Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Rain Sensor Inop - can someone measure the cutout?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    171

    Rain Sensor Inop - can someone measure the cutout?

    Bought my car with an aftermarket windshield. The rain sensor didn't work from day one when I got it. Reading around people thought it was because of the aftermarket glass and prism that the sensor doesn't work. So I obtained a rain sensor with prism from a BMW windshield and glued it to my glass with clear silicone.

    I've tried about four different rain sensors and tried gluing different prisms using different clear glues and finally ga e up after using the permatex clear glue from the e46fanatics website post that seemed to work for so many people.

    Nothing works. In INPA, all rain sensors have the "can't initialize"error. Also all of the values are 255 for the measurement and 0 for the output. I'm at a loss unless it is the refractory index of the windshield that is screwing things up or the cut out for the rain sensor is too small. On this windshield, the cutout seems very small height-wise because I can barely fit and align the rain sensor on there and get both ends of the optical sensor input/output nubs within the cutout.

    Could anyone with a BMW windshield with working rain sensor measure the width and height of the cutout in that black stuff below the rearview mirror? Thanks
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 111k
    '98 740il | Schwartz 2 | Sandbeige | 5AT | 238k | lowered on Bilsteins w/ B&G springs
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 120k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,604
    Can you take a picture of the windshield you have?
    I assume the sensor is plugged in, right?

    And finally, yours is a 2004?
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    171
    Oh yeah sensor is plugged in. I've tried 6 sensors.

    Windshield is a Fayuo. Clearly some knock off. I'll take a picture today and post it up. The cut out for the rain sensor looks lke the size and shape that would fit the plain rain sensor (no light sensor) that is on my E38. That's the only thing left I can think of that would be preventing this thing from working if it was blocking somewhat the prism.
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 111k
    '98 740il | Schwartz 2 | Sandbeige | 5AT | 238k | lowered on Bilsteins w/ B&G springs
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 120k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,604
    Quote Originally Posted by racer2086 View Post
    Oh yeah sensor is plugged in. I've tried 6 sensors.

    Windshield is a Fayuo. Clearly some knock off. I'll take a picture today and post it up. The cut out for the rain sensor looks lke the size and shape that would fit the plain rain sensor (no light sensor) that is on my E38. That's the only thing left I can think of that would be preventing this thing from working if it was blocking somewhat the prism.
    E46 sensors are all rain and light sensors; the only windshields offered were non-sensor ones and ones with the RLS (rain and light sensor).
    I'll go out to my car during lunch and take a picture, as well as some measurements for you.
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,604
    The opening for the prism is 2" x 1".

    I have a Fuyao glass on my E39 touring that I'm retrofitting rain/light sensor to. I haven't finished the wiring yet but it is a proper RLS glass with the same cutout and size. I don't know if it works yet though, till I finish the wiring.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    171
    Thank you for the picture. Mine is the same 2x1" dimension. Here are pics of what I have. Some bubbles have appeared in the 24+ hours that it has been curing as you can see in the picture. Regardless, in INPA, there is absolutely nothing registered for any of the 4 sensors, even the ones that don't have bubbles. So something else is wrong. With ignition on and sensor hanging, I see no light emitted from the LEDs inside the sensor (but maybe you don't?)

    I've reglued various prisms 5+ times with various clear silicone glues with no luck. I've tried different thickness of the glue also. Current one is pressed right up against the glass. I have successfully retrofitted the rain (no light) sensor to my E38 using silicone without issue.

    What am I missing???







    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 111k
    '98 740il | Schwartz 2 | Sandbeige | 5AT | 238k | lowered on Bilsteins w/ B&G springs
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 120k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,604
    Have you tried re-initializing the sensor with INPA? I believe this allows the sensor to "learn" the refractory index of the new windshield. Since you're getting readings from the sensor in INPA (even if they're incorrect) at least it can communicate with the sensor, so hopefully you should be able to run the re-initialization process.

    You said there are air bubbles -
    That would be a concern. Are these bubbles within that 2x1 rectangle? If not, I probably wouldn't worry about it then.

    As far as the sensor goes, I believe it uses lasers. I'm not sure you'd be able to "see" them per se, but if you can, it's probably not very good for your eyes.

    I'll have to grab a reading from the ZHP tomorrow as it's scheduled to rain.
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    171
    You can see the bubbles in the second to last picture I posted. That's what the "white flecks" are in the silicone.

    I've reinitialized in INPA a thousand times with no improvement in any sensor. In fact, they have error codes stored that says "can't initialize".

    I guess I'll pull it off again and Reglue
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 111k
    '98 740il | Schwartz 2 | Sandbeige | 5AT | 238k | lowered on Bilsteins w/ B&G springs
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 120k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    15,604
    Oh, I didn't realize those white specs were "bubbles". I can definitely see how that would cause problems. Did you get those bubbles every time you reglued it?

    I don't think that would be enough to cause the sensor to not initialize, but I don't know. Do your wipers work in "intermittent" mode, at a set wipe interval when in the auto position? If not, do they work in the intermittent mode if you pull the fuse? I think it's fuse 15, check the fuse reference diagram.
    BP
    2005 330i ZHP / 6MT
    Imolarot / Naturbraun



    It's not the car you drive, it's how you drive it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    171
    They work in intermittent mode if I pull the fuse or pull the wire from the rain sensor. With the sensor plugged in the wipers make the first wipe when put in sensing mode. Everything is just as it should be except the sensor will not initialize and cannot get any readings.

    I pulled off the prism cleaned the glue thoroughly from both again and glued it back on with new silicone. I made this one way thicker so now pushed against the window is spaced about as much as with the factory gel pad. I am letting it dry before reattaching the sensor and trying things out. The glue is still a little cloudy which means it hasn't quite set up yet. This go-round still has bubbles in it in a different area somehow but they are so small I can't imagine they would affect the performance.

    I think the bubbles are made worse by me having to park in the sun at work without giving the glue the full 24-hour cure time. I've also noticed each time I take the sensor off even after 24 hours the silicone on the middle of the prism is still uncured. I think it's very hard for the silicone in the middle to cure within the typical time frame since it is so far from the edges which are exposed to outside air.
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 111k
    '98 740il | Schwartz 2 | Sandbeige | 5AT | 238k | lowered on Bilsteins w/ B&G springs
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 5AT | 120k
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Rain Sensor Issues
    By imola red zhp in forum General -- ZHP Related
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 06-12-2017, 07:33 AM
  2. RLS (Rain Sensor/Auto Headlight) Retrofit DIY
    By nextelbuddy in forum DIY
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 04-07-2017, 03:42 PM
  3. Rain Light Sensor issue? (post retrofit)
    By nextelbuddy in forum Mechanical | Troubleshooting
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-24-2016, 11:48 AM
  4. Passenger side mirror tilt inop.
    By CERF04ZHP in forum Mechanical | Troubleshooting
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-18-2014, 08:48 AM
  5. WTB: BMW rain sensor module
    By Mtnman in forum ZHP-Related Parts & Accessories (no vehicle sales)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-04-2011, 09:59 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •