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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 05-13-2008, 07:44 AM
jamesbirkholz jamesbirkholz is offline
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X3 (and others) Dirty Windshield/Streakiness

No matter how hard I try (frequent washing, etc) my windshield always seems to have a film on it. Whenever it's raining and the wipers are running, there are zillions (that's a real technical phrase) of patchy spots on the windshield that instantly film up again immediately after the blade sweeps by.

I've tried incessant washing, different washer fluids, etc., to no avail. I cleaned the blades, too. Is this some kind of hydrophobic coating from BMW? It's driving me crazy. The only time it goes away is when there is a prolonged heavy rain and then it seems to clear up.

Any ideas? I had a similar problem with my old E30 - despite INSIDE and OUTSIDE cleaning it stayed filmy.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2008, 08:29 AM
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I used to use "SoftScrub" cleaner on it when it got like that, didn't harm the glass and was crystal clear for a log time after.
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2008, 08:49 AM
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Old trick when washing any window. Use newspaper and simple vinegar.

Never streaks.
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2008, 03:35 PM
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Sounds like you've got something on the glass that window cleaner won't remove.

If you can find some, try Glass wax. It hasn't been made in years.

There was a good unopened can on eBay awhile back.


http://cgi.ebay.com/Unopened-16-oz-c...QQcmdZViewItem


There are some modern comparable products but I haven't used any of them.


Also get new wiper blades from the dealer. They may be contaminated with the same stuff.
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2008, 04:16 PM
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I use Stoner's Invisible Glass with newspaper to clean the windshield and windows. I'm guessing there's stuff on the windshield that's making them streak.
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2008, 07:37 PM
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archrenov8 archrenov8 is offline
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There was a lot of talk about this same phenom on the VW Vortex site. The solutions were:

A. Use a clay bar to clean the glass, after normal cleaner with a Windex type product.

Or:
B. Carefully clean the window with the Super Fine grade of steel wool (#0000) and a liquid cleaner like Windex, rubbing carefully in circles. Just be careful not to leave any shavings of steel wool, or to hit the body paint.

Either method removes the build-up of spray-on wax that you get in car washes.

I would generally do the steel wool. Once you do this, you get a month or two of quiet, streak-free wiping again.
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2008, 11:42 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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I respectfully disgree with using steel wool. It will scratch the polymer surface that coats all windshields, no matter how fine a grade you use.

Try the newspaper. The paper has a very fine abrasion and the chemical compounds in the ink and bonding process of paper work as a catalyst with white vinegar to remove just about any sticky substance including bug goo and road tar.

The clay bar I have never tried.
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2008, 04:40 AM
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I wil tell you that the steel wool was a recommendation from several VW SA's.
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  #9  
Old 05-14-2008, 06:02 AM
vern vern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
I respectfully disgree with using steel wool. It will scratch the polymer surface that coats all windshields, no matter how fine a grade you use.

Try the newspaper. The paper has a very fine abrasion and the chemical compounds in the ink and bonding process of paper work as a catalyst with white vinegar to remove just about any sticky substance including bug goo and road tar.

The clay bar I have never tried.
+1 Another method is cut a lemon in half rub it on your windshiels and blades and then rinse it off with water. He might want to get a new set of blades also, the are free with the 4 year maintainence.
cheers
vern
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  #10  
Old 05-14-2008, 06:10 AM
Blair_X3 Blair_X3 is offline
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I've found that Duragloss New Glass works great. Apply it like a wax, hand buff it off, wash, and follow that up with a coat of wax. It takes all the film and water spots off and leaves it clear.


http://www.duragloss.com/product.asp?pid=303
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  #11  
Old 05-14-2008, 08:48 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Glass Wax was the best! I can't believe they stopped making it. Newspapers and white vinegar or a lemon sliced in half work well too, just use the black and white pages, not the slick ad pages.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2008, 09:45 PM
dadadave dadadave is offline
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Have you considered treating the glass after cleaning it? Unprotected glass will be easily compromised within a few days. RainX is nice, but my personal experience is that you need to treat the glass every 2 to 3 weeks. It makes the blades work much better though.

