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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 09-24-2006, 09:30 AM
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Rain Sensing Wipers

Just thought I'd vent, I think these are a perfect example of over-engineering. The never seem to work right for me, never seeming to wipe enough except in the hardest of rain. Yes, I have the sensitivity knob turned toward most sensitive.

The SIMPLE "delay" wipers that have been in existence since the beginning of time were absolutely fine, and even the speed sensitive delay wipers on my wife's Acura are pretty nice (set in a certain position, they automatically delay themselves when you're at a red light, then start up again when you take off).
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2006, 09:38 AM
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Hmm, if the intermittent auto position isn't sensitive enough, then click the stalk up to the normal 'low" position so that it wipes continuously and ignores the rain sensor. And then get it checked out at your next dealer visit.

I leave mine at 2/4 (4 being most sensitive) and it works just fine, except in light snow, in which case it overreacts. I don't think its overengineering seeing as how all luxury cars have this feature.
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Old 09-24-2006, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
Hmm, if the intermittent auto position isn't sensitive enough, then click the stalk up to the normal 'low" position so that it wipes continuously and ignores the rain sensor. And then get it checked out at your next dealer visit.

I leave mine at 2/4 (4 being most sensitive) and it works just fine, except in light snow, in which case it overreacts. I don't think its overengineering seeing as how all luxury cars have this feature.
In the situation that I was describing, clicking it into "low" would wipe too often. There are inbetween times when it rains that aren't hard enough to warrent the low position, but raining hard enough that i have to manually swipe the wipers because the sensor isn't doing it for me.

I think you back up my opinion when you say "it works fine EXCEPT when it snows". If the X had the simple delay wipers, you would NEVER have a problem.

Give me one reason why rain sensing wipers are better than a good delay system that has infinite variablility on the wipe frequence.
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2006, 11:24 AM
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i've been pleasantly surprised by the rain-sensing wipers. at first, i expected that they would just never wipe at an appropriate frequency and would just irritate me too much. but they work really well, to the point where i don't use anything but the rain-sensing option. granted, it hasn't rained here in a while, but when i first got my X3 back in april, it was raining for a few weeks straight and the wipers were great. they slowed down and paused when i came to a stop, never wiped too fast for the amount of rain. i think i may have turned them off once or twice when completely stopped for a period of time in traffic, and they wiped once and made a horrible screeching sound across the glass. but that's it. love 'em and expect them to work well once it gets rainy around here again all winter...

i know what you mean about over-engineering, though. my dad has a '91 mercury cougar (he's always been a ford man, not quite sure why ). it has automatic high-beam headlights and they are absolutely infuriating. street signs that reflect back too much light at night cause them to dip to low beams, and if you hit a few of those in a row, they'll flick up and down over and over. quite irritating. thank god there's an option to turn that feature off.
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05Boxster View Post
In the situation that I was describing, clicking it into "low" would wipe too often. There are inbetween times when it rains that aren't hard enough to warrent the low position, but raining hard enough that i have to manually swipe the wipers because the sensor isn't doing it for me.

I think you back up my opinion when you say "it works fine EXCEPT when it snows". If the X had the simple delay wipers, you would NEVER have a problem.

Give me one reason why rain sensing wipers are better than a good delay system that has infinite variablility on the wipe frequence.
Maybe something's wrong with your rain sensor. When I put my rain sensor on the most sensitive setting, it's too sensitive and wipes way too often. I believe the sensor is an infrared sensor, which may confuse light snowflakes as large drops of water?

Maybe you should have gotten a 2.5 without the premium package, since those didnt have the rain sensor Anyway, if you really want, maybe you can ask them to deactivate the sensor, although I dunno what the ramifications would be on the intermittent setting.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2006, 02:07 PM
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I have no complaints at all on the X3 whether the rain is very light,heavy or anything in between it realy works the way it was intended.Now the rain sensor on my 2005 530i is another story it just plain irritating never works the way it should, hate driving in the rain with that car.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2006, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
Maybe something's wrong with your rain sensor. When I put my rain sensor on the most sensitive setting, it's too sensitive and wipes way too often. I believe the sensor is an infrared sensor, which may confuse light snowflakes as large drops of water?

