Safelite Windshield Replacement / Rain sensor and compass

Lincoln LS

  1. skizot722

    skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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    Fun times. I had to have the windshield replaced on my '02 LS. Safelite did the replacement, and what a mess. The compass reads exactly 90 degrees counter clockwise now. And I just noticed this weekend that my rain sensing wipers no longer work.

    They came out the week before last to replace the mirror/compass and brought some crazy scuffed up, used mirror that wasn't even the right mirror for the car. I told them they had better locate a brand new, OEM mirror from a dealer. Supposedly they have one now and are coming out this week to replace it.

    Any ideas on how the compass could be off exactly 90 degrees cc? I performed the calibration process from the manual 3 times, with no effect. Also any ideas on what they might have done to the rain sensor? This is my first time using them and I'm highly disappointed.
     
  2. AmsterDutch

    AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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    When I had the windshield, replaced in my 2001 Lincoln LS back quite a few years ago ...I remember the glass company asked me if my Lincoln LS was equipped with the rain sensor technology...I'm not 100% sure ...but I think what I remember them saying it takes a special window and/or process when installing the window ...Forgive me for not being more clear but I do remember them asking me and saying this was important information that they needed to know
     
  3. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    Yes, the windshield has to have a special prism already bonded to it (correction below). This seems to be the case for all cars with rain sensors. We had to have the windshield replaced on my wife's car, and they had to know about the rain sensing, lane departure, parking cameras, fogging sensor, and all that to order the correct windshield.

    I'm not sure about the compass. I know that on my 04 and 06 it was all built into the mirror, but I do think that some or all of the 1st gens had the compass sensor outside the mirror and mounted on the glass. Maybe they installed the sensor in an incorrect orientation?
    I like the Safelite office that we have here. They went above and beyond replacing the windshield on the BMW that we had. They dealt with some frame rust issues that added a lot of time, without charging more. That said, after messing around with it a day or two, they had to send our Cadenza to the dealer to get some of the stuff recalibrated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  4. FDR

    FDR Dedicated LVC Member

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    The calibration seems to adjust how it reads the compass at different directions (like checking how smoothly it transitions), not adjust orientation. Zone settings probably only adjust 30° or less looking at a declination map of North America. I'm with joegr in that it seems more likely the compass block is 90° off on the windshield. My 02 has (had) a separate sensor from the mirror itself. Someone cut it off entirely from the mirror, so I can't tell you which way the wire goes

    My windshield has other issues too - the bead at the top leaks in the middle, the mirror is glued to the bracket with sealant, and, relevant to you possibly, one of the rain sensor gel pads was missing. If you look from the outside, you'll see two squares - probably with an amber light inside. There should be a clear gel pad over both that links the sensors to the glass correctly. I couldn't find a suitable material, so I looked over pics on ebay of the sensor to find one with two pads included. Now it works again. The cover pops off and there's two mint green taps that slide out. The prism isn't bonded to the glass, but there are two metal brackets glued to the glass. It took me several tries to reseat it and get both to catch. Watch your fingerprints!

    I'm guessing all 4 issues popped up at the same time from a prior windshield replacement. Some branches went sailing into the car, denting the hood and cracking the windshield, so I guess I'll be going through a replacement myself soon
     
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    • skizot722

      skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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      As always, thanks for the awesome help guys! The compass sensor orientation is what I thought as well, but the tech on the phone assured me that the sensor was part of the mirror.

      I'll try to snap a picture of the rain sensor from the outside.
       
    • skizot722

      skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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      Here's a picture of the rain sensor from the outside. Sorry about the angle and quality. It's the best I could get. Don't mind the minor fingerprint smudges. Those are from me just now trying to wipe away the rain.

      IMG_20200810_124422~01.jpg
       
    • DaleGrib

      DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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      I would call Safelite and make them come out and fix it. Or if you used insurance, contact your insurance company and see if they can get you to someone else that can actually do it right.
       
    • skizot722

      skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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      Yeah, Safelite is coming back out this week, but I have zero confidence in their competence. The fact that they're replacing the mirror when the sensor isn't in it is yet another reason not to trust them.
       
    • DaleGrib

      DaleGrib Dedicated LVC Member

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      Yep, I don't trust them at all either after they destoryed the window moldings on my Gen 1.
       
    • joegr

      joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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      Maybe they'll put in the newer one with the compass sensor integrated into it.
       
    • FDR

      FDR Dedicated LVC Member

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      I can't tell from that pic if the pads are there. It was only obvious after I took it off and figured out the actual problem. Can you see if its at least lighting up amber outside? Might need some darkness to tell. Give the sensor box a light tug inside. Could be as simple as one side didn't clip in. It needs to make perfect contact
       
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      • skizot722

        skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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        They came out today and replaced the mirror, which fixed the compass issue. Also looked at the rain sensor, and the tech said that there were no pads on it at all. He put the pads on, and re-installed, but the rain-sensing was still not working. Guess I'm getting a new rain sensor as well now.
         
