E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 04-04-2007, 05:01 PM   #1
AC330i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 41
My Ride: 01 330i
The truth about rain and light sensors/auto headlights

Bimmer Jon and I have been working together to figure out how you retrofit auto headlights into a 2001 or older e46. Through our research we have discovered the following:

Prior to 9/2001 you could buy auto rain wipers, which sense how much rain is falling and regulate your windshield wiper speeds accordingly. You can tell if you have a rain sensor equipped car by looking at the top middle of the windscreen and if it's equipped with this rain sensor it looks like this:



Subsequent to 9/2001 BMW added an auto headlight feature, which turns your headlights on when it's dark and off when it's light. These cars are equipped with a rain and light sensor, which is different than just a rain sensor, and a light control module with an automatic headlight setting. The difference can be seen here (item number 1): http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...=61&fg=15&hl=7

The wiring and connectors are the same for both.

The electronic box that feeds these signals to the Light Control Module is attached to the window with two clips, with slight differences between the rain sensor and the rain and light sensor. What makes it impractical to just change out the sensor is the fact that the receptors are glued to the windshield, and are not interchangeable. The rain sensor looks like this:



The rain and light sensor looks like this:



So, your options if you're trying to retrofit auto headlights onto your pre-9/2001 E46 are to unglue the receptor from the windscreen and glue on the new receptor, or to install a windshield with the new receptor attached. After that, it's a matter of installing a new light control module with the auto headlight setting and having the car recoded to work with your new sensors.

At this time, I'm waiting until I get a new windshield, at which time I'll get one with the rain and light sensor receptors.
AC330i is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 04-04-2007, 10:16 PM   #2
Limited_Slip
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CA
Posts: 401
My Ride: e30
i have a spare auto-light/rain sensor IR filter if you want it
Limited_Slip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2007, 12:34 AM   #3
e.barr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Glasgow Scotland UK
Posts: 221
My Ride: 320ci
Hi, do you know if the wiring is installed in the roof lining to connect to the light/rain sensor on models without factory auto lights/wipers.

My screen is damaged atm so this would be a very usefull modification to do.
e.barr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2007, 12:46 AM   #4
BMWPower06
Registered User
 
BMWPower06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC Area Want: TX
Posts: 21,531
My Ride: ///M5 & VW Group Car
Send a message via AIM to BMWPower06
the rain and light sensor looks like an ///M V8
__________________


Sold: ACS 330Ci :(
BMWPower06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2007, 04:43 AM   #5
e.barr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Glasgow Scotland UK
Posts: 221
My Ride: 320ci
Hi, Limited Slip

What is the IR filter and how do you fit it if you had one?
e.barr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2007, 07:19 AM   #6
0-60motorsports
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Kingdom of Bahrain
Posts: 2,313
My Ride: E30 325ic & E46 M3
Send a message via MSN to 0-60motorsports Send a message via Yahoo to 0-60motorsports
hey dude. I have an 03/03 M3 and i want to know how to find out if i have the rain sensor? I am very interested in fitting the auto headlight function on the car. Thanks.
0-60motorsports is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2007, 07:35 AM   #7
itzeug
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: new york
Posts: 263
My Ride: 330cic
reading this post makes me happy i got mine with both =))) i wish i had zhp =(
__________________
itzeug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 03:32 AM   #8
ppejack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Los Altos, CA
Posts: 10
My Ride: E46 328i
AC330i,

You said "having the car recoded to work with your new sensors". How does one go about having his car recoded? Does the dealer have to do it, or can I do it myself? Special tool required?

Thanks.
ppejack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2008, 09:12 AM   #9
mastamind518
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 64
My Ride: 2000 323i
does anyone know about how much the total cost of this add-on would be?(rain sensor, lcm, recoding) i just wanna kno if its worth it or should i just keep the manual headlight-on that i have now.

Thanks.
__________________
2000 323i
Carputer installed
mastamind518 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2008, 09:13 AM   #10
0-60motorsports
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Kingdom of Bahrain
Posts: 2,313
My Ride: E30 325ic & E46 M3
Send a message via MSN to 0-60motorsports Send a message via Yahoo to 0-60motorsports
I think you would also need to change the windscreen.
__________________
EURO 04 M3: GC Coils, Eibach Sways, PF RTABs, RE RCAs, INTRAVEE II, Black Roundels, ///MFEST Badges, Depo's, VCSL Bumper + Race Lip + CF Trunk + CF Rear Diffusor + CSL center console, DIETZ TV in Motion, SS Stepped Headers, SS Catless S & Res X-pipe, SS Race, Z8 Starter Button, Lamin-X, OEM CSL Steering + CSL interior, OEM CSL Intake, EVOLVE Alpha-N Tune, BBS CH's, FX-R 3.0's, ST40's, DINAN Rear Strut Brace, BW Oil Cooler, 3.91 gears
0-60motorsports is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2009, 10:40 PM   #11
cconover
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 128
My Ride: 2003 330i ZHP
Anybody know if we can get those pictures posted up again? Just curious to see what it looks like, as I may be interested in doing this.
__________________
cconover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2009, 10:50 PM   #12
xFalleNx330Ci
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 708
My Ride: '01 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by brohism View Post
Anybody know if we can get those pictures posted up again? Just curious to see what it looks like, as I may be interested in doing this.
This may be stupid, but they're talking about swapping lights in an e46....you have an e36.......the lights won't fit regardless....


