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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2013, 01:47 PM
Mike Swing Mike Swing is offline
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Auto Sense Wiper settings

On the auto sensing wiper settings, which setting is what? If its all the way up, does that mean its faster or more sensitive? Does down mean the opposite? I looked this up in the manual but it doesn't answer my question. It just says to adjust the sensitivity, move the lever up or down. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2013, 01:56 PM
Yellow Jacket Yellow Jacket is offline
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I believe up means faster/more sensitive.
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2013, 02:35 PM
Mike Swing Mike Swing is offline
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Its raining a lot in Texas right now. I tried up and down and I cant really tell the difference.
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:38 PM
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boramkiv boramkiv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Swing View Post
On the auto sensing wiper settings, which setting is what? If its all the way up, does that mean its faster or more sensitive? Does down mean the opposite? I looked this up in the manual but it doesn't answer my question. It just says to adjust the sensitivity, move the lever up or down. Thanks in advance.
I don't think it adjusts the sensitivity. From my experience when the rain sensing feature fails, the system defaults to the traditional mode. (This has happened to me). Across country trip 2 years ago, during the trip one day I pressed the rain sense button and got nothing. Flipped the stalk up once and it was going at an intermittent pace. Flipped it again and it was steady slow. Flipped it up again and nothing else (steady fast is only for high speed which makes me think its wheel speed sensitive also).

The knurled switch did seem to adjust the intermittent swipes on manual mode ONLY after the rain sense failed. I did fix it under warranty at BMW of San Diego. I haven't found anything similar to this scenario anywhere, and I have certainly looked. I've read countless manuals and couldn't find an answer about the knurled switch. I will say however that if the rain sense feature fails the car DOES default to a traditional mode which I've found to be great or I would have been stuck in Tennessee a few extra hours.
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:56 PM
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Campfamily Campfamily is offline
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I've noticed with mine that if the thumb switch is all the way down, the wipers activate less often than if the the switch is up.

Having said that, I am extremely disappointed in this feature, particularly since it replaces (rather than supplements) a true intermittent wiper. I noticed that a previous poster stated that when his system was not operational, the default was intermittent. If the frequency of the wiper activation was adjustable using the thumb switch, I'd be much happier than either relying on the sensor, or having the wipers on all of the time. What I've found is when there is only mist in the air, like when the road is wet, but it isn't raining, so the only water is coming from the tires of the cars around me, the wipers go off constantly. The opposite occurs if the rain drops are very big, but sporadic; the wiper never goes off then. Personally, this is one of those features that I could do without.

Keith
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2013, 05:28 PM
rube rube is offline
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Originally Posted by Campfamily View Post
I've noticed with mine that if the thumb switch is all the way down, the wipers activate less often than if the the switch is up.

Having said that, I am extremely disappointed in this feature, particularly since it replaces (rather than supplements) a true intermittent wiper. I noticed that a previous poster stated that when his system was not operational, the default was intermittent. If the frequency of the wiper activation was adjustable using the thumb switch, I'd be much happier than either relying on the sensor, or having the wipers on all of the time. What I've found is when there is only mist in the air, like when the road is wet, but it isn't raining, so the only water is coming from the tires of the cars around me, the wipers go off constantly. The opposite occurs if the rain drops are very big, but sporadic; the wiper never goes off then. Personally, this is one of those features that I could do without.

Keith

I agree with all of that, i was just thinking the same thing during the last rain we had around here. I would prefer to have a true intermittent wiper as well.
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2013, 05:38 PM
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[QUOTE=Campfamily;7299269]I've noticed with mine that if the thumb switch is all the way down, the wipers activate less often than if the the switch is up.
/QUOTE]

