Windshield Auto Rain Sensor

What Is An Auto Rain Sensor?

The most straightforward way to tell if you have an auto rain sensor is to wait and see if your wipers turn on automatically when it starts raining. However, if you live in a drier area, just have a look at the bottom of your rear view mirror.

rain sensor on car

Do you see a square shaped camera pointing outwards? That’s what rain sensors look like! If you notice another sensor as well around that area, that’s most likely a light sensor, which should be directly on the back of the rearview mirror, pointing upwards.

The Precise Location

You can see the exact place where the rain sensor is located from the outside of your vehicle as well. Just stand to one of the sides of your windshield, look inside the cabin, and check for a strip or lens or film underneath your rearview mirror. It must be facing outside.

If you see something along these lines, then that’s your auto rain sensor, and its job is to turn your wipers on and off depending on rain. On some older models though, it can be located directly behind the rearview as well, facing upwards.

auto rain sensor

But How Does It Work?

The rain sensor in your car functions by taking into the account the quantity of rain (or lack thereof) on your windshield. It doesn’t do this by “seeing” the actual droplets though.

In fact, the sensors can detect rain by taking into account the amount of light that your windshield is refracting inside your car. The more raindrops present on the windshield, the less light is going to reach the sensors. In other words, it “knows” it is raining.

Because of this though, it can indeed have limitations in the absence of enough light reaching the sensors. Specifically, if you’re driving during the evening, or especially during the night, it’s not guaranteed that your wipers will turn on automatically. 

Does It Improve The Driving Experience?

Having a rain sensor on your car will usually eliminate the need for you to manually turn the wipers on and off. Or, in case it’s already raining but it’s starting to really pour and you need to switch the wiper speeds, the rain sensor can handle this as well.

At the end of the day, you do not have to switch focus from driving to a secondary task this way. As we all know, even a split second of not paying attention on the road can be dangerous, so auto rain sensors can be viewed as a safety feature.

However, it’s up to you to determine if such a feature should be considered important or not.

Windshield Procedures Implications

When our expert technicians handle your windshield repair or windshield replacement for $0 Out-of-Pocket cost, they always make sure to respect the exact specifications of your vehicle, including any sensors or cameras.

In fact, we can even re-calibrate your ADAS after a procedure, or if you need a recalibration in general.

If you’d like to work with us for your auto glass or ADAS calibration needs, just give our friendly customer care team a call at (480) 525-6554. We service the whole Phoenix Metro Area, for free!