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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-20-2011, 09:51 AM
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mpower997 mpower997 is offline
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how to tell if i have rain sensors

Ok so Im looking around for a windshield replacement and what just happend is she asked for my vin number and told me I dont have anti theft or rain sensors,( but my car has a alarm).. how do I find out which windshield I need. they said all windshields that have anti theft have the rain sensor, but my 97 pretty sure doesnt have a rain sensor (but I do have alarm oem).
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2011, 10:37 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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look at the windshield wiper stalk/control

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpower997 View Post
Ok so Im looking around for a windshield replacement and what just happend is she asked for my vin number and told me I dont have anti theft or rain sensors,( but my car has a alarm).. how do I find out which windshield I need. they said all windshields that have anti theft have the rain sensor, but my 97 pretty sure doesnt have a rain sensor (but I do have alarm oem).
If it has a sliding lever within the handle you have rain sensor. Usually it only comes with premium package.
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2011, 10:42 AM
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mpower997 mpower997 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JYG Y2k5285spCT View Post
If it has a sliding lever within the handle you have rain sensor. Usually it only comes with premium package.
well ya you can slide the thing to make it go faster I believe it has 3 settings
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2011, 10:45 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpower997 View Post
how do I find out which windshield I need
I did a thread search in the bestlinks for 'rain sensor' to find this, among others ... that might help you from the photos and discussion ...

- How to replace the rain sensor (1) (2) & retrofitting a rain sensor (1) (2) (3)

A similar search for 'windshield' netted these, among others, which may also help you:
- How to remove and replace the windshield (1)
- How not to install rain sensors on windshield glass (1)
etc.

Good luck. Let us know what the solution turns out to be so we all benefit from everyone's collective effort.
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2011, 09:04 PM
veco veco is offline
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can someone post pics of the rain sensor or sliding lever within the handle thingy?
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2011, 10:47 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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You have a rain sensor if, up near where the rear vision mirror mounts on the windscreen, there is a large black rectangle with a bluish-tinge in the middle. On the inside of the screen, there is a black plastic box stuck to the glass. From the outside it looks like the IR sender in a remote control.

You can also put the wipers on the first notch up, and spray the windscreen with a hose. If the wipers start automatically, you have rain-sensing wipers.

It's one of those things, where, if you have to ask, it's likely you don't have it.
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:26 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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You probably don't have it, especially on a '97. I think it was a facelift thing. They're wrong about the alarm though. There's a big black cutout on rain sensor windshields coming down from the rearview mirror, where the sensor is. You don't want to get the rain sensor windshield if you don't have the sensor (or plans to retrofit)
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:50 AM
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Dking078 Dking078 is offline
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IIRC it is a facelift option. or at thew very least a MY 00 one.

What gets me on these cars is that some have the dot in the visor, but no button on the wiper stalk.
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2011, 09:35 AM
fortunateson fortunateson is offline
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I'm confused (a little more than normal!). I have an '02 and the wipers do slow down at when stopped at traffic lights , etc. Does this mean I have "rain sensors" because they only adjust their speed vial the control on the stalk. And here in the Greater Vancouver area rain is serious business! LOL
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2011, 09:48 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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most likely , if they stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by fortunateson View Post
I'm confused (a little more than normal!). I have an '02 and the wipers do slow down at when stopped at traffic lights , etc. Does this mean I have "rain sensors" because they only adjust their speed vial the control on the stalk. And here in the Greater Vancouver area rain is serious business! LOL
there is a little control wheel/lever with in the control stalk.
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  #11  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:30 AM
fortunateson fortunateson is offline
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Again, I know I have the variable speed function on the stalk but I must adjust this manually. I thought that would be standard equipment. The wiper slows down to a very slow pace when car is stopped but they don't stop completey. I do have Premium Package. I would have thought that the rain sensors would do the adjusting automatically without any imput from the driver. So do I or don't I? It may start raining here soon and I don't want to go outside to check! LOL

Last edited by fortunateson; 09-21-2011 at 10:32 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2011, 12:31 PM
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spydrz spydrz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortunateson View Post
Again, I know I have the variable speed function on the stalk but I must adjust this manually. I thought that would be standard equipment. The wiper slows down to a very slow pace when car is stopped but they don't stop completey. I do have Premium Package. I would have thought that the rain sensors would do the adjusting automatically without any imput from the driver. So do I or don't I? It may start raining here soon and I don't want to go outside to check! LOL
I don't think any 525s have rain sensors. All BMWs slow to intermittent when on the regular setting, and stopped. Even my E34 did this.
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  #13  
Old 09-21-2011, 01:34 PM
Joe@Bavarian Joe@Bavarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpower997 View Post
Ok so Im looking around for a windshield replacement and what just happend is she asked for my vin number and told me I dont have anti theft or rain sensors,( but my car has a alarm).. how do I find out which windshield I need. they said all windshields that have anti theft have the rain sensor, but my 97 pretty sure doesnt have a rain sensor (but I do have alarm oem).
What is the last 7 of your vin? I can give you your build sheet.
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  #14  
Old 09-21-2011, 04:21 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
You probably don't have it, especially on a '97. I think it was a facelift thing. They're wrong about the alarm though. There's a big black cutout on rain sensor windshields coming down from the rearview mirror, where the sensor is. You don't want to get the rain sensor windshield if you don't have the sensor (or plans to retrofit)
Mine is a 97 and has rain sensing wipers.

Edit : So I just went and took a photo to finish this once and for all!



It's the big black rectangle box thing underneath/behind the rear vision mirror.

All cars have variable speed wipers, all BMWs stop/slow the wipers when stopped at lights.

Rain sensing wipers can be 'on' the whole time, but only start to wipe when rain hits the windshield.

They work by using the rain sensor, which works by shining an infra-red light at an angle onto the glass, and then measuring the reflection of that light back into the sensor.

When a rain drop sits on the glass above the sensor, it changes the total thickness and refractive qualities of the glass - and the infra-red beam no longer comes back to the sensor which then triggers the wipers. Think of it like the difference between looking through an empty glass of water and one that is full.

The in the same way a glass of water distorts the view of things behind it, the rain water distorts the light on the screen in a different way than glass alone, so the sensor can tell when there is water droplets on the glass.

Last edited by brc5; 09-21-2011 at 04:31 PM. Reason: Added picture
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