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      08-27-2011, 05:22 PM   #1
Pangloss
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Convertible Question

If the windshield has an automatic sensor to turn on the wipers, why can't it also raise the convertible top if it starts to rain?
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      08-27-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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I believe you have this feature.........but, you must have the head light switch on the auto mode. Dont take my word, but go try it out see if ill work. Lower top, switch on Auto, spray some water on the windshield sensor an see what happens. My 04 Vert has this Feature, but it will never see a rainy day.
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      08-27-2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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Its a good question. But you cant. BMW is kinda stupid at times. It probably has something to do with the fact that the top operation isnt a 1 touch deal.
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      08-27-2011, 06:24 PM   #4
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The rain sensor is not automatic. For various reasons, it has to be activated by a button push every time the ignition is turned on.

And if a 'vert owner doesn't know when to raise the top, perhaps he shouldn't lower it in the first place.

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      08-27-2011, 07:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
And if a 'vert owner doesn't know when to raise the top, perhaps he shouldn't lower it in the first place.
Now there's an amusing attitude for a BMW owner. You bought a car that automatically turns on the windshield wipers while you are sitting there peering through the rain-streaked windshield and you question the necessity of feature that would raise the top when you're not around? (grin)

Seems like most new features in cars these days -- especially BMWs -- are of the "you don't really need this, but we'll be happy to charge you $2,000 for it" variety.

I just looked on the Web site and even the vaunted 650i convertible doesn't seem to do this. Go figure.
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Last edited by Pangloss; 08-27-2011 at 07:48 PM.
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      08-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVert View Post
Its a good question. But you cant. BMW is kinda stupid at times. It probably has something to do with the fact that the top operation isnt a 1 touch deal.
I'm still wondering why they require you to hold the button down. If safety were the concern they surely wouldn't allow you to drive while raising and lowering it (with one hand essentially coupled to the top switch for 22 seconds!).

Not that I'm complaining about any of this. It's just curious, is all. Sometimes I think these "limitations" are really more about the need for programming, testing and documentation that go into each new addition or change to a car.
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Last edited by Pangloss; 08-27-2011 at 07:53 PM.
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      08-27-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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I have a simpler question - why doesn't the car chime when the roof is fully raised or lowered? Instead, I have to look down at the damn button to see if the light has gone off. Considering that you can put the top up or down while driving, you shouldn't have to look at it to see if it's done. Love this car, but it sure seems that BMW missed the mark on some of the simple stuff.
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      08-27-2011, 09:10 PM   #8
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It's probably speed related. I believe there's a max speed the top will operate at. So of you're on the road at 50mph and the auto wipers go on because it rains, then it wouldn't be a good idea to put the top up at that speed. Not sure though?
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      08-27-2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangloss View Post
Now there's an amusing attitude for a BMW owner. You bought a car that automatically turns on the windshield wipers while you are sitting there peering through the rain-streaked windshield and you question the necessity of feature that would raise the top when you're not around? (grin)
As I said, it doesn't "automatically turn on the windshield wipers". You have to activate the rain sensor by pushing a button. And judging by some other threads on the subject, many of us would prefer the old intermittent wiper position rather than the rain sensor.

So I guess if you really need this pre-programmed raise-the-top-in-the- rain feature, you'll need to forego the other benefits of driving a BMW droptop.

But if some day BMW does implement this "feature" I certainly hope it's an extra cost option and not folded into an increased price.

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      08-27-2011, 10:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinmagic View Post
I have a simpler question - why doesn't the car chime when the roof is fully raised or lowered? Instead, I have to look down at the damn button to see if the light has gone off. Considering that you can put the top up or down while driving, you shouldn't have to look at it to see if it's done. Love this car, but it sure seems that BMW missed the mark on some of the simple stuff.
+1.

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      08-27-2011, 11:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
As I said, it doesn't "automatically turn on the windshield wipers". You have to activate the rain sensor by pushing a button. And judging by some other threads on the subject, many of us would prefer the old intermittent wiper position rather than the rain sensor.

So I guess if you really need this pre-programmed raise-the-top-in-the- rain feature, you'll need to forego the other benefits of driving a BMW droptop.

But if some day BMW does implement this "feature" I certainly hope it's an extra cost option and not folded into an increased price.

Tom
Sure sure, and "true" convertible owners operate their tops without motors. One man's "feature" is another's "unnecessary cost".
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      08-28-2011, 12:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
As I said, it doesn't "automatically turn on the windshield wipers". You have to activate the rain sensor by pushing a button. And judging by some other threads on the subject, many of us would prefer the old intermittent wiper position rather than the rain sensor.

So I guess if you really need this pre-programmed raise-the-top-in-the- rain feature, you'll need to forego the other benefits of driving a BMW droptop.

But if some day BMW does implement this "feature" I certainly hope it's an extra cost option and not folded into an increased price.

