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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen,

I have a 2002 330Ci w/155k miles on it; the other day the rain sensor mode on the wipers stopped working (move stalk up, turned knob, nothing). A day passed, then they worked, then they didn't. Then a very weird thing happened.

I opened my trunk to put something in it, closed it, was walking to get into the car and I heard the trunk latch open. I went back and closed it, started to walk to get in and it opened again. I thought I might be holding the remote switch down by accident. With this in mind, I went back and closed it two more times. Same deal, trunk opened (electric latch unlatched). I finally got it to stay shut (don't know how) and got in the car and sat down. This is when it gets weird.

Just at the moment when I was about to put the keys in the ignition, a quick spurt of window washer fluid shot out of the washers. (I believe I didn't have the keys in the ignition; can't remember exactly.)

Clearly, my car is possessed by demons.

Today the rain sensor-mode wipers worked in the morning for a minute or two just after starting the car after it was in the garage all night. At this point I also noticed that my washers don't work (neither windshield, nor headlamp).

I did the requisite searching on this forum and checked some basic stuff: battery is good (12.3V off, 13.9V on; same at terminals and under the hood); took a look at the trunk wiring harness...looked okay, but I need to investigate further to be sure there isn't a problem there. Also, I pulled the fuse on the rain sensor to see if I would get standard intermittent wipers, no dice.

The trunk seems to be operating fine now. Rain-sensing wipers are out, washers are out...and the kicker: low, high, and mist wiper functions are good.

Could the stalk be going south? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Scott
 

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Your GM5 module is failing, this is due to corrosion and poor quality PVC on the circuit-board. You will need to have yours replaced or repaired.
There are many threads on this issue, I recommend searching and seeing if anything relates to your problems.

Also, a short can cause random failures. Check all of the light sockets (including the license plate bulb holder) and make sure that there is no moisture present.
 

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2020 Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Platinum; 2019 Camry XSE; 2010 Infiniti G37S
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This isn't overly helpful but I'm pretty sure in the event that the rain sensor fails, it's supposed to act as a normal intermittent wiper. So you could check that off the list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A little more info: I did happen to jet wash it (manual wash) for the first time in years...about a week before I noticed problems. Could have got some moisture somewhere. The problem is where.
 

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By jet wash, do you mean high pressure spray in a coin-op place?
Did you spray water into a place where it entered your louvre's or something similar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yup..high pressure spray at the coin-op. what louvers are you referring to? on the hood? if so, then probably yes...i wasn't paying much attention. where do you think the water went?

thanks for your help!
 

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Not sure what planet the poster came from that claimed the clear PVC sealer on the circuit board causes GM5 module problems?? I have yet to see this, but I have replaced plenty of bad GM5 door lock relays.

Most GM5 module problems are caused by failing relays and I agree that the GM5 module is most likely not an issue here with the OP problems.

Wiper issue, common E46 item. Can be 2 things, wiper relay and/or wiper motor that is not replaceable, you have to replace the entire wiper motor/transmission for over $300. Some folks have had luck cleaning grease out of the wiper motor, but if you plan on keeping the car and you think you need a wiper motor, just replace it.

If I were in your situation, I would replace the wiper relay first, about $25.

One way to tell if the wiper motor is the problem, is when they do not work, leave them on, then lightly tug on the wiper arms, if the wipers start to work, your wiper motor is the problem.

Your trunk problem may be an issue with the wiring in the rubber accordion harness that runs along the right side trunk hinge. The wires break all the time in this area and can short out. Search the forum and you will find a lot of info on this. My only question is there a wire in this harness that is hot all the time??

As for your windshield washers, not sure I can offer anything here at the moment.

Your comment about the car wash, I would open up the relay box behind the drivers side strut tower and inspect for water. This is where the windshield wiper relay is located anyway. Maybe you did get water in this box and it may be some of your problem?

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the comments jfoj. My wipers do work fine in low, high, and mist modes. Only the rain-sensing mode fails...wipers do nothing when activated via putting the stalk in intermittent position, and nothing when the knurled knob is rotated upwards (these typically initialize rain-sensing mode with one wipe of the wipers). So given that info, is there still a possibility of a wiper relay problem?

I've had a xenon bulb going bad, occasional flicker (which I have narrowed down to the bulb by switching sides), that I am going to replace today. Not sure if the flicker could be causing a problem for the rest of the electrical system, but I'd thought I'd try to rule it out.

I'm going to try to inspect various grounds around the vehicle, and maybe inspect the E-box you referred to.

There is the possibility that the multi-function stalk is going bad...since the rain-sensing wipers don't work AND the washers don't work AND both are activated via the stalk.

Thanks again for your comments...please let me know what you think and if you have any other ideas!!!

Thanks!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not sure what planet the poster came from that claimed the clear PVC sealer on the circuit board causes GM5 module problems?? I have yet to see this, but I have replaced plenty of bad GM5 door lock relays.

Most GM5 module problems are caused by failing relays and I agree that the GM5 module is most likely not an issue here with the OP problems.

Wiper issue, common E46 item. Can be 2 things, wiper relay and/or wiper motor that is not replaceable, you have to replace the entire wiper motor/transmission for over $300. Some folks have had luck cleaning grease out of the wiper motor, but if you plan on keeping the car and you think you need a wiper motor, just replace it.

If I were in your situation, I would replace the wiper relay first, about $25.

One way to tell if the wiper motor is the problem, is when they do not work, leave them on, then lightly tug on the wiper arms, if the wipers start to work, your wiper motor is the problem.

Your trunk problem may be an issue with the wiring in the rubber accordion harness that runs along the right side trunk hinge. The wires break all the time in this area and can short out. Search the forum and you will find a lot of info on this. My only question is there a wire in this harness that is hot all the time??

As for your windshield washers, not sure I can offer anything here at the moment.

Your comment about the car wash, I would open up the relay box behind the drivers side strut tower and inspect for water. This is where the windshield wiper relay is located anyway. Maybe you did get water in this box and it may be some of your problem?

Good luck.
Thanks jfoj--I did a quick post reply (not sure if you get notifications, so I'm trying this, see above!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok Gents...after all the analysis, I changed my flickering xenon and then pulled the fuse for the washer pump (alarm and all kinds of weird noises ensued...probably best to disconnect battery first)...and everything is fine. I'm guessing the fuse was coincidence and the flickering xenon was giving the electrical system problems. Just a guess...thanks for the input though!
Scott
 
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