Sorry if you are inquiring about the e46, just noticed you have an e36.
__________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by beingdevious View Post
OT is like a bunch of rabid horny monkeys that run around and rape other forums, any new monkeys, and then throw **** at eachother, take pics, and demand nudes.
xFalleNx330Ci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 11:50 AM   #13
Brilliant
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 375
My Ride: E46M3 Blk/Blk
What happened with this? Is the 2001/09 glass (rain + light) and an the auto light LCM all you need?

I am ordering new glass soon. I put in a question to Tischer about this. Hopefully someone knows.

I have an 2001/03 with a Euro LCM I got for coding OEM LED retrofit.
__________________
AST 4100s, plates & s-RSMs | Eibach sways | OEM brace | CSL rack | CSL rotors & calipers w/ ST lines | Genuine CSLs w/ BBS caps
Euro headers & Euro cats | MILLTeK raspx | VAC pulleys | 3.91 M Gears | Z3 SSK
Infinity Kappa 5 amp, 50.9s, 60.9is | AC LC6i | CD53 retrofit w/ Aux | USASPEC ipod | OEM Sirius
OEM Euro folding mirrors | OEM LED retrofit & Euro LCM | V-CSL diffuser (fits like S) | misc cosmetics
Soon: CSL Intake


Last edited by Brilliant; 04-28-2010 at 11:53 AM.
Brilliant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2010, 12:52 PM   #14
Bandersnatch
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Johns Creek, GA
Posts: 244
My Ride: 2002 330 CiC
Short answer is yes if you have the wiring harness. See this DIY (and Jaymemaurice's continuation at the bottom) if you don't.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=746918

Edit: You'll also need the plastic housing that surrounds the mirror stalk. It's bigger on cars with the RLS.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCJodon View Post

ZOMG HALP! *click*

oh hai, i can haz part numbro for florr matz? k thanxz.

Last edited by Bandersnatch; 04-28-2010 at 12:58 PM.
Bandersnatch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 03:29 PM   #15
bmwmen
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 54
My Ride: E46 323Ci
Hopefully it is OK to kick up this (fairy) old topic. I have a E46 323Ci (EU version, don't know if that matters) and have xenon. I would like to retrofit the auto on feature. Is it correct that i need the sensor behind my rear view mirror? Or is this depleted and old news that i am reading?

Hopefully somebody can clear this up for me Thanks!
bmwmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 04:23 PM   #16
samson
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: so cal-murrieta
Posts: 192
My Ride: 05' 330i
Send a message via AIM to samson
what I don't understand is why the wipers don't automatically come on for rain... they seem to take over in auto mode in position 1, AFTER you initialize them to wipe once.
samson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 05:24 PM   #17
E46-Cabrio
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 140
My Ride: E46 330CI Cabrio
Quote:
Originally Posted by samson View Post
what I don't understand is why the wipers don't automatically come on for rain... they seem to take over in auto mode in position 1, AFTER you initialize them to wipe once.
Yes, same here but I don't know why.
E46-Cabrio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2011, 05:28 PM   #18
E46-Cabrio
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 140
My Ride: E46 330CI Cabrio
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwmen View Post
Hopefully it is OK to kick up this (fairy) old topic. I have a E46 323Ci (EU version, don't know if that matters) and have xenon. I would like to retrofit the auto on feature. Is it correct that i need the sensor behind my rear view mirror? Or is this depleted and old news that i am reading?

Hopefully somebody can clear this up for me Thanks!
I did this ones,

You need the RLS sensor behind the mirror, cable harness, fuse, Switch with auto-lights-on.

Then you need to code the car with the RainLightSensor option.
E46-Cabrio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 02:54 PM   #19
bmwmen
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 54
My Ride: E46 323Ci
Cable harness? Which one and what for is this?

Another dutchy in the house!
bmwmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 11:49 PM   #20
E46-Cabrio
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 140
My Ride: E46 330CI Cabrio
The sensor needs 4 wires.

- Pin 1 + fuse 5A
- Pin 2 Ground
- Pin 3 K-Bus
- Pin 4 GM5 module

Last edited by E46-Cabrio; 12-01-2011 at 11:51 PM.
E46-Cabrio is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use