Maybe you should have gotten a 2.5 without the premium package, since those didnt have the rain sensor Anyway, if you really want, maybe you can ask them to deactivate the sensor, although I dunno what the ramifications would be on the intermittent setting.
Not trying to start a flame fest, but no one has yet told me why these rain sensing wipers are better than traditional delay wipers?

and I would never trade my loaded 3.0 Sport for a 2.5, even if one was available just for the wipers!
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2006, 06:42 PM
r6girl r6girl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05Boxster View Post
Not trying to start a flame fest, but no one has yet told me why these rain sensing wipers are better than traditional delay wipers?
all of this is subjective - i like my rain sensors and they work well for me. either yours don't work correctly, or you simply don't like the wipe frequency they choose for the amount of rain. my husband doesn't like the rain-sensing function on my X3 - he doesn't like the frequency selected for the amount of rain and prefers the automatic intermittent delay. so - two drivers, same vehicle and rain-sensing settings, different opinion.

i prefer using the rain-sensing function because i can focus more on the road when it's raining rather than on how fast the wipers are clearing the windshield (which is the point of the feature, non?). it's not a lot, but it's something, and i have no complaints. the more attention i can pay to the crappy drivers around me who don't know how to drive in the rain, the better.

so, define what you mean by "better". i think it just comes down to a matter of preference, not a black and white statement of which is more efficient, effective, or whatever you have in mind.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2006, 07:37 PM
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Apparently the sensitivity can be adjusted by your dealer.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2006, 07:51 PM
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Boxster, in all honesty, it's subjective whether you like the auto wipers or not. BMW includes because well, all luxury brands have it and BMW doesnt want to fall behind the curve. Count it as a safety feature, convenience feature, or annoyance feature, whatever. It ought to be there on a luxury car. Better? maybe, maybe not. There's nothing wrong with normal intermittent wipers, its just you need to pay attention to them.

Kinda like asking "Why auto headlights?" or "Why start/stop button (or comfort access for that matter)?" You can live without it, but its one of those luxury car requisites.
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2006, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05Boxster View Post
Just thought I'd vent, I think these are a perfect example of over-engineering. The never seem to work right for me, never seeming to wipe enough except in the hardest of rain. Yes, I have the sensitivity knob turned toward most sensitive.

The SIMPLE "delay" wipers that have been in existence since the beginning of time were absolutely fine, and even the speed sensitive delay wipers on my wife's Acura are pretty nice (set in a certain position, they automatically delay themselves when you're at a red light, then start up again when you take off).


I have the same issues with the rain sensing wipers as you do. My dealer told me there is no adjustment for it, and I would have to just live with it.

I had a new 3 series loaner last week, and thought the start button was kinda stupid. I could see the advantage if it were the type that you didn’t have to insert the key-fob, but to have to insert the key-fob, then have to push the button really offers no additional convenience. I also hated the way the new turn signals worked, and found it requires a lot of finesse to go into lane change mode. Why mess with something as simple and universal as turn signals?

Why they mess with things like wipers, turn signals and start buttons is beyond me. Sometimes the old fashioned way is just as good or better. Technology for technology’s sake is not the way to go IMO.
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2006, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r6girl View Post
all of this is subjective - i like my rain sensors and they work well for me. either yours don't work correctly, or you simply don't like the wipe frequency they choose for the amount of rain. my husband doesn't like the rain-sensing function on my X3 - he doesn't like the frequency selected for the amount of rain and prefers the automatic intermittent delay. so - two drivers, same vehicle and rain-sensing settings, different opinion.

i prefer using the rain-sensing function because i can focus more on the road when it's raining rather than on how fast the wipers are clearing the windshield (which is the point of the feature, non?). it's not a lot, but it's something, and i have no complaints. the more attention i can pay to the crappy drivers around me who don't know how to drive in the rain, the better.
.