+1

However, mine actually work pretty good. When I get into my truck without this feature, I do miss it.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:03 PM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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It's a better system than the auto-sensing wipers on our Mazda - if it 'thinks' it's raining hard enough, it switches to high speed and won't shut off, even though an intermittent setting would work. Can't defeat it either. At least the BMW mode can be defeated (green light off, works like traditional intermittent (at least mine does)).
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:21 PM
Mike Swing Mike Swing is offline
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Just drove through more rain and this is what I've come up with so far. It is more frequent when the thumb switch is in the upper position. Doesn't work very well with mist until it builds up. Last, I found out that if the car is not moving, it won't wipe much at all. With that conclusion, I also noticed that the faster the car is moving the more it wipes (unless its a fine mist of water until it builds up). It worked well when the rain got thicker and the rain drops were bigger. I just wish it would work better on fine rain like mist and that it would wipe sooner at lower speeds. I'm still on the fence if I like this feature or not.
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2013, 05:30 AM
eddieliu eddieliu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Swing View Post
Just drove through more rain and this is what I've come up with so far. It is more frequent when the thumb switch is in the upper position. Doesn't work very well with mist until it builds up. Last, I found out that if the car is not moving, it won't wipe much at all. With that conclusion, I also noticed that the faster the car is moving the more it wipes (unless its a fine mist of water until it builds up). It worked well when the rain got thicker and the rain drops were bigger. I just wish it would work better on fine rain like mist and that it would wipe sooner at lower speeds. I'm still on the fence if I like this feature or not.
I have the same situation here in Taiwan. The auto sensor doesn't work very well with mist and small rain drops.
In heavy rain, it wipes with higher speed when drive fast and lower speed when drive slow/idle.
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2013, 05:33 AM
Mac Hadley Mac Hadley is offline
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It makes sense to me that the wiper speeds increase when one drives faster, as you contact a greater volume of rain...the converse would be true also.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2013, 06:38 AM
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Campfamily Campfamily is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophool View Post
At least the BMW mode can be defeated (green light off, works like traditional intermittent (at least mine does)).
Didn't know that. It's supposed to rain tomorrow here in Southern California (we're getting 1/4 inch of rain, so we're on STORMWATCH, according to our local news!! ), so I'll try that and see if it works that way on my car.

Keith
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2013, 06:57 AM
colin007 colin007 is offline
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mine does not do intermittent at all, unless it is on rain sensor. i HATE that...my only options are 1) rain sensor (which i cannot control), 2) regular speed (no pause) and 3) full blast hyper speed. there is no option if i want it to wipe consistently every 3 seconds (or whatever). seriously BMW, you can put a rain sensor in the car but you cant give me a regular intermittent wiper?
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:52 AM
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Campfamily Campfamily is offline
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Originally Posted by colin007 View Post
mine does not do intermittent at all, unless it is on rain sensor. i HATE that...my only options are 1) rain sensor (which i cannot control), 2) regular speed (no pause) and 3) full blast hyper speed. there is no option if i want it to wipe consistently every 3 seconds (or whatever). seriously BMW, you can put a rain sensor in the car but you cant give me a regular intermittent wiper?
^^^^^^^ Couldn't have said it better myself ^^^^^^^
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2013, 01:57 PM
Gilgorm Gilgorm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Swing View Post
Last, I found out that if the car is not moving, it won't wipe much at all.
Don't forget that the wipers go down one speed when the car is stopped. Rain sensor slows down to ALMOST off when car is stopped.
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  #16  
Old 01-09-2013, 02:34 PM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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My biggest complaint about driving in the rain in this BMW is the windshield. The Mercedes-Benz vehicles I drive and I've driven in the past seem to have a coating on the windshield that makes the rain bead up and leave the windshield faster. The BMW windshield is probably missing this coating. Overall, driving the BMW in the rain is much less enjoyable than driving a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.

The rain sensor in my BMW seems to be okay, not sensitive enough in the most sensitive setting sometimes. The water forms a flat "splat" on the windshield when on the windshield of the Mercedes-Benz it would form a bead where you could clearly see around it.

I recently applied a layer of RAIN-X spray, a liquid from a spray bottle that you wipe on that supposedly gives the water some sort of electric charge. It's a temporary solution (I imagine it wears off eventually), but I hope this helps. It will rain in a few days and I'll see if I notice any improvement.