      • skizot722

        skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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        Contacted Safelite late Friday afternoon after hearing nada from them. Spoke to the manager, and wow. She said she's trying to locate a new sensor, but is having a very difficult time. Ok. But she kept saying "19 year old car this" and "19 year old car that". Yeah, the car is almost 19 years old, I get it. But if you can't work on an older car without breaking the components attached to the windshield, then don't accept the jobs to work on them.

        Then the kicker, she tells me "like my tech told me, we have no proof that your sensor actually worked before we replaced your windshield". What!? They screw up both the compass and rain sensor, try to replace the mirror with some scratched up used pos hoping that I wouldn't notice, and then imply that I'm trying to scam them? I have had the wipers set on auto since I bought the car, and never put them into manual operation. And they worked less than a week before the replacement. Just unreal with people. I'm going to try and call the main number and get a hold of someone to file a complaint against this branch. Doubt it does any good, but will still try.

        Is the rain sensor really an item that's not available from any dealerships these days? If so, I guess eBay will work.
         
      • joegr

        joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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        Well, to be fair that part has been exposed to UV and baking in the sun for some time. I don't know if they carelessly broke it, or if it was so brittle that it was impossible to remove it without breaking it. I do know that this is sometimes the case with plastic parts. I would try to be understanding of this possibility. You wouldn't like it if everyone had refused to change the windshield.


        Yes, this is just plain wrong and terrible customer service. I would be very upset at the accusation as well. I would be documenting a complaint as well, but I might wait till this is resolved or it is clear that it won't be resolved.


        It is indeed discontinued. A search for the part (XW4Z-17D547-AA) turned up this place. I don't know anything about them though.
        3W4Z*17D547*AA
        I can't tell if the 3W4Z-17D547-AA crosses for the XW4Z-17D547-AA.

        eBay does have several used ones available, assuming that they weren't broken during removal too.
         
      • skizot722

        skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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        Me being "understanding" went out the window when:

        1) They showed up with a used mirror when trying to fix the compass issue, after telling me on the phone that they had ordered a brand new one. The used one they showed up with looked like someone drug it across the concrete.

        2) They tell me that there's no proof that the sensor was working before they touched the windshield.

        I'm an understanding person, but only when it is warranted. With the way they've treated me, they're going to get no more understanding from me. Constantly referring to it as a "19 year old car" over and over is demeaning. If they aren't capable of working on a "19 year old car", then don't take the job. It really is that simple. But of course they take those jobs, they want your money.

        As far as UV, the sensor has no visible cracks or breaks in plastic on the outside. I have no idea what or how they broke the sensor. I shouldn't have to understand what broke either, as I'm the consumer and have paid for their service. Strange that you're asking me to be understanding after I've described the various ways they've done me wrong.

        In addition, rain sensors have become more common on cars in the years since my '02 was built. So companies such as Safelite should be doing a better job training their techs how to carefully remove these sensors. The tech who did the windshield replacement didn't even put the gel pads back on the sensor.

        Not sure if you've ever looked at a sensor on an '02, but the sensor itself is very easy to remove. The plastic housing which it mounts into is the actual thing attached to the glass.

        Thank you for the link.
         
        Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
      • AmsterDutch

        AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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        I agree that you attracted more flies with honey than vinegar...but when they try to justify and not have any accountability ...that is when both the honey and vinegar go on the shelf and I come out with the big guns or better yet flame thrower ...if they resolve this with professionalism I would leave it be and never go back to that business...if they blow you off and act like every other big Corperate Company in this country I would see to it that you try reaching the highest CEO and inconvenience him/her just as much as you were ...I went through a MN based Cooperation called Harmon glass and they came to my workplace and installed the correct window without any issues for $220 including tax out of my own pocket
         
      • MarkEricRoth

        MarkEricRoth LVC Member

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        Hopefully your state has a good Consumer Affairs Department.
         
      • MarkEricRoth

        MarkEricRoth LVC Member

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        Failing that, try your representative at the statehouse.
         
      • skizot722

        skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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        They came back out today with a used sensor they found on eBay. This sensor also doesn't work. My bet is that the original sensor (and likely used one) are both fine, and that it's the gel pads causing the issue. They said they couldn't find any gel pads at all, and the tech tried some used ones that he had (which had bubbles in them). I think the next step is having the dealer check it out.
         
        Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
      • Linc615

        Linc615 LVC Member

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        I have about 5 extra sensors, gel pads, and pewter mounts if you are in need. Im on my 3rd sensor for my genI so I stocked up on them. I been meaning to test them all make sure they work, just PM me and let me know, I have a pile of parts for genI and some for genII if anyone else is looking for any.
         
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        • skizot722

          skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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          Awesome! :) PM'ing now.
           
        • milehighmikey

          milehighmikey Dedicated LVC Member

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          I have no idea what this is all about. I've had my windshield replaced at least 2x and each time, it came with a new sensor assembly. Is this something new? They've always just been plug and play.
           
        • skizot722

          skizot722 Well-Known LVC Member

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          Huh? Why would Safelite, or whomever the installer is give you a new sensor? I think you may be confusing things.

          As far as "what this is all about", it was stated earlier. My windshield was replaced by Safelite, and now the automatic wiper function no longer works.
           
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