How to Attach a Rain Sensor to a Windshield

  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 45-125
What You'll Need
Rain sensor
Putty scraper
Rain sensor control box
Wire strippers
Shrink tubing

If you want to attach a rain sensor to your windshield, you should learn the basics on how to do it. This will save you money and allow you to gain more knowledge on how it works by installing it yourself. When a rain sensor is triggered, the windshield wipers will automatically start without your having to turn them on.

Step 1 - Installing the Sensor Sticker

Install the sensor sticker to the outside of your windshield. You will want to press firmly, making sure it is flat with the windshield surface. This will help the sensor work properly by detecting the rain that is hitting the top of the windshield. You can use the putty scraper to get all of the air bubbles and waves that the sticker might have. Make sure the metallic looking side of the sensor is facing up instead of in. This is the sensor itself, and it will not be able to detect rain if it is facing the inside of the vehicle.

Depending on what type of rain sensor you have purchased, the windshield might need to be taken out before you can place the sensor. The easier models allow you the ease of sticking the sensor to the windshield without having to remove the glass.

Step 2 - Installing the Control Box

Install the control box next. Go under your dash and splice the colored wires from the windshield wipers to the sensor control box. This allows your wipers to come on when the sensor detects that it is raining. Make sure to cover the exposed wires with the shrink tubing. This will prevent any shorts in the system.

Make sure the box is turned on, and either place it in the dashboard (before you replace the cover) or set it neatly on top of the dash. If you want it on the top of your dash, then drill a hole through the top of the dash for the wire.

Step 3 - Finishing the Sensor and Box Installation

Once you have installed both the box and the sensor, it is time to try it out. Turn your vehicle on, and spray some water over the top of your windshield. The wipers should come on because it detects moisture. You will also have to make sure the box is on and placed on Sensor, not on Manual. This will allow the sensor to kick in without you having to turn on the wipers.

Always make sure to uphold any safety guidelines, and follow your state or county’s rules regarding adding rain sensors to your vehicle. There are usually no laws against modifying your vehicle, but you should always make sure to verify that it is alright before going forward with it. Having a rain sensor on your car can be beneficial when you do not have the hands to turn on the wipers, and it is raining but you need both hands to drive.