Tom
I think it would be a cool and technologically advanced feature if the driver can push a button when leaving the car, with the top down, so that if it starts to rain the top will close automatically.
This wouldn't require some crazy expensive tech to do.
It could use the rain sensor for it's trigger, and then do the top close with the technology it already has.
It would cost the cost of the button/switch and programming the ECU, and a sensor (anti pinch) to stop the top if something or someone were in the way, just like a sunroof or power windows sensor.

I'll venture a guess as to why they don't have it is due to liability reasons.
The same type of reasons they require one to push an "ok-I accept" just to use a navigation device.
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      08-28-2011, 06:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
...
I'll venture a guess as to why they don't have it is due to liability reasons.
The same type of reasons they require one to push an "ok-I accept" just to use a navigation device.
And that's why we have to keep our finger on the damn button until it fully raises or lowers and the indicator light goes out...+1 to the suggestion to at least add a useful chime instead of watching the light.
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      08-28-2011, 07:28 AM   #14
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Recent (i.e., about 2006-present) VWs and Audis have the ability to have their rain sensors programmed to close open windows and sunroofs if rain is detected after the car has been locked. The feature came in very handy in my R32 several times. Not sure about their rain sensor-equipped convertibles. It would seem BMW is behind the ball on this one.
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      08-28-2011, 09:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
The rain sensor is not automatic. For various reasons, it has to be activated by a button push every time the ignition is turned on.Tom....
So the wipers don't turn on in the car wash.

As to the "Auto Roof" request... the roof can't be raised/lowered while driving anyway, and you have to be sure that no arms/heads/pets have their body parts in the way before you close the roof. Unattended raising/closing could be catastrophic.
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      08-28-2011, 09:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry45RPM View Post
So the wipers don't turn on in the car wash.

As to the "Auto Roof" request... the roof can't be raised/lowered while driving anyway, and you have to be sure that no arms/heads/pets have their body parts in the way before you close the roof. Unattended raising/closing could be catastrophic.
Whaaa? Do we own the same car? Because my roof can be operated so long as I'm below 25 MPH.

+1 on the chime, but at this point I've lowered and raised that roof so many times that I simply let go at the right time, it's engrained in my biological clock in a way.


Also I wouldn't trust the rain sensor to do anything. Mine barely handles the wipers, its always sucked
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      08-28-2011, 01:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry45RPM View Post
So the wipers don't turn on in the car wash.
Could be a logical reason as to why the default setting for the wipers is "off"... I'd prefer the default be the other way around (as it has been on some of my prior cars)...that you can leave the rain sensor activated by default when you start up the car and when you go to the carwash you de-activate it before your car enters the tunnel.

Then again...maybe the fact that the wipers hit the top edge of the hood when the hood is raised would be reason enough to forget about automatic activation of the wipers.
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      08-28-2011, 02:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangloss View Post
Sure sure, and "true" convertible owners operate their tops without motors. One man's "feature" is another's "unnecessary cost".
My first droptop was a "true" roadster (TR2) where one erected the top frame, removed the canvas top from the trunk and secured it on the frame with many, many Dzus fasteners, and then installed the side curtains. With luck, this activity would cause the rain to stop and the journey could continue in relative comfort. All things being equal, I prefer the motor, especially with the large 1er top. But I would also prefer that it be an option, as it was on my Z4, so that you "true" 'vert guys wouldn't have to pay for it.

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      08-28-2011, 02:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjp3003 View Post
Could be a logical reason as to why the default setting for the wipers is "off"... I'd prefer the default be the other way around (as it has been on some of my prior cars)...that you can leave the rain sensor activated by default when you start up the car and when you go to the carwash you de-activate it before your car enters the tunnel.

Then again...maybe the fact that the wipers hit the top edge of the hood when the hood is raised would be reason enough to forget about automatic activation of the wipers.
I've also heard that it prevents the wipers from sweeping a dry windshield as BMW's system provides a wipe when either the system is turned on or the sensitivity is adjusted - whether called for by the sensor or not.

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      08-28-2011, 06:03 PM   #20
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It would have to be a system that would raise the top IF the rain sensor detected rain and IF the speed was under 25mph. And what if you are in the process of accelerating? You get the top partially up and then torn up or you have to slow down?

Afternoons here in the summer time often involve spotty showers. I like to drive home with the top down and have been caught a couple times. On the highway, it needs to rain HARD before you get more than a few drops on you. I've had to stop once under an overpass to raise the top. The rain quit maybe another mile down the road.

I do not need or want a system to automatically raise the top. If I guess wrong and get caught in the rain, I will either raise the top or continue to get wet. Doesn't happen often and I can deal with it.

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      08-29-2011, 04:03 AM   #21
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I'd hate to have the roof start to close automagically when I'm at a red light, then the light goes green! Fair enough when the ignition is off (unless there was an obstacle, of course.
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      08-29-2011, 08:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVert View Post
Whaaa? Do we own the same car? Because my roof can be operated so long as I'm below 25 MPH. . .
I've operated my roof at a crawl once in a blue moon. Don't know if I'd do it @ 25 MPH. Don't forget the air (slight breeze) could be moving too, but your car wouldn't know that, & you'd damage the roof frame.
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