This is my first BMW and coming from the Mercedes-Benz camp, I'm still evaluating the differences between the two fantastic cars. But the BMW 545i really has a terrible windshield for not having this aforementioned coating. I even think the Lexus vehicles I've driven have the aforementioned coating. I see no viable excuse for BMW not having this coating on their vehicles.
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  #17  
Old 01-09-2013, 05:49 PM
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Campfamily Campfamily is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick_y View Post
My biggest complaint about driving in the rain in this BMW is the windshield. The Mercedes-Benz vehicles I drive and I've driven in the past seem to have a coating on the windshield that makes the rain bead up and leave the windshield faster. The BMW windshield is probably missing this coating. Overall, driving the BMW in the rain is much less enjoyable than driving a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.
There is something on your windshield that is causing this to happen. Rain drops on my windshield bead up and are swept away by the wind. In fact, on the freeway, particularly at night, I don't even need the wipers on. I strongly suggest you do a deep clean on your windshield. I've heard some say that using a clay bar on the windshield is a good idea, although I've never tried it.

Keith
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  #18  
Old 01-09-2013, 06:02 PM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campfamily View Post
There is something on your windshield that is causing this to happen. Rain drops on my windshield bead up and are swept away by the wind. In fact, on the freeway, particularly at night, I don't even need the wipers on. I strongly suggest you do a deep clean on your windshield. I've heard some say that using a clay bar on the windshield is a good idea, although I've never tried it.

Keith
Hmm, I have a clay bar, I can try that.

Windshield has definitely been very thoroughly cleaned before, although not with a clay bar.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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  #19  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:24 PM
Mike Swing Mike Swing is offline
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Griots makes a clay bar just for glass.

http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/...ortby=ourPicks
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:25 PM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Swing View Post
Griots makes a clay bar just for glass.

http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/...ortby=ourPicks
Thanks Mike! I just clayed the entire car on Sunday, but didn't think to clay the glass. I didn't even know that one was supposed to use a clay bar on glass.

I'm really starting to think that maybe the 2004 model years didn't have the special treatment on the windshield. But I'll give my normal clay bar a try on the windshield and see if the situation improves and I'll get the Griots clay bar the next time I'm placing an order.

Thanks again!
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  #21  
Old 01-09-2013, 11:37 PM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campfamily View Post
There is something on your windshield that is causing this to happen. Rain drops on my windshield bead up and are swept away by the wind. In fact, on the freeway, particularly at night, I don't even need the wipers on. I strongly suggest you do a deep clean on your windshield. I've heard some say that using a clay bar on the windshield is a good idea, although I've never tried it.

Keith
Indeed, water drops bead up and are swept by the wind as the vehicle's speed increases.

I'm also wondering it may be possible that I have a different windshield. Two things;
1. Maybe 2004 models didn't have the windshield with water repellant coating yet. This again would be highly disappointing because I've had earlier Mercedes-Benz vehicles that have had this coating.
2. My vehicle has the Head Up Display. I don't think that the windshield itself is different from other E60s without HUD, but it is possible that that there is a special coating on the windshield (inside or outside) that negates the water repellant coating normally present? The BMW Owners Manual states that the windshield is a unique windshield, but not necessarily unique within E60 windshields, it mentions more about the curvature and a film. Perhaps this film negates the water repellant coating?

BMW Manual Quoted:
Special windshield
The windshield is part of the system. The shape of the windshield complies with the require- ments of the Head-Up Display to enable a pre- cise display. A film in the windshield prevents the double images from being displayed. Windshield replacement should be carried out by a BMW center or a workshop that works
according to BMW repair procedures with cor- respondingly trained personnel.

So Keith, does your 550i have the heads up display?

Thanks again!
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  #22  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by patrick_y View Post
So Keith, does your 550i have the heads up display?

Thanks again!
No, it does not. I really wish it did, though. Maybe that is the difference.
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