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Rain Sensing Wipers and Auto Headlights

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by jrmexplorer, June 15, 2011.

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    1. jrmexplorer

      jrmexplorer Well-Known Member

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      Ok,
      So I have the LTD with the 302 package with the auto sensing headlights and rain sensing wipers. While the rain sensing wipers work fairly well, my understanding was that when the wipers were "on" the headlights would go on as well. That hasn't been happening for me when using the rain sensing wipers (even with the sensitivity up). Today was a moderate rain with the wipers wiping fairly regularly, and the headlights were off. The sky was light enough were the headlights probably wouldn't have come on based on light only.

      I'm wondering if the auto-headlamps coming on with the wipers feature only works for the non-rain sensing wipers. The manual doesn't describe how these two features work together, or whether they do at all.

      Anyone else have any info on this?

      Thanks
      -J
       
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    3. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      No, it works with the rain sensing wipers. I did notice one time that the headlights were on when I pulled up behind another vehicle. It wasn't particularily dark either.
      From the manual; Windshield wiper rainlamp feature (if equipped with autolamp). When the windshield wipers are turned on during daylight, and the headlamp control is in the autolamp position, the exterior lamps will turn on after a brief delay and will remain on until the wipers are turned off.
       
    4. jrmexplorer

      jrmexplorer Well-Known Member

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      Yeah, I've noticed that on occassion my wipers have been on and the lights will come on, but because there are two variables here (wipers and how light it is outside), I'm not really sure why they were on. Today, I did notice that my wipers were wiping quite vigorously, yet my lights had to be manually turned on. It doesn't help that there is no light on the dash indicating when the lights are on.

      I read that passage in the manual, but I guess whether it applies or not depends on how "turned on" is interpreted. I could see one interpretation which means simply - physically switched on. Since our wipers are switched to more of a "standby" mode (which gets activated once rain is sensed) I could see it not applying. In another sense, if "turned on" includes the car turning them on in response to rain - then the lights should turn on.

      Maybe tonight if it's bright enough out I will turn off the rain sensing feature and then physically engage the wipers with the control column and see if that turns on the lights.

      -J
       
    5. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I'm guessing that the lights have been programmed to come on with the wipers because the fact that the wipers are on is taken as a sign of reduced visibility. I too wondered about the phrase 'turned on' and assumed that the program doesn't care how they are turned on. All I know is that mine was set to autosensing with the autolamp feature set to ON and the headlights came on when the wipers were working and it was still fairly light outside. I don't think the level of light matters at all in this case since the autosensing wipers when in use seem to be linked to turning on the headlights.
       
    6. deerfarm

      deerfarm Active Member

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      I think the rain has to be hard enough that the wipers are running continuously before the lights will come on. That is the case on mine for the courtesy swipe of the rear wiper to work when shifting into reverse.
       
    7. gabella

      gabella Active Member

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      I've had the same problem (also a LTD with 302a). It doesn't always work and the amount of rain and length of time the wipers are on do not seem to make a difference. Unfortunately, when I took my car in, they forgot to check for it (I'd added it on at the last minute). My salesperson checked my settings before I left and said everything was set correctly. I knew that, but it was nice to have a second opinion, I guess.

      I'm adding it again the next time my car goes in. For now, I just turn on my headlights manually. It's no biggie; I'd just like my car to work as advertised.
       
    8. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      My rear wiper did a swipe the other day when I was backing up and it wasn't raining all that much. The front wiper had just made a pass when the rear one engaged. I had actually completely forgotten about that feature.
       
    9. jrmexplorer

      jrmexplorer Well-Known Member

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      so I turned off the auto-wipers last night and then turned on the wipers manually and PRESTO! the lights turned on.

      Looks like it is definitely an auto-wipers only issue.
       
    10. FordService

      FordService Official Ford Rep

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      The main point that I found from my research is that when the wipers are turned on during the day and the headlamp is in the autolamp position, the head lamps will turn on until the wipers turn off. jrmexplorer, thank you for posting the results of your test!

      gabella, let me know, by sending a message, if this is an issue you’d like my help with first before you go to the dealer.

      Cory
       

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