here are quotes from some old threads where people detailed their problem:

[quote author=Rocketeer link=topic=17679.msg252490#msg252490 date=1113019301]
I believe I also have this problem. I put on Rain-X last fall and now each time my wipers move across the windshield it leaves like a film/haze. It will burn off in a few minutes if I only use the wiper once and its not bad during the day but at night its terrible. Last weekend we got alot of snow and trying to drive was next to impossible because I had to use the blades constantly which in turn left a constant haze/film on the window.

Like some suggested I tried Stoners Invisible glass a couple days ago. Well today my windshield was kind of dirty so I used washer fluid and the wipers...the haze/film STILL appeared!! :x
Could my washer fluid be causing this? I have been using Prestone's DeIcer washer fluid.
I also changed my wipers a couple of times. I'm using the teflon blade ones now. No effect.
I'm also getting some streaking too, right in my line of sight. ugh

[quote author=zimmerDN link=topic=7177.msg92099#msg92099 date=1086538084]
I don't understand why my windshield has these vertical streaks that looks like water marks. You can't usually see them unless it's raining. It's worse at night because of street light reflection. There are so many of them it becomes a real problem. Usually it would also fog up really badly on the surface too & with the streaks already there, it makes visibility to almost zero. By using the wipers it will clear the fog but the streaks will always remain. I don't think these streaks are from the inside of the windsheild because I've tried rubbing it off with my finger from inside of my car. I've washed my car twice already and they still remain. It almost seems like they are trapped inside the glass.

Anyone experiencing the same problem?

I apologize for the essay like length of this but I really hope to find a solution for this issue. I will attempt to get a picture of what it looks like tomorrow.


One last thing not related to the topic...

I just hit 27,000 on my car and got an oil change today. They said it's almost time for me to replace my tires. This is the first car that I've owned and cared for myself so I have no idea about tires and such. I'm looking at prices and I nearly fell out of my seat. Tires are damn expensive!

Anyways, my question is: what do you guys think about the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S? From what I've read on here from searching, they seem to be pretty good. I'm in northern Virginia so I require all season tires. Last winter and even in the rain my car slips and slides. I need some tires with traction. Will a car "laymen" like me notice a difference with new tires? Unless I hear something truly bad about these, I will probably go with these.

Thanks for the help with this issue(s),

- Bill
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 02:13 AM
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Re: Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

Welcome to the forum. I'll try to match your post in length... heh jk

I have ran into the exact problem you are specifying.

In some cases, it might just be hard water spots. In this case, vinegar, claying, scrubbing, etc should help. Even if you see a marginal improvement after trying it... well it means it's working.

You can tell if it's a "raised" mineral bonded with the surface by taking a brand new flat razor blade, and carefully graze a test area of the stain using lots of soapy water as lubricant. I use one razor blade per window to prepare it for tinting and you'd be surprised that there are invisible hard bonded contaminants on an otherwise "perfect" interior glass panel. (do not flip the razor blade to the other side when doing this and hold it at an angle and "scrape" off the contaminants very carefully like you were shaving)

The next method I've used involved #0000 fine steel wool and goo gone as a lubricant. The steel wool is the glass safe abrasive and the goo gone simply helps glide the steel wool over the surface to prevent scratches. I just read that automotive cleaner wax could be used instead of the goo gone. This might work, I have not tried it yet though... Cleaner wax contains chemicals known to help remove hardened contaminants and deposits on paint.

Finally, yet another tip from the "tinting" glass cleaning experience I have is using a scotch brite scrubbing pad and goo gone or cleaner wax. If you think I've tried some crazy stuff on glass, well what ever you do, do not try 600 grit wet sand paper because it WILL haze the glass... lol

If all of this does not work... well then most likely you have etching or micro scratches in the glass.

Over time, sand, dust, tiny pebbles make tiny chips/holes/dimples in the windshield.

Then what happens is something like sprinkler water which may be "reclaimed water". This is basically recycled and chemically sanitized sewer water that is not safe for drinking or even skin contact. It's possible this water (or acid rain) can put stains inside these tiny pores in the glass and cause those unsightly water spot looking streaks when you wipe a damp towel across your windshield. It becomes very difficult to CLEAN out those pores and ultimately you may have to buy a new windshield to restore 100% clarity.

The whole concept of Rain-X is to FILL the pores and tiny rough surfaces of the glass with that silicone or oil like chemical that helps bead water off. Well if your glass becomes too rough or pitted then not even polishing the glass can really restore it.

