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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:30 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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If your rain sensor is erratic, check the sensor lens

I had my windshield replaced a couple months ago and the rain sensor has been wonky ever since. I got a replacement sensor off of ebay, newer part number with new sensor design.

I looked at my old rain sensor carefully, looks like its magnifying lens was cracked/damaged during the windshield replacement =(. Old part number: 61356955550

Here's a picture of what I mean. You can see a couple of cracks running through the lens which probably caused erratic sensor operation.

I got a salvaged unit off of ebay, part number : 61356980021

The new design has the sensor up at the surface embedded in a bead lens which looks much less fragile.

Hope this helps anyone with severe hatred towards their rain sensor like I did.
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:34 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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This picture is the rain sensor with lens snapped in for reference.
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  #3  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:41 AM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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Who did your windshield replacement? I'm having mine done this week by Safelite based on posts I've read here and I hope like hell they get it right!
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  #4  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:43 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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It was safelite who did it. Overall, a good job with the OEM glass, but the rain lens sensor getting cracked sucked.
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2012, 08:31 AM
Airshows Airshows is offline
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Sensor issues or not, usually unless you get your windshield from BMW the rain sensor will not work correctly- it should say BMW on the glass.
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  #6  
Old 05-07-2012, 08:46 AM
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MrBones MrBones is offline
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My sensor has never worked well. There seems to be no difference between scrolled settings. I ah a loaner last week when my car was in for service, and it was an amazing difference how the wipers worked! I asked the dealer to check mine; they said they worked fine.
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2012, 09:07 AM
snowboardjoe snowboardjoe is offline
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I had my windshield replaced a few months ago (stress crack formed and went right across the width of the glass--looked like a big smiley face).

Anyway, Safelite also replaced mine and they did a great job as far as I can tell. However, the wiper sensor was completely out of whack and had to go manual for awhile. Then I remembered that the sensor over time adjusts itself to wear and tear of the surface so that the delay/sensitivity control is matched with the surface. For the first few days the rain sensor was rather annoying, but by the 3rd day of rain (when does it not rain in Seattle?) they were definitely more adjusted. A month later the sensor is pretty much dead on and I usually keep the adjustment towards the middle of the range.

So, if you're going from a really old windshield to a new one, be prepared for the sensor to take some time to slowly recalibrate for the new surface. It will eventually get it right, but might take several rain events. I think when the adjustment is always at one of the limits, that also helps the sensor recalibrate too (just my own theory here).
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2012, 09:22 AM
roadkillrob roadkillrob is offline
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The bmw windshield comes with the lens attached to it, all the others they try to re-attach the lens with varying degrees of success depending how good the tech is.
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2012, 09:45 AM
snowboardjoe snowboardjoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkillrob View Post
The bmw windshield comes with the lens attached to it, all the others they try to re-attach the lens with varying degrees of success depending how good the tech is.
As for Safelite so far, the lens is already attached to the windshield and ready to go. This is my second replacement (a few months ago and back in 2006).
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2012, 10:01 AM
hotrod2448 hotrod2448 is offline
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Another possible cause of issues after windshield replacement, I've had issues in the past with even BMW techs not getting the rain sensor properly seated on the bracket. This will cause the sensor to work erratically and throw the setting way off, it will work in a complete down pour but nothing in anything less. If you pop the clam shell off the mirror it's pretty easy to see if it's properly mounted.
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  #11  
Old 05-07-2012, 02:44 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
This picture is the rain sensor with lens snapped in for reference.
Good info bluskye - thx!

Find mine works better with a clean windshield at the sensor....
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2012, 03:42 PM
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-=Hot|Ice=- -=Hot|Ice=- is offline
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The Rain sensor on the MB C class goes crazy from time to time. It'll go crazy and just start wiping on the fastest setting no matter how much rain is coming down. The only solution is to turn off the rain sensors wipers and turn them back on again. Also, I've heard cases where things like Rain-X make the sensor a little screwy because it messes with the sensor.
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2012, 08:10 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
The Rain sensor on the MB C class goes crazy from time to time. It'll go crazy and just start wiping on the fastest setting no matter how much rain is coming down. The only solution is to turn off the rain sensors wipers and turn them back on again. Also, I've heard cases where things like Rain-X make the sensor a little screwy because it messes with the sensor.
Windex. Leaves no residue.
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2012, 02:51 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod2448 View Post
Another possible cause of issues after windshield replacement, I've had issues in the past with even BMW techs not getting the rain sensor properly seated on the bracket. This will cause the sensor to work erratically and throw the setting way off, it will work in a complete down pour but nothing in anything less. If you pop the clam shell off the mirror it's pretty easy to see if it's properly mounted.
Corrrect, the Safelite guy didnt seat mine properly initially. The ultimate issue was the cracked lens as I described. I was lucky that the day I replaced the sensor, it rained like mad. All is well now. I just need to polish the windshield a bit to get it silky smooth on the wipes now, although using some klasse sealant laying around does a decent job at smoothing the wiper action.