I bought a few applicators of Aquapel. Supposedly works for months. Have yet to put it on though as I'm waiting til this last application of RainX wears off.

+1 to AzN... Stoner's and newspaper
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  #13  
Old 05-17-2008, 11:08 PM
Tlon Tlon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesbirkholz View Post
No matter how hard I try (frequent washing, etc) my windshield always seems to have a film on it. Whenever it's raining and the wipers are running, there are zillions (that's a real technical phrase) of patchy spots on the windshield that instantly film up again immediately after the blade sweeps by.

I've tried incessant washing, different washer fluids, etc., to no avail. I cleaned the blades, too. Is this some kind of hydrophobic coating from BMW? It's driving me crazy. The only time it goes away is when there is a prolonged heavy rain and then it seems to clear up.

Any ideas? I had a similar problem with my old E30 - despite INSIDE and OUTSIDE cleaning it stayed filmy.

Thanks
A while back, in another German car, I had to have my windshield replaced after it was hit by a rock. The new windshield had just what you're describing and like yours only visible when it was wet. No matter what I used -- many things suggested already, though not the clay bar or steel wool -- I couldn't get it off. I took it back to the glass shop that did the replacement and they told me it (if I remember correctly) was the adhesive from one step in the glass production process, I think when the glass was being transported or moved or something like that. They used some sort of wax/compound like substance to remove it. They basically put it on, let it dry like a wax, and then buffed it off. Worked great. You might try contacting a glass dealer to see if they can suggest a similar product.

Griots has a glass polish that might work too:

http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/...rrivals&page=1

but I can't vouch for it.
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  #14  
Old 09-23-2014, 11:35 AM
Roys4x4 Roys4x4 is offline
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INFORMATION I GOT AFTER THE SUGGESTION ON THIS THREAD. IT REALLLY WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Thank you for contacting ITW Global Brands! If you would like to remove a Rain-X application at any time, we recommend that you use the following products:

1. Rain-X Xtreme Clean
2. Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleanser

They can be found at Walmart or Pep Boys. We recommend using a clean cloth or rag and warm water.

Please let us know if there is something else that we can help you with, and we would be happy to assist you.

Sincerely,

Alex
--
ITW Global Brands
Office of Consumer Services
Houston, Texas USA"



-----Original Message-----
From: roy mills
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2014 11:38 AM
To: Information
Subject: ckeaning windshiels

From: roy mills
Subject: ckeaning windshiels

Message Body:
I bought a used 2006 bmw x3 and used your products original rainx and the spray bottle of rainx cleaner. from day one the windshield has a film on it that will not come off. I expect the rainx original I used just covered what ever was on the windshield to start . do you have any suggestion to get to the glass without anything on it so I can apply a proper rainx coat thanks roy

Last edited by Roys4x4; 09-23-2014 at 11:37 AM. Reason: additional experience
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  #15  
Old 09-23-2014, 12:08 PM
jlex jlex is offline
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I suspect the film is caused by oil/gas that has left a petroleum residue on the glass.
Whenever I'd take a long trip, I'd have a bit of dishwashing liquid with me to cut the grease on the window and wipers before doing a final clean with Windex. You have to use something that will dissolve the oil first. Try warm water & regular dishwashing liquid on window and wiper blades.
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2014, 08:04 PM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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white vinegar

but keep it off the paint
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  #17  
Old 09-25-2014, 02:24 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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I used this product on all of my cars... Aquapel Glass Treatment By PGW

Bought it on amazon. Great stuff!!
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  #18  
Old 09-26-2014, 03:12 PM
raaizin raaizin is offline
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I have used Bon Ami to clean windshields in the past


http://www.bonami.com/index.php/prod...wder_cleanser/
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  #19  
Old 09-26-2014, 05:22 PM
Deathnever Deathnever is offline
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Have you tried using laundry detergent? the powdered kind? like Tide or sunlight? That stuff works on everything.

I've used it for cleaning the windows once.
Also works wonders on a bathtub.
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