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Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash Installation

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    Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash Installation

    For Those of you who have the cash to shell out for a Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash kit, this thread will show you how to instal them. You will be re-using a lot of the parts from your current windscreen washer system, so do not throw any of it out. The Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash option came on cars from Canada, all throughout Europe, and many other Countries. America and a few other countries were the only people who did not receive the option. Although the Headlamp Cleaning System and Intensive Wash Installation are two different functions, they came as a pair when ordering one or the other. The Headlamp Cleaning System can exist without the Intensive Wash System and Vice Versa, however they are meant to co-exist. There are a couple of different variations to instal the Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash due to the fact that some models had the washer fluid reservoir mounted in different places, but this guide will show you how to instal it on any "i" model, I installed it on my 1984 318i.

    How it is Operated and Works
    To activate the Headlamp Cleaning System, you must have your key turned at least one turn (radio, or start position), and your headlight switch must be pulled at least one pull (sidemarkers position or headlights position). Once these two things are done, when the wiper stalk is pulled towards you the following will happen:

    Cleaning Fluid is sprayed onto the windscreen
    Windscreen wipers are actuated
    Windscreen is sprayed onto the headlights
    Headlight Wipers are actuated


    The Headlamp Cleaning System may only be activated in cycles of 30 seconds. Meaning, after use, you can pull the wiper stalk towards you, but it won't activate the headlamp cleaning system, on the windscreen cleaning system. You must wait at least 30 seconds before activating in order to start the Headlamp cleaning system again.

    To activate the Intensive Wash System, you must have your key turned at least one turn (radio, or start position). Once this is done, when the wiper stalk is pushed towards the steering wheel the following will happen:

    Intensive cleaning fluid is sprayed onto the windscreen
    Windscreen wipers are actuated

    Cockpit View

    The intensive fluid is sprayed unlike the regular cleaning fluid. No matter how short or how long the intensive wash button is pressed, it will spray intensive cleaning fluid for 3 seconds. With the regular cleaning fluid, the amount sprayed is dependent upon your amount of time pulling the switch.

    To activate the Headlamp Cleaning System AND the Intensive Wash System, you must have your key turned at least one turn (radio, or start position), and your headlight switch must be pulled at least one pull (sidemarkers position or headlights position). Once these two things are done, when the wiper stalk is pushed towards the steering wheel the following will happen:

    Intensive Wash Fluid is sprayed onto windscreen
    Windscreen Wipers are actuated
    Cleaning Fluid is sprayed onto headlights
    Headlight Wipers are actuated.

    Once again, the headlamp cleaning system will only work in cycles of 30 seconds, and the Intensive wash button sprays intensive cleaning fluid for 3 seconds no matter how short or long the button is pressed.
    Last edited by Japandrew73; 06-20-2009, 08:30 PM.

    Materials/Where to Buy
    You can get all of the materials for the kit from the dealer, but some of the parts cost crazy prices new. If you wish to buy any of these parts from the dealer, you will need to bring them a part number. All part numbers for the kit can be found in the following links.

    Headlamp Cleaning Parts

    Headlamp Cleaning Parts 2

    Intensive Wash Stalk (Part #1 in diagram)

    Electrical Connecter (part #1 in diagram is used for the PS and TS pins)

    Cable Holders and Clamps (Part #3 and #29)

    Buying every part to the kit new from the dealer will result in a 4-digit sum, and with this reason is why most kits are bought used and re-conditioned. Your best bet in buying a kit would be to keep your eyes peeled on ebay, or for complete kits or find a friend in the UK to assemble a kit for you. Complete Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash kits run for around $600 for a complete and nice set and probably around $500 for a complete set that needs some work. It sounds outrageous, but as your read this thread you will understand why it costs so much. This option was one of the e30's most poorly engineered options due to the tendency fornumerous problems you will learn about while reading this thread. To buy and instal a complete Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash kit, you will need the following:

