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When I drive to work in the morning or leave the office in the afternoon, it looks like my windshield is covered in dirt. However, the window is "clean". I've been using the windshield wipers + water and even hand wiped the windows, but in direct sunlight when the sun is low in the sky, it just looks like there is dirt everywhere! Has anyone had this problem? To me it's like some sort of windshield manufacturing defect because the "dirt" that I see seem to be actually in the glass itself. They are not scratched.

I'm not sure what I should do short of replacing the entire windshield. I bought the car Pre-owned earlier this month. It is a 2013.
 

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Maybe a layer of oil and pollution. Try to clean the windshield with a small % of ammonia in water, and use the same or ethanol to clean wipers: it worked very well for me. By the way, I actually read about some OEM windshields really defective.
 

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agree on the "deep" cleaning method for your windshield.

windshield gets oil build up if you park your car near fast food restaurants and construction.

so a good cleaning, should fix your issue. also, change your wipers. Mine, is still stock after 2.5 years and it still cleans like a dream.
 

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I think I figured it out. The previous owner likely applied something like Rainex, and the problem I'm seeing could be the residue. I'll look more into it and see if I can figure out how to clean everything off.
 

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I think I figured it out. The previous owner likely applied something like Rainex, and the problem I'm seeing could be the residue. I'll look more into it and see if I can figure out how to clean everything off.

most likely thats the cause.
 

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When I drive to work in the morning or leave the office in the afternoon, it looks like my windshield is covered in dirt. However, the window is "clean". I've been using the windshield wipers + water and even hand wiped the windows, but in direct sunlight when the sun is low in the sky, it just looks like there is dirt everywhere! Has anyone had this problem? To me it's like some sort of windshield manufacturing defect because the "dirt" that I see seem to be actually in the glass itself. They are not scratched. I'm not sure what I should do short of replacing the entire windshield. I bought the car Pre-owned earlier this month. It is a 2013.
Your situation sounds exactly like mine. Right after I picked up the car I noticed many tiny pits/scratches on the windshield that were visible when the sun was low in the sky. To me it looked like the windshield had been sandblasted. My dealer agreed that the windshield was defective and it was replaced under warranty.

The service manager's hypothesis was that, since the windshield was protected from the time it left the factory until it arrived at the dealership, the defect must have occurred when the windshield was manufactured.
 

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They sell stuff at Auto Parts stores to super clean windshields. But before you go that far, use a strong dishwashing detergent that brags about removing spots from glasses. Put it on full strength, leave it on for a few minutes. Use a plastic mesh sponge to scrub it around, but make sure to keep it at least slightly wet. After a few minutes, hose it off and dry the windshield carefully. If that doesn't work, it is not a surface problem.

Some stains from tree droppings are really strong and can actually damage your paint. Maybe the former owner parked under an oak tree (in my experience, one of the worst offenders) when it dripped water but not enough to wash it off.
 

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Make sure you clean the inside of the windshield too. I know some people like put those wax stick thingy inside the windshield to prevent fogging up.... it is so 80's. :p
 

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Windshields are such a PITA to get and keep clean. I drive to work on a two-lane road so I have headlights in my face the entire time and I can see every imperfection, no matter how many times I clean it. It drives me nuts. I ended up putting my car in the garage and using a spot-light to simulate oncoming traffic headlights, and that lets me see smudges that you can't see in normal light.
 

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I've used claybar on my windshield before to get the lovebug guts off of it.
 
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