Ford is one of the longest-running manufacturers of cars, trucks, and SUVs in the United States, and one of their oldest models of truck is the Ford F150. Around the mid to late 2000s, Ford instituted a windshield wiper feature in their F150 called the Courtesy Wipe. However, many drivers don’t know what the Ford F150 Courtesy Wipe is and means, so let me help you out…
What is a Ford F150 Courtesy Wipe? The Courtesy Wipe is a feature on some Ford F150 vehicles that enables an extra wipe after washing the windshield. After activating the windshield wiper fluid, the vehicle will wipe the windshield a few times, there will be a small pause, and then the wipers will activate one more time to catch any extra windshield wiper fluid that may be running down from the top of the windshield.
In simple terms, the Ford F150 Courtesy Wipe is a feature that is aimed at reducing the amount of driving distractions that a user may encounter.
Many drivers don’t actually want this feature, so lower down the page I’ve described some simple instrucstions on how you can remove the Courtesy Wipe feature from your Ford F150.
The Ford F150 Courtesy Wipe
The Courtesy Wipe is just one of a long line of automated features that Ford has included in some of their vehicles. This is a feature that is used in tandem with the windshield wipers and the windshield wiper fluid. Several sources indicate that this feature exists in Ford F150s from around 2009 until about 2016.
The way this feature works is when you press the button on your windshield wiper column in your vehicle, the windshield wiper fluid will spray onto your windshield, the windshield wipers will activate and wipe the windshield three times, there will be a brief pause (approximately three seconds), and then the windshield wipers will activate one more time.
Without the Courtesy Wipe in your Ford F150, the windshield wiper fluid will spray, the wipers will activate three times, and then the windshield wipers will stop.
Why is the Courtesy Wipe useful?
The Courtesy Wipe, as an attribute, is one automatic feature in a long line meant to help reduce driving distractions in a Ford F150. The goal of this feature is to catch the remaining windshield wiper fluid left on a windshield after washing it.
When you first activate the windshield wiper fluid, it will spray over the windshield, and the windshield wipers will activate three times. Often times, some of the windshield wiper fluid that sprays towards the top of the windshield will not be caught by the initial three wipes of the windshield wipers.
This is where the Courtesy Wipe comes in. After the first three wipes of the windshield wipers, there will be a slight pause (approximately 3 seconds), allowing for the excess windshield wiper fluid to start streaming down the windshield. The Courtesy Wipe then activates automatically to help catch that excess windshield wiper fluid.
This feature is automatic to help reduce driving distractions caused by the extra windshield wiper fluid on the windshield. It also helps to keep drivers’ attention on the road by not needing to manually activate their windshield wipers again.
Are F150s the only Ford vehicles that have the Courtesy Wipe?
Many sources talk about other Ford vehicles that have included the Courtesy Wipe, including the Ford Explorer, the Ford Mustang, and Ford Expedition. There have not been any references to Ford models such as the Ford Focus, the Ford Mondeo, the Ford Taurus, or the Ford Fiesta, including the Courtesy Wipe feature.
What years of F150s include the Courtesy Wipe?
According to many online sources, the Courtesy Wipe was included in Ford F150s starting around the year 2009 and was discontinued in these vehicles around the year 2016. There are no references in Ford F150 owner’s manuals referencing the Courtesy Wipe after 2016.
How to remove the Courtesy Wipe on a Ford
Before 2011 there was no way to disable this feature on the Ford vehicles that included it. If you own a vehicle model that was produced after 2011 when Ford created a way to disable the feature, following these steps will allow you to disable to feature in your vehicle:
- Access the accessory menu on your vehicle’s dashboard
- Select “Settings”
- Select “Vehicle”
- Scroll down on the vehicle menu and select the “Wipers” option
- Select “Courtesy Wipe”
Following these steps will allow you to activate or disable to Courtesy Wipe on your Ford F150.
Do other makes of vehicle include the Courtesy Wipe?
Many other vehicle producers have listed, including features that are the same as or similar to the Courtesy Wipe in at least some of their vehicle models. Some of these other producers include:
Beyond the Courtesy Wipe
We are moving into a modern age where more and more things are becoming automated. The vehicle industry is no exception to this. We are seeing a dramatic increase in vehicle features that the driver no longer needs to physically activate.
Of of the most recent developments in this move towards automation is the creation of the Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers. Ford has included this feature in many of its contemporary vehicles as the next step to reduce distracted driving.
The Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers feature now reduces the need to even manually activate your windshield wipers using your wiper column. These wipers sense when there is rain on the windshield and activates the wipers accordingly based on how intense the rain is. Many vehicles since the early to mid-2010s have included Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers in their automated features.
This feature is meant to reduce the number of things a driver needs to think about while driving, so they are able to focus on the road completely. The Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers can also be disabled using the same steps to disable to Courtesy Wipe and selecting “Rain-Sensing Wipers” on the menu instead.
The history of automated features in the Ford F150
The history of the Ford F150 dates all the way back to 1948 when the first generation was put into production. Obviously, people who bought the first generation of this truck did not enjoy any form of automated features, but the F150 has come a long way since they were first produced in 1948.
With every new generation of trucks that are produced, buyers enjoy more and more automated features with the goal of reducing driving distractions as much as possible. Some of the automated features that now come standard in contemporary Ford F150s include the following:
- Automatic windows
- Automatic side mirrors
- Automatic headlights
- Backup camera and assist
- Automatic fade-to-off interior lights
- Automatic power door locks
The innovation in increased vehicle automation is partially being fueled by the increase in driving distractions. The Zebra created a report on statistics related to distracted driving, and in their article, they reported that in their survey of 2,000 participants,
- Almost 60% of people said that they eat and drink while driving
- Almost 30% of people said that they had engaged in texting and driving
- Almost 40% of people said that they had at one point engaged in drinking alcohol and driving
- Almost 9% of people said that they felt pressure to respond to texts while driving
With statistics like these, it’s no surprise that vehicle producers are attempting to increasingly automate features in their vehicles to help reduce driving distractions. The Courtesy Wipe is just one of the many features created in the long stretching road towards full vehicle automation.
A personal vehicle is potentially one of the most expensive investments you can make, and there are many features of modern vehicles that have become increasingly automated. This move towards vehicle automation has become more prominent with the increase in distracted driving.
It is important to understand how many of these automated features work to make sure that you using whatever vehicle that your drive as efficiently as you can and be positive that you are doing everything in your power to reduce your own personal driving distractions.
And that’s one of the reasons why do many people like the Courtesy Wipe feature in their Ford F150, although there are just as many distractors who will be looking to remove it.