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post #22 of (permalink) Old 28th May 2008
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Update, problem fixed

Just an update here. The bending of clips and such was of no help.

I did an experiment where I filled the lens face with water (there's a rubber lip around it which should hold the water in place). I couldn't get the water to stay in there so that failed.

So I started asking around the windscreen replacement trade about a 'contact gel' (A gel that would lie between the glass and the sensor 'window'). One place got me a replacement sensor gel head for about EUR40 (GBP25 or so). This is not the whole sensor that Renault would sell you but the front face of the sensor head. It consists of the upper black circular section of the senser and includes the small sensor lens and a layer of black gel that contacts the windscreen. This gel affects the reflection properties of the glass and, presumably, allows rainfall to cause light loss. To use this gel head:
  1. Persuade your local windscreen service to order a 'sensor gel head' (or something like that).
  2. When it arrives, it consists of a circular top face of the sensor with retaining clips (sorry, no pics) with a black gel face.
  3. Dismount the curved plastic cover behind the mirror to expose the sensor.
  4. Unclip the sensor retaining clip from the windscreen.
  5. Disconnect the flat cable from the sensor (you can skip this step if you are handy fiddling around up there).
  6. Carefully release the 3 or 4 retaining clips around the circumference of the sensor and separate the face and back of the sensor.
  7. Inspecting the sensor, the face consists of a series of clear plastic/glass light guides / lenses with a 1cm oval opening to the front. This is usually fronted with a black gel which may be stuck to the windscreen.
  8. The lower half contains the sensor circuitry and the steel windscreen retaining clip.
  9. Leaving the cover in place on the new gel head, align it with the sensor base and press together. All the retaining tabs should click into place. This should go on only one way but, if you're not sure, the sensor lens should be pointing the same direction as the electrical connector.
  10. Reconnect the flat cable to the sensor. If the wipers are switched on, they may wipe at this point.
  11. With the cover still in place, offer the sensor up to the windscreen to be sure it's properly oriented.
  12. Now remove the cover, taking care not to touch the gel, and place the sensor in the correct location on the windscreen.
  13. Clip the steel retaining clip into place at both ends.
  14. Check that the flat cable is firmly connected.
  15. Start the engine, switch on the wipers and spray water on the windscreen to test.
  16. Refit the plastic cover.

Did all that, wipers working nicely now.

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