I do not know of any "easy" windshield polish... Most are just strong cleaners. Polishing glass takes a tough compound and then if you do it unevenly well I think it could affect the optical clarity.

So if you can determine that it's just hard water spots then you're in good shape and you should be able to clean it, even if you have to buy some super harsh Tile-x type stain remover meant for cleaning bathroom glass.

If it's "etching" or scratches in the glass, then there's not much you can really do. I'm afraid diamondite's clay product won't perform any miracles... Though the sponge practically IS a scotch brite pad...

As for tires:

Michelin Pilot Exalto is an incredible tire and I doubt you'll find anything wrong or bad about it except for it's expensive price.

To save a lot of money, I'd check out Kumho ASX (all season) and buy it from Tirerack.com They will ship it to a nearby installer and you just pay for installation. The 4 tires + installation should be under $500.

Though if you have the money to spare, Exalto's are going to outperform your Good Year RS-As in pretty much every aspect. (And be better than Kumho ASX's) Just consider the Kumho to be a good bang per buck tire...
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 02:18 AM
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Re: Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

go with the michelins they grip like a fat white blob
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

Thanks for the responses! I think I will order some of that Diamondite clay spray and see if that helps completely clean my windshield. Anybody had experience with this brand specifically or is all claying the same?

It's too bad I have to go to this trouble, I don't know anybody else with cars that has to do this. I love my Mazda and would recommend it to anybody but it makes me wonder about the quality of the windshield that comes on it.

I'm anxious to get new tires now. I can't wait to not be as nervous about driving in the rain and light snow. I also hope new tires will stop screeching every time I accelerate or when making a left turn. I don't even drive or accelerate unusually fast and my tires still slip and screech.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 11:48 AM
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Re: Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

New tires won't fix slow speed squealing. RS-As arn't that bad of a tire.

Slow speed squealing is a result of a non-perfect steering geometry.

In other words, if you turn the steering wheel, one tire will have to be turned more than the other but since it isn't perfect, then one tire may drag slightly during the slow speed turn.

On my 1/10th race cars it was called ackerman angle and it could be adjusted. If you turn your steering wheel all the way, the angle will be different for the two front tires. (Also the camber will probably be different which is the tilt of the wheel towards the center of the car)

Here's an illustration that describes ackerman:

The windshield for the Mazda3 is just like any other typical automotive glass. I've seen the same thing happen on a new honda civic. Keeping your windshield clean, using the wiper fluid, and putting on rainclear can help. But also keeping your car away from acid rain and sprinklers as much as you can.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 11:57 AM
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Re: Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

a chronically streaky or oily windshield is weird. Considering all the products the OP has used, it should have gotten clean by now.

I would definitely check to make sure that oil isn't coming from somewhere in the engine compartment and getting on the glass (perhaps a bad seal someplace).

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 12:33 PM
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Re: Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

Rain-X is great if (1) you renew it regularly, and (2) you don't use your wipers. The abrasion of the wipers removes Rain-X unevenly, causing skips and streaks. I like Rain-X, but I accept the consequences. Consider using Rain-X only on the side and rear windows (and the mirrors), not on the windshield.

Before you try Yet Another expensive cleaning product, treat your windshield like a toilet: buy a can of Bon Ami cleanser. Bon Ami uses diatoms as its abrasive, and won't scratch glass like pumice-based products. Sprinkle enough cleanser on a damp sponge to make a thin paste, then scrub in circles. Polish dry with crumpled newsprint, preferably from a paper that does not use soy-based ink. This technique is also excellent for removing the scum from the inside of the glass.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

Thanks for all the great information thus far. I will try some of the things suggested. I'm slightly excited to get new tires now, even though it is so much money.

As far as the windshield goes, I will try out the solution suggested above before buying expensive clay. I would love to get a picture of my windshield issue but it's hard to get a picture of.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 08:52 PM
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Re: Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

When was the last time you replaced the wiper blades? What did you replace them with?

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hazy/oily/spotty/streaky windshield - Plus a tire question

[quote author=dalesd link=topic=91866.msg1786650#msg1786650 date=1192582330]
When was the last time you replaced the wiper blades? What did you replace them with?

I've replaced them probably 3 times since I got my car. I don't know what brand I have but I always ask for "the best". I would hope I'm using some good wipers...
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