E46 330d Rain and Light Sensor Malfunction

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  1. E46 330d Rain and Light Sensor Malfunction 
    #1
    BMW Crazed
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    roddenshaw's Car Details
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    2002
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    Hi all,

    I'm hoping somebody can help me.

    Last month I had my windscreen replaced with a non-OEM (though supposedly OE-spec) unit. Since then I have been having trouble with my rain sensing wipers. I've tried two sensors and they display largely the same symptoms:

    1) If I do not activate the wipers the automatic lights work perfectly.
    2) If I activate the automatic wipers they work properly for 5 - 10 minutes (the wipers don't move unless the sensor 'sees' water, such as from a spray bottle).
    3) After around 5-10 minutes of the rain sensing wipers being activated the module seems to stop functioning... the wipers revert to their intermittent setting, and the headlamps come on irrespective of the actual conditions. If I try to initialise or query the RLS module via INPA it won't communicate (it will communicate if I turn the car off and back on).

    I'm a bit stumped as to what to try next. The symptoms don't make me think that the new windscreen is to blame, but the module worked fine before it was installed, so I'm a bit stumped.

    Thanks,

    Rodden
     
     

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    #2
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    dailydoggy's Car Details
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    330i
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    i know on mine they fitted the wrong windscreen that didnt have the light sensor so they had to change it again for the correct one that had both sensors...

    if its the right screen ide say the sensors module has gone tits up on the screen or its faulty or none compatible..
    330i sport a big chunk of berlin...

     
     

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    #3
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    roddenshaw's Car Details
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    It's the correct windscreen (has the appropriate prism pre-applied), and I've used two modules which display the same behaviour.

    I'll have to get in touch with the windscreen company again I guess.
     
     

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    #4
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    roddenshaw's Car Details
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    Okay, a quick update. After doing as much troubleshooting as I could myself I forced the windscreen company to replace the windscreen, and I tried both modules (original and used from another car). Both continued to malfunction, and not wanting to subject the car to another replacement windscreen, I decided to leave it alone.

    Sadly I have OCD, and having a non-working component on my car was too much to bear, so I have been trying to fix this ever since. Today I finally found the solution!

    A few weeks ago I read a DIY posted elsewhere for rebonding the prism to the windscreen using silicone adhesive. The replacement windscreen is made by Pilkington, and is essentially OEM, so the only weak spot I could think of was the bond between the prism and the windscreen. I duly removed the prism (very difficult) and reattached it using silicone RVT sealant/adhesive. I then reattached the module (used) and it displayed the same behaviour. Defeated, I decided to give up again.

    Last night while asleep I dreamed about swapping the modules (that's how much this bothered me), and so I did. I hadn't tried the original module with the newly attached prism because I thought both modules were functioning similarly (since they displayed the same behaviour). Amazingly it worked!

    So, if you're having problems with your rain and light sensor after having had your windscreen replaced, the following might help: reattach the prism using silicone sealant (there are DIYs out there) and make sure you are using the original module, a brand new module (which shouldn't need coding), or a used module which has been coded for your vehicle (which mine had not).
     
     

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    #5
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    Clavurion's Car Details
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    Was the RLS intialised with diagnostics after renewal (like mentioned in the BMW repair instructions)? I wouldn't touch the bonding of the prism unless there are obvious air pockets when looking from outside.
     
     

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    #6
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    roddenshaw's Car Details
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    The sensor was initialised using INPA several times. To summarise how the problem arose, and the steps taken to rectify it:

    - The original rain sensor worked with the OEM windscreen;
    - The windscreen was replaced with a non-BMW windscreen, and the original rain sensor failed to function correctly (even after re-initialisation via INPA);
    - A used rain sensor was installed, and malfunctioned in the same way (appeared to work briefly, though wasn't sensitive enough, then failed to operate at all (or communicate with INPA));
    - The windscreen was replaced with a Pilkington unit, and both RLS modules displayed the same behaviour;
    - I reinstalled the prism using silicone adhesive: the 'used' module continued to malfunction, but the 'original' module worked correctly.

    At each stage of this process I have reinitialised each module (several times) using INPA. It seems that the used module would never have worked (because it was not coded for my car), but the original module failed with each aftermarket windscreen (despite being reinitialised) until I reinstalled the prism.
     
     

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