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Magic Vision Control from Mercedes-Benz

Johnny Nash sang it, as did Jimmy Cliff and even Bob Marley, but the lyrics I can see clearly now the rain has gone don’t necessarily work when you’re behind the wheel of a car! In the real world, especially here in Canada, what’s left is a mixture of road film and the dreaded crystallized salt during winter, which is why car manufacturers need to install a decent wash/wipe system on their vehicles.

So why haven’t they?

Well they have now! Or at least, Mercedes-Benz has, because it’s installed something called Magic Vision Control to its new 2013 SL 550 roadster.

It’s a simple idea and one which, in some ways, has been around for a number of years. You see, back in my rallying days (in the 70s) we had a similar problem to contend with, so we came up with a solution. We simply cut a length of brake-pipe tube, drilled a few tiny holes into it, knurled one end and fitted an extended washer fluid pipe to the other. We then wired this to the wiper arm and presto, we had plenty of washer fluid hitting the screen! Quite a rudimentary system, but it worked.

Magic Vision Control
Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes has now taken this idea and totally perfected it. Its new system runs heated washer fluid through the actual wiper arms and then out through tiny holes along the leading edge of the wiper blades. Ingenious eh, but it doesn’t stop there. As the blade returns, it switches the flow to the opposite side of the blade, thus constantly providing fluid to the leading edge.

Wow you say, but wait, there’s more! As the top edge of the wiper blade needs to travel further and therefore has more screen area to clean, the system supplies more flow to the furthest part of the blade!

The result is a washer system which is super-efficient, unobtrusive to the driver, resistant to heavy winds, high road speeds and one which uses considerably less fluid; that’s something we can all appreciate here in Canada, what with the price of washer fluid today.

So kudos to Mercedes-Benz! While other manufacturers are fooling around adding gizmos which we’ll seldom use, or items that simply look pretty, this innovative company from Germany has solved a problem which has plagued us for decades.

I think we can expect to see this system appear on all Mercedes-Benz models in the near future, and I just hope the other manufacturers take note.