    1 Set of Euro Grills (The Euro grills provide holes for the washer nozzles, the wiper shaft, and also has the lip above the headlights providing a surface for the wiper blade to wipe against)
    1 Set of Ellipsoid Headlights or H4/H1 Headlights (The headlights must have a flat surface. The American Sealed Beam units have rounded lights, if you look at Ellipsoids, smiley or not, they are flat, as are the H4/H1 Headlights. Keep in mind, whichever headlight you have, be sure in between each light, there are two vertical holes, these are used to mount the motors for the wipers)
    1 Set of Headlamp Wiper Arms (attach to the shaft and hold the wiper blades)
    4 Headlamp Wiper Blades (These can only be bought new from BMW, no other aftermarket company makes them)
    2 Headlamp Wiper Motors (The two motors should be marked with an R and an L, can you guess what for? They also should include what looks like a Metal popsicle stick with two holes, two bolts, and two nuts on each motor. These are used for Mounting along with two little nuts that go on the end of each shaft)
    2 Headlamp Wiper Shaft Rubber Seals (These are what keep the motors from corroding and rusting away. Most of the time these will be on the motor at the bottom of the shaft, if they are crusty and eaten away, I recommend replacing them. They are very cheap from the dealer)
    2 Headlight Washer Nozzles
    4 Headlamp Wiper Rings with Wiper Stoppers (These are a very crucial part of the way the wipers operate. The stoppers are in very specific places so as to have the wipers lean on one stopper and push toward the other and make sure they do not wiper past the headlight and get stuck beneath it, ultimately stripped and destroying your motor. 6 rubber stoppers should be short and 6 should be long, make sure you have 6 of each)
    Enough Washer Tubing to run from your washer tank to your windscreen washer nozzles, from your left headlights to your right headlights, plus about 3 feet more needed for cutting and spares for little areas)
    3 "Y" Shaped valves
    2 "one-way" valves
    1 "3-way" valve
    2 Washer Pumps (The regular washer pump is identical to the intensive and headlamp washer pumps)
    Headlamp Wash/Wipe Interval Control Unit (This is a small box, with writing on it. It is basically a relay that sends a pulse of power to the motors. It should have a little metal tab with a hole and a screw)
    Headlamp Cleaning System Wiring Harness (Should have a ground, 3 plugs that go into your 3 washer pumps, a 4-prong and a 3-prong plug that go into your wiper motors, a big connector that goes into the Headlamp Wash/Wipe Interval Control unit, a plug that looks identical to the Diving board foglight plug, and finally a plug that plugs into your original washer wiring)
    Dual Washer Reservoir (This should come with two caps, one for the big tank, and one for the little with the red intensive fluid tag, and also a strainer for the big. The big tank has two holes where washer pumps will be placed. The washer pump in back will be for the headlamp washers, and the pump in front is for the windscreen. The Small reservoir is simply for the intensive wash which sprays on the windscreen. Beyond the pump holes, you should have the thing that looks like snake teeth for the washer fluid level sender, and also in the middle of the two tanks, there should be a metal clip in which the wash/wipe interval control unit screws into)
    Intensive Wash Relay (This unit goes in the fusebox in place of your current wiper relay. I believe the spot is K10. If you compare the two together, you will see the intensive wash relay has two extra pins that the regular wiper relay doesn't have. They are labeled PS and TS)
    Intensive Wiper Stalk (This is identical to the current wiper stalk you have to the right of the steering wheel, however it has an "S" with an Arrow pointing towards the steering wheel on it and it has two more wires than the original wiper stalk does. Notice how the intensive wash relay and the intensive wiper stalk relay both have two more wires than what you have now)

    Last edited by Japandrew73; 06-20-2009, 08:37 PM.


      Installation of the Headlamp Cleaning System
      The First thing you are going to want to do is take apart your motors. This is the #1 reason the Headlamp Cleaning System fails. The water drips down the shaft, the rubber seals begin to lose their seals and water gets inside the motor causing it to rust and seize. To take them apart, first look at the stalk and you will see a little rubber seal there, take it off, then take a flathead screwdriver and carefully pry around the entire underside. You can hear it unsticking from the motor. Once you have it all pried, you can pull out the bottom of it. You will find this.

      There is a silver board looking thing on there. Just barely pry up with your flathead screwdriver and it will come up. You could do that or push the stalk towards the bottom and it will all come up as shown in this picture.

      Here is where you can really see the problem. Carefully take it apart and rub steel wool all over the shaft and the silver board if it also has rust. Luckily for me it was only on the shaft and the shaft tube.

      When examining the insides, you might see rust colored goop everywhere. Don't be alarmed because it is the factory lube put in there. that is why in my pictures some of the gears will look rusty but it is really just goop.

      I took steel wool to my shaft and it came out much better and nice and smooth.

      Now to get the rust inside the stalk tube is very tricky. You can use a pipe cleaner, however this worked better for me. Take a screwdriver and scrape the inside of it very thoroughly. Make sure to scrape as much as you can. I also took the steel wool and rubbed the outside of the motor just at the end of the stalk tube to make sure it was cleaned up well enough.

      After this I sprayed WD-40 into the stalk tube and on the stalk and put it back in. MUCH BETTER. Much more movement and lubricated perfectly.

      Put it all back together and your done with the fixing of the seizure of the motors, but you need one last step to finish. You might find that once you are done with the entire installation, that when activated the back falls off and the shaft falls out the back. To prevent all of this, you need to take a ziptie or two and tightly tie them around the backs of the motors. They lose their adhesive once you take them apart but with zipties they work perfectly.