Well said. The rain sensor is a 'set it and forget it' thing. I did have some issues with sensitivity when I first got the car and spoke to the service manager. He told me that the sensitivity COULD be adjusted byt the dealer. I waited for a good rain, and found that they worked well for me. Yes I do have to turn off the auto feature in the snow sometimes, but I generally leave the wipers on auto all the time. Just flick the sensitivity adjuster to start them up for each key cycle and that's it. Bottom line, I love this feature.

Last edited by x3ronnie; 09-25-2006 at 07:35 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2006, 07:49 AM
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I have a reason to like the sensor wipers, my wife always groans that I do not have the wipers on fast enough (for her to see from the assistants seat). The rain sensors have ended that discussion and seem to work well 99% of the time. In fact mine seem to stop or slow down at red lights.
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2006, 08:09 AM
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I leave the rain sensors on at the lowest speed setting...they work pretty well for me...
Of course, haven't really tried them out in snow yet..
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Old 09-25-2006, 09:07 AM
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Of course, haven't really tried them out in snow yet..
It won't be long now...
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r6girl View Post
all of this is subjective - i like my rain sensors and they work well for me. either yours don't work correctly, or you simply don't like the wipe frequency they choose for the amount of rain. my husband doesn't like the rain-sensing function on my X3 - he doesn't like the frequency selected for the amount of rain and prefers the automatic intermittent delay. so - two drivers, same vehicle and rain-sensing settings, different opinion.

i prefer using the rain-sensing function because i can focus more on the road when it's raining rather than on how fast the wipers are clearing the windshield (which is the point of the feature, non?). it's not a lot, but it's something, and i have no complaints. the more attention i can pay to the crappy drivers around me who don't know how to drive in the rain, the better.

so, define what you mean by "better". i think it just comes down to a matter of preference, not a black and white statement of which is more efficient, effective, or whatever you have in mind.
I probably shouldn't have written "better". I guess what I meant to say was why did all this time, development, and cost have to go into creating a "fix" for something that (arguably) isn't broken? How much more does the X3 cost because of rain sensing wipers? (maybe not much, maybe a few hundred worthless dollars?)

r6girl, at least you put a reason down why the sensoring wipers would be an improvement over the delay wipers, as long a shot as it may be...
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Old 09-25-2006, 06:11 PM
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I don't know, I find the rain sensing wipers in my e46 and my wife's X3 do an amazing job of adjusting exactly right. I'd say about 90% of the time they work perfectly.

I have driven (and owned) many high end makes, including MB, Audi, etc. and BMW rain sensing wipers are the best IMO. I have driven all over the country, put hundreds of thousands of miles on vehicles (my current beater is a 1997 honda accord with 215k miles all put on by me) and I have driven in Europe on an ED in heavy rain too.

So I guess to each his own.

If you don't like them, don't use them. Why worry about the cost of things you don't use?

I am sure there are plenty of other features you don't use on the car, but why worry about each one...
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
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I don't know, I find the rain sensing wipers in my e46 and my wife's X3 do an amazing job of adjusting exactly right. I'd say about 90% of the time they work perfectly.

I have driven (and owned) many high end makes, including MB, Audi, etc. and BMW rain sensing wipers are the best IMO. I have driven all over the country, put hundreds of thousands of miles on vehicles (my current beater is a 1997 honda accord with 215k miles all put on by me) and I have driven in Europe on an ED in heavy rain too.

So I guess to each his own.

If you don't like them, don't use them. Why worry about the cost of things you don't use?