Last edited by bluskye; 05-09-2012 at 02:53 PM.
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2012, 04:07 PM
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MrBones MrBones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod2448 View Post
Another possible cause of issues after windshield replacement, I've had issues in the past with even BMW techs not getting the rain sensor properly seated on the bracket. This will cause the sensor to work erratically and throw the setting way off, it will work in a complete down pour but nothing in anything less. If you pop the clam shell off the mirror it's pretty easy to see if it's properly mounted.
How do you pop the clam shell off? Just pry it off with a knife or something?
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2012, 05:32 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBones View Post
How do you pop the clam shell off? Just pry it off with a knife or something?
Twist the mirror counter clock wise, it will pop the plastic apart safely. Google has plenty of videos if you need to see it.
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  #17  
Old 05-11-2012, 02:43 PM
surly surly is offline
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I was just noticing on my new-to-me 02/2007 328i that the rain sensor settings didn't seem to affect anything. I was putting it on my mental list of "is this normal?" questions to ask other owners. The wipers do seem to work in automatic mode, the different stalk settings just don't seem to change the frequency.
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  #18  
Old 05-12-2012, 06:51 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surly View Post
I was just noticing on my new-to-me 02/2007 328i that the rain sensor settings didn't seem to affect anything. I was putting it on my mental list of "is this normal?" questions to ask other owners. The wipers do seem to work in automatic mode, the different stalk settings just don't seem to change the frequency.
In automatic mode, the stalk settings dont really affect the wiper frequency.
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  #19  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:41 AM
daytrader daytrader is offline
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Use to have the same problem with my '99 328i, I suspect the same will eventually happen to my 2010 335i(unless the technology has changed).
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  #20  
Old 05-12-2012, 10:58 AM
surly surly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
In automatic mode, the stalk settings dont really affect the wiper frequency.
It seems to me that the only intermittent mode is automatic. Any time I nudge the stalk to turn them on I just get off-low-high. Next rain I'll play with it again, but it looks like it's going to be more than one week before I'm driving in any...
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  #21  
Old 08-11-2012, 06:56 AM
rome5982 rome5982 is offline
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Same problem here with my 328. The only intermittent ability that I see is in automatic mode - someone please tell me how to do intermittent in manual if I am incorrect. And when I am using intermittent in automatic mde, I really do not have any sensitivity adjustment difference that I can see. It just goes in fast or faster frequency depending on my speed. Really annoying, would much prefer to be anble to set the intermittent frequency myself.
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  #22  
Old 08-11-2012, 07:12 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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from the manual:

"3 Activating/deactivating intermittent wipe or
rain sensor*...
Intermittent wipe or rain sensor*"

and

"If the car is not equipped with a rain sensor, the
intermittent-wipe time is a preset.
If the car is equipped with a rain sensor, the time
between wipes is controlled automatically and
depends on the intensity of the rainfall. The
sensor is mounted on the windshield..."

In other words, if equipped with the rain sensor, there is no intermittent wipe - except at normal speed when the car is stopped.

Tom
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  #23  
Old 08-13-2012, 01:14 PM
snowboardjoe snowboardjoe is offline
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If you do not have the rain sensor, then, yes, the variable control effects frequency. The speed of the vehicle also plays a factor into the frequency as well.

If you do have the rain sensor, you only have control over the frequency from a relative perspective--you can't choose the exact interval. You can demand more or less though.

Keep in mind as the windshield ages, the computer calibrates itself over time to the windshield. I believe the system takes note of when the control is set to the maximum or minimum setting. If that persists over time (always in max or always min) the computer calibrates the effect resulting in placing the control more in the middle of the range.

The most notable example is replacing an old windshield. After replacement, the control and automatic function is completely out of adjustment as I found out. After about 2-3 days of rain it recalibrated and started working normally again.
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