They will work if the headlights are on AND the washer is actuated. If they are squirting properly and you have the MB soap concentrate, they will do a great job of removing the brine or dirt that builds up on a nasty winter day. Any other time they won't do anything.
Driving on the Autobahn in the Winter would present a need for them. It's a rare time when they are needed in Texas, but they are nice to have when that time comes.
I personally think that they work better than the headlight washers that were on my 210 car.
I'm glad you're enjoying the five speed. I understand totally, I drove mine about 200 miles today, and enjoyed every bit of it.
BTW, I have had my headlight washer blades get out of sync like you describe. I simply turned on the lights and ran them once and the went back into the proper home position. If that doesn't work, post again, and I'll tell you how to mechanically move the wiper on the shaft.