      Next you are going to replace your current washer fluid reservoir for your dual reservoir. Unplug the level sender unit from the "snake teeth plug" and unplug the washer pump. Unscrew the black flathead plastic screw and pull off the hose from the pump. I would highly recommend siphoning the fluid out before doing this because when you remove the hose, water will squirt everywhere. Once all the above is done, go ahead and take out the tank. You will have this left over. Save the strainer and cap if they are in better condition than your dual reservoir comes with. Also notice the little rubber gasket for the pump. You need 3 of these for your dual reservoir. Re-use accordingly.

      Your reservoir may be very dirty when you get it.

      If so, get a toothbrush, baking soda, and bleach. Scrub it profusely with the toothbrush and baking soda and once done, soak it in bleach for at least 24 hours and it will come out nicely. Once ready to instal, go head and put it into place. Use the same black flathead plastic screw to hold down, make sure all gaskets for the pumps are in place, and you can now plug back in the level sender unit into the "snake teeth plug". Place the two washer pumps given in your kit into any two of the washer pump holes in the reservoir, then use your old washer pump for the third hole so there are 3 washer pumps going into the dual reservoir. Two are visible in front by the control unit, and the third is on the opposite side of the washer pump on the larger tank, this one is for the headlamp washers. Go ahead and put the caps and strainer on. This is where you can take the control unit and screw it into place on the front of the reservoir. Now that the bottle is into place, it will look something like this (minus the plugs and tubing and your intensive wash cap will be clear instead of red)

      Now take your headlight clusters out of the car. When looking at the smiley ellipsoids, you can see in between the two lights, there are two vertically placed holes. These are what we use to mount the motors for the headlamp wipers

      looking at the L and the R on the wiper motors, put them on the according headlight clusters keeping in mind the L and R are if you are sitting in the car. It just takes two nuts to mount into those two holes in the center. have them facing parallel to the ground like in this picture

      Now you are going to take off your current headlight rings and put on your rings with the stoppers for the wipers. This is a very important part. Be sure to put them on in this order if you are looking at the car. There should be numbers on the top of each ring. Be sure when installing, the number is facing up towards the sky. If looking at the car, the order number of rings from left to right goes 3, 1, 2, 4.

      Assuming you have Euro Grills, go ahead and put the grills and headlights back in place. Here is an easy step, once everything is put back together, take the two washer nozzles and snap them into place in the upper middle part of the grill in between the two headlights on each side. Once in place, it will looks like this

      Now you are going to take the wiper arms. Inspect the holes in the middle of them to be sure the threading inside is in good shape. If it is stripped, you need to buy new ones otherwise the wiper motor shaft won't grab the arms and they will stand still.

      Pull back the arms and slide these onto the shafts. Keep them pulled back so they don't fling forward and crack your headlights. Go ahead and snap all the wiper blades into place onto the arms. Use the mini hex nut to tighten the arms onto the shaft. Be sure that when positioning the arms, they look like this picture. They are barely on the headlight, and just outside of the circle in the main ellipsoid headlight. They will rest in this position. This is one way you can tell the people who have headlight wipers for show, they always have them in some weird position.

      There will be a bit of play in the movement of the motors. You can barely be able to turn it a centimeter or two and then you won't be able to move it further. This is correct so don't be worried you have it wrong.


        Now your car is looking good visually, now to get them working.
        Take your Headlamp Cleaning System Wiring Harness and be ready to do a bit of electrical work. First off you will notice it is long and needs to be ran over from the reservoir to the other side of the engine bay. To do this, I recommend taking off your kidney grills. You may take off the side grills also, but it is unnecessary. Run it under the lip where you see zipties and other factory wiring run in front of the fan. Be sure to use your own zipties and run it out of the way of the fan. Have the harness come out the other side by your headlights. Run it so that the grounding connector is on the side opposite of the reservoir. Now look at this picture and see the two brown wires at the bottom of the screen going onto the side of the engine bay grounding on the hex nut? Take off the hex nut and put the ground from the headlamp cleaning system wiring harness onto the nut along with the other grounds that were already*there. Make sure you tighten it tight but not too tight.

        Then take the connector that has 3 prongs, one male and two female and plug it into the wiper motor. Then there is one connector left on this side of the engine bay. It looks identical, and plug right in to the diving board foglights. Do not do this. Instead, take your wire strippers and cut off the connector so you have two wires, a yellow/white wire, and a grey wire (not completely sure those colors are right, but the point is there is a striped wire and a solid color wire). Now find the power wire that your sidemarkers run from. It should be the same color as the striped wire from your wiring harness. You are going to take the striped wire from the wiring harness, and take into the striped sidemarker power wire. So striped, taps into striped. Then cap off the solid color wire from the wiring harness. It is not used since you already have grounded the other ground onto the side of the engine bay. Now all the plugs on this side of the engine bay are occupied and wired up.