I am sure there are plenty of other features you don't use on the car, but why worry about each one...
The key to your post: They work fine 90% of the time. So 10 percent of the time they don't work right. Thats acceptable to you? How often do your beater's delay wipers not work right? (assuming they're fine mechanically after 215K miles)

Also, I don't have the option of "not using" the sensoring wipers, unless I want to manually swipe the windshield, or put it up to click 2, which in misty conditions wipes too often.
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:06 PM
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we didn't like the rain sensing wipers (never the right amount of sensing) wiping an almost dry windshield or not wiping enough

so we had the dealer deactivate them, now we have adjustable delay
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05Boxster View Post
The key to your post: They work fine 90% of the time. So 10 percent of the time they don't work right. Thats acceptable to you? How often do your beater's delay wipers not work right? (assuming they're fine mechanically after 215K miles)

Also, I don't have the option of "not using" the sensoring wipers, unless I want to manually swipe the windshield, or put it up to click 2, which in misty conditions wipes too often.
90% of the time is sufficient for me. It allows me to focus more on the conditions ahead and less on managing the cars' systems.

If this is really that big of a deal for you then just de-activate them.
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:27 AM
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90% of the time is sufficient for me. It allows me to focus more on the conditions ahead and less on managing the cars' systems.

If this is really that big of a deal for you then just de-activate them.
I'll probably have them deactivated...that may be my best bet!

I think the original point of this thread was lost though (or I wasn't clear)...It's not so much that I can't stand the wipers (which I can't) I was trying to make the point that if something ain't broke......don't fix it.
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Old 09-26-2006, 10:04 AM
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My ML320 had rain sensor wipers and I loved them. I always left the stalk in the "auto" position and the wipers would come on automatically. I like the BMW implementation even better because it adds a user-selectable sensitivity adjustment. I've found that the 3/4 setting works best for my needs.

As for them being better than the older style delay wipers, I think that with either system, there will always be some level of adjustment needed. I rarely encounter rain that is at a constant rate, so even with a delay system, I always found myself fiddling with the control to get it just right. With the rain sensor, I'd say the 90% evaluation is about right: 90% of the time, they do exactly what I want them to. For that 10% of the time that they don't react just right, I fiddle with the sensitivity control and then they do what I want. This is exactly the same thing I did with the older style delay control, but now I only do it 10% of the time instead of 100%.

Now, if you really want to bitch and whine about wiper controls, go buy a Mercedes-Benz that doesn't have a rain sensor. You get delay, but the timing is tied to the road speed and not a user-selectable dial.
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  #23  
Old 09-26-2006, 05:24 PM
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Has anyone noticed this 'bug'?

When I have the wipers on auto, and the rear wiper on, sometimes the front wipers will stop dead part-way through their cycle. This only happens when I leave the rear one going.
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  #24  
Old 09-26-2006, 05:54 PM
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Has anyone noticed this 'bug'?

When I have the wipers on auto, and the rear wiper on, sometimes the front wipers will stop dead part-way through their cycle. This only happens when I leave the rear one going.
Never happened to me before. I do notice that sometimes it takes awhile for the rain sensor to "wake up" after I get going. I know it significantly reduces wiping at a standstill, but once I get going, occasionally it wont react until like, forever. (I just reactivate the sensor by clicking the sensitivity wheel)
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:41 PM
Richard in NC Richard in NC is offline
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I find the rain sensing wipers are correct most of the time. The few conditions they are not correct, they don't quite wipe enough for me. They also work well on the M5. In my opinion, they are a great advancement. I hated having to adjust the delay constantly. Rain is never a constant frequency in NC, especially in stop and go traffic.

Slightly off topic, I like the auto headlights, key memory, 3 blink signal option, and auto locking doors. They are all features that let you drive the car and not have to think about so many things. My how we've become spoiled! I could get used to the new BMW turn signals but I think the start button is a pain unless you have comfort access. I drove a new 325i loaner and hated it. I think it's a ploy by BMW forcing you to get that option.
Idon'tDrive could be could but seems to be quite cumbersome to use.

PS: I had a '90 TBird with the auto dimming lights. I didn't think they worked well either.
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Rain Sensing Wipers on a 330Ci modeboy 3 Series / 4 Series 28 05-18-2002 05:55 PM


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