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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, first-timer and happy to be here; you have collectively saved the day on more than one occasion!

While changing my headlight bulbs, I noticed a wire and connector which goes to what looks like an option cover at the bottom of the front bumper, one on each side near the fog lights. I do not have headlight washers, is that where they would go?

Thanks again and hope to return the favor sometime.


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Post a picture of it. And it might be either the outside temperature sensor (driver side), or the thermal switch for the windshield washer nozzle heaters (passenger side.)

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Kostspieliger Spaß Quandt
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Hey all, first-timer and happy to be here; you have collectively saved the day on more than one occasion!

While changing my headlight bulbs, I noticed a wire and connector which goes to what looks like an option cover at the bottom of the front bumper, one on each side near the fog lights. I do not have headlight washers, is that where they would go?

Thanks again and hope to return the favor sometime.


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
The fact that you have one on each side would likely confirm it is for the headlight washer pumps (L+R) and you don't have that option - ergo the 2 unconnected wires. BMW used the same main harnesses despite the options for the vehicle.
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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Headlight washers on the E46 are activated by hydraulic pressure only, powered from a single auxiliary pump in the washer fluid reservoir. There are no electrical connections to the washer assemblies. You're looking at something else.

Pictures would help, though one possibility as suggested is that you are missing the ambient temperature sensors for the windshield washer heaters and on-board computer. By any chance is the temperature display in your instrument cluster stuck at -40 °F/°C?
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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... [T]here's only one ambient temp sensor that I recall.
Well-l-l, yeah, true, there's only the one wide-range analog temperature sensor, located under the left-front bumper. The heating system for the windshield-washer jets is not informed by that sensor, though. It responds to a separate thermal switch located under the right-front bumper that signals whether the ambient temperature is above or below some predetermined value. That technically kinda-sorta fits the definition of a sensor that measures ambient temperature, albeit one that has only two output values (open or closed).

Anyway that's my excuse for conflating the two and I'm stickin' to it. ;)
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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5,617 Posts
I just had a thought: Could OP's mystery wires be pre-wiring for Park Distance Control sensors, or dangling connectors for missing/disconnected sensors? I don't remember whether PDC as offered on the E46 included rear-only or both front & rear detection.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
First let me apologize for taking so long to respond, and also for my less-than-accurate original description. The mystery wire is only on the passenger side, directly under the front bumper, and is in approx the same spot as the ambient temp sensor on the drivers aide. Here’s a pic!
IMG_3135.jpg


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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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Thermo switch for the heated windshield washer nozzles. Part number 61-31-8-370-747.
 
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