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Old 11-12-2012, 07:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Film on windshield

Have tried Windex, and the cleaning brush at a gas station to get it off, but have noticed what seems almost like a film on my windshield, which has been casuing bad glare when headlights hit it. Anyone else have this? Not sure if it's a protective coating the dealer put on when I bought the car or if it is wax from a drive though car wash.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Question

Have you tried something like denatured alcohol or ammonia to remove this 'film'?

If you placed anything that sticks to your windshield, it would seem to me that there would, in fact, be some kind of adhesive left after removing whatever it is that was adhered to the windshield.

Are you certain it is on the exterior?
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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positive it's on the outside. can only see it at night or in low light conditions. film may not have been the right word, it looks almost like a coating. you can see an opaque film on the outside of the windshield, like it had been waxed or applied, and it refracts the light (like a dirty windshield on the inside when headlights hit it).
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We did a job at a paper mill and all our truck windows were coated with some sort of film, no amount of washer fluid or glass cleaner would touch it and it was really getting hard to see, finally asked one of the guys working there and they said it was alkili and you can take it off with any soap product, he reached in the back of the work truck and pulled out a bottle of vinegar and a rag, the film wiped right away.

Don't leave the vinegar on your finish, it is acidic
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Did you purchase the car new?
Was it like this from the beginning, or did this seem to start after you applied something to the windshield?

Do you happen to use the expensive Rain-X windshield cleaner-deicer?

I used Rain-X once and would never use it again. Yes, it did just as it said it would do, cause the rain to turn into tiny droplets of water that are supposed to just blow off, thus supposedly not needing your wipers anymore.

However, as soon as I turned on the wipers, the water beads were so fine, instead of an even sheen of water on the windshield, I ended up with these extremely fine bubbles after each wiper pass which could best be described as pouring milk across the windshield then trying to use the wipers to remove it.

I ended up washing the Rain-X off by using a strong glass cleaner solution and adding more ammonia than usual. I not only cleaned the windshield but also the squeegee part of the wiper blades. Several good washings and a lot of elbow grease and the rain then sheened again after each wiper pass.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bought the car new in August. Haven't put anything on the windshield, but this is really the first time i've driven it at night, and in the rain (yeah daylight savings time...lol). No rain-x, as I had tried it on my old Forester, and experienced the same issue you described.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds crazy, but good ole OOOO steel wool is a great way to get this sort of thing off. Try to test it in an inconspicuous area first, but the steel wool is a little softer than the glass and should take the stuff. This is and old trick for removing hard water stains.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Back in the day I worked in an insulated window maufacturing plant. One of my jobs was to "catch" pieces of glass coming out of the washer and inspect them very quickly for any type of dirt, spots or defects in the glass. I could instantly identify weather the spots were on top or the bottom side of the glass so nothing was sealed inside the window. I must admit I see spots on glass that most cannot or ignore.

I was involved with cleaning all types including coated and laminated glass products. The washer used a soapy solution with alcohol in it to dry quickly after running under a blower. The go-to glass cleaner was made by Sprayway. At the time it was industrial only but has made it's way to residential use. It is sold almost everywhere. Costco, grocery stores etc.

As rockhopjohn has stated 0000 steel wool works well but be very careful as it is softer than glass but not the laminating film on windshields. Make sure the windshied has plenty of cleaner and the steelwool is saturated. Do not bear down and scrub in one area as you can scratch the surface. Never use it on Subaru outside rearview mirrors. They are so soft you can scratch them with a t-shirt if you rub hard.

Which leads back to the OP. Subaru windows and windshields are the most difficut to clean I have ever seen. There is some sort of film that smudges and smears especially on the front and back glass. They also hard water spot badly. Almost like etching with acid rain. And the offgassing or whatever on the interior is brutal. In almost two years and two different OB's I have yet to clean the glass to a level I consider acceptable. My wife joked: What did you clean with? peanut butter.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've used Bar Keepers Friend on my windshield to get a film of road grime off, and it works great. Use it on my headlights occasionally too to keep them clear.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just about every car I purchased new had the new car odor, which is basically gases coming out of all the plastic and rubber and other things man-made. I have noticed that, along with that smell comes interior windows that get coated with residue. In the sunlight, you can easily see it, just rub your finger or your knuckle where the window appears to have the inside-haze, and if you just made a 'clean-mark' then the interior windows are coated from the new gases your car is putting out.

I have found that removing the haze from the interior is hard work, mainly the windshield, as the angle is so steep, you need to be a contortionist in order to clean every interior square-inch of window! I also found that most glass cleaners just move the mess around. It takes much elbow grease and a fair amount of clean towels or paper towels to eliminate this mess!

It also takes cleaning the windows more than one time during each cleaning session, if you really want to remove all the haze!

Once cleaned, if it is hot out, within weeks (sometimes even within DAYS), the windows will be hazy again! The colder it is out, it seems the less gas that is put off thus the less haze to clean with less frequency.

If you can park inside your garage and if you can safely leave your windows all open, you will help to eliminate the new-car smell which means you will also be eliminating those gases!

Look at it this way.
As long as you get in and smell that new-car smell, be assured that the gases are leaching into the air and are constantly causing the mess inside the windows!
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