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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.

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Old Wed, Jun-25-2014, 06:56:49 PM   #31
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Default Re: How to reset rain sensor - help!

Originally Posted by dave00 View Post
Yup - already been there, but with the RLS (Rain/Light Sensor) integrated I also loose my auto headlights so I'd really like to get this one figured out.
You might want to verify the connector from the rain sensor to the wiring harness. These tiny plastic connectors are known to fail after being messed with just a few times. Since the system did work for a while, it could be an intermittent connection issue.

Pull on the wires and make sure they are firmly inserted into teh connector. Make sure they are not corroded or worn out.

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Old Mon, Oct-26-2015, 06:00:14 PM   #32
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Default Re: How to reset rain sensor - help!

Has anyone else seen or better fixed this issue? I have exactly the same symptoms as others. Got a new windshield from SafeLite (I know, my first mistake but that is what insurance company directed). Now rain sensor does not work with new windshield.

Using the INPA, & getting the same DIS error code: "None optical Initialisation possible" and tried to reinitialize the sensor through INPA. All of my measured values are pegged at 255 just like the screen shots in #6. Got SafeLite to come back under warranty with a new RLS sensor. It has the same issue! After messing with it for about 30mins the SafeLite tech said "gotta go to another appointment, sorry"...

In INPA new sensor giving the same error code except it also gives me error codes that sensor is also not coded. Different error codes depending upon if I clear the error code first. Right after clearing error codes, the DIS just says RLS not coded. Then after turning ignition key off and back on to initialize the RLS, then get error code that states not coded & optical initialization failed. (My copy of the SSS doesn't work so couldn't try to code it).

Side note, the light sensor readings for surrounding and front light values are also 0 or near 0 like in post #6, but when I shine a flashlight on the sensor and vary the angle of the flashlight to windshield, I see the surrounding vs front light readings change for the light sensor. Thus, the light sensor is definitely working for both new & old sensors.

In reading other posts about using NCS expert and saw information about having to change the windshield type in the RLS or AIC. Something about "kilmakomfort" or "type_frontscheibe" or "serienscheibe".... I'm not sure about any of that and haven't heard or played with NCSexper before this issues.

I've also tried the initialization process described in TIS/DIS for using INPA to reset and then use Terminal 15/R to initialize (BTW - took some time to figure out terminal 15/R is the ignition switch - why can't the germans just post that?). Even spoke with technician at the stealership and verified 15/R is just ignition key and "on" position. Each time I do the "put key in ignition and turn on", I can see the "number of errors for "none optical initialization possible" increment, so obviously the car is trying to initialize. However, often during initialization it doesn't actually try and swipe the wipers once like mentioned in other posts.

I only tried initialization in the garage and not out in the sunlight (hard when it has been raining non-stop for 3days). Might try it outside.

I doubt that I'll be able to get SafeLite to pay to replace the windshield again but at the dealership and OEM glass. (btw $369 for this one and didn't meet my deductible so I'm already out of pocket for this one.).

I've already unplugged my sensor to put it into regular manual mode but as dave00 mentions, then loose the auto-headlights since its the combined RLS.

source: DIS

Due to the optical process, the rain sensor has to be adapted to the windshield. This adaptation takes place at initialization.

Requirement for faultless initialization is that the windshield glass is dry, clean and free of defects in the area of the rain sensor.

The initialization is performed using the service function "Initialize rain sensor" in the BMW diagnosis system. In the service function, the adaptation values in the rain sensor are deleted. This is followed by adjustment of the sensor system to the windshield based on the following sequence:
Switching off the rain sensor
Switch off terminal 15 and terminal R
Switch on terminal R and terminal 15 and wait 10 seconds

In the 10 seconds waiting period, the new adaptation values are determined and stored.

Initialization of the rain sensor is necessary:
After replacing the windshield
Fitting a used rain-driving light sensor
Note: a used sensor must be coded beforehand!
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Old Wed, Nov-04-2015, 04:09:36 PM   #33
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Default Re: How to reset rain sensor - help!

UPDATE: Safelite warranty dept recommended taking car to stealership to have them diagnose the problem. They tried the same thing with both old/new rain sensors with the same results. The technician also noted that when comparing to like vehicles on their lot the prism on my aftermarket windshield was much darker than the OEM. So they ruled windshield prism as defective. (Interestingly, I talked to stealership tech and showed him screen shots from INPA and his comment was "I don't know what that is, I've never seen or heard of INPA before...".)

With dealership defective ruling in hand, I went back to Safelite and filed warranty claim against manufacture defect. They reimbursed me for the diagnostic fee, and then just replaced the windshield again, but this time with OEM glass from dealership. At the time of install, I compared the darkness of new OEM prism to aftermarket and verified the difference in darkness of the prism for the rain sensor.

Result of new OEM glass + new rain sensor: Rain sensors working again! No init required in INPA. Auto-initialization when turning on ignition is all that was required.

I appreciate Safelite taking a huge loss on my car and standing behind their warranty. I ended up with OEM glass + new rain sensor at fraction of the cost (But huge pain, inconvenience and time lost).

However, If I didn't have warranty to pay for replacing again with OEM glass, I guess I could have either tried to pry off the prism and replace with one off ebay or amazon (but risk breaking the glass when prying off the prism - as noted on some forums) or just unplugged the sensor and had manual wipers and headlights. Glad I didn't have to go that route...

Moral learned: Either pay upfront for OEM glass, or compare prism at time of replacement and require better aftermarket glass, or risk having issues.
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Old Thu, Nov-05-2015, 05:22:52 PM   #34
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Default Re: How to reset rain sensor - help!

Here is my experience with the windshield. A few years back I had a crack on my original windshield then I when with a company that had Pilkington which was half the price of OEM. They installed it and rain sensor doesn't work like it should. They told me it was my sensor being bad, which I don't believe. I had them remove prism from the windshield and readjust it and it worked but it left bubbles in it that I didn't like. They agree to replace it with another Pilkington and same problem again. I finally told them I didn't pay for a windshield and not having the sensor to work. We then end up getting OEM windshield and me paying the difference. Guess what? once the OEM windshield is installed the sensor and everything else works fine. I know Pilkington makes windshield for BMW but there is a definitely a difference in the thickness or quality of the cheaper Pilkington vs the Pilkington that is branded with BMW which causes problem with the sensor to not work. If you replace with OEM you will not have the sensor problem.
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Old Wed, Feb-17-2016, 09:57:44 AM   #35
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Default Re: How to reset rain sensor - help!

One other thing not sure if I mentioned earlier but this is a must , as for problems with the rain sensor before the windshield is installed look for air bubbles in the rain sensor sight window (bracket on glass) from the outside , if any bubbles are present the rain sensor will not function.

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Discussing How to reset rain sensor - help! in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)