        Now go ahead over to the other side of the engine bay towards the reservoir. There will be a plug with 4 pins (2 male 2 female) that plugs into the wiper motor. Notice how the other plug and motor had 3 pins and this one has 4. This motor is in charge of when the washers, and both motors activate. Once this is plugged in, you will see 5 more connectors. Take the giant connector and plug it in to the bottom of the wash/wipe control unit. Then take the connector that is somewhat in the middle of the harness and plug it into the original washer wiring. If your original washer wiring doesn't have the plug, just cut off the plug and use connectors like shown in the bottom right of this picture

        Now that that is connected, you have 3 more connectors. For the connector that is a straight shape, this goes to the headlamp washer pump in the back of the larger reservoir. Now take the longer wire connector and plug it into the intensive wash pump and take the remaining connector to plug into the windscreen washer pump in front of the large reservoir. It will look like this when finished (Minus the tubing and red cap on the intensive bottle)

        You have now done all the wiring for the headlamp cleaning system.

        Now the only thing left is running the washer tubing. The washer tubing given to you might not be in the best shape. Take a toothbrush and baking soda and go to town on scrubbing it. The tubing will come out not perfect, but very nicely.
        So you can go ahead and take the original windscreen washer tubing and connect it to the front pump on the front of the big tank on the dual reservoir. Now to run the tubing for the headlamp washers. Plug one end into the back pump on the big tank and run it through the middle of the two tanks and down next to the tubing for the windscreen washer. Now allow it to come up right by the high beam of the right headlight clusters and cut it. Then take your "Y" valve, and connect the tubing to it. Then take about 3 inches of tubing and connect it from the "Y" valve, to a "one-way" valve. You can see which way the valve goes from this picture below. Many times the "One-way" and "three-way" valves that are given to you will not work, it will be almost certain that you will need to buy new ones for optimum water passage to the headlamps. Then take about another 3 inches of tubing and connect it from the "one-way" valve to the headlamp washer nozzle. The tubing will run through a hole in the headlight housings which goes straight to the nozzle.

        Then take about 3.5 feet of tubing and connect it to the "Y" shape valve and run it through the same path you ran your Headlamp Wiring Harness across the front of the car. You may need to take the kidney grills off and be sure to use zipties to tie out of the way of the fan. Cut the tubing right at the highbeam of the left headlamp cluster and repeat the same steps you used for the other side. Take a "one-way" valve connect it to the tubing, then take 3 inches of tubing, connect one end to the "one-way" valve and the other end to the Headlamp washer nozzle. You can see in the pic how the tubing is ran and the valves are placed.

        You have now successfully installed the headlamp cleaning system! Give yourself a thumbs up!

        If for some reason, your system is not working see the troubleshooting section.


          Installing Intensive Wash System
          Here is a very easy step, swap the original wiper relay (long black) with the Intensive Wash Relay. Using the connectors we are going to wire it into place. If you take the relay back out, you can see how two spots next to the vertically placed 4 female connectors, there is nothing there, but the relay has the pins for it. So Take about 3 feet of wire and connect one of our connectors to it.

          This is what you are aiming to accomplish. Putting the two pins in those empty spaces for TS and PS is your goal.

          So there are two screws holding the box down, take those out.

          Then take the hex nut shown in this pic out

          Then carefully lift up on the box. You can pull on it a bit more than you think, but don't pull too hard.

          Now right by your master cylinder, you will see a giant rubber boot, pull this out of place. Then go down to your underdash kick panel and take it off so you have access to the other side of the boot.

          You will feed the wire through the boot and out the other side of the boot through the firewall. Do this entire step with two 3 foot-wires with our connector on one side. One wire and connector for each pins for TS and PS. Once these two wires are through the firewall, push the boot back into place.

          Now go back up to the fusebox and feed the wires underneath the fusebox boot and into the fusebox.

          They connectors will snap into place where the TS and PS pins go.
          When finished, go ahead and screw the fusebox back together and you will see the relay now fits with the TS and PS pins occupied

          Put the relay back in and close your fusebox, you're done up there

          Now go to your steering wheel. Take off it's center button with the BMW logo and turn the key into the ignition and use a wrench to take the giant hex nut off and pull the steering wheel off. Two screws under the steering column cover and two screws above the steering column cover allow you to take off the cover. take off the grounding nut where the current wiper stalk is and take it out. replace it with your intensive stalk and put the grounding nut back on with the new intensive stalk grounded. Put together the steering wheel column cover and put the steering wheel back on. Do a test or two to be sure it works in its regular features. Now plug in the intensive wash stalk plug where the regular wiper stalk went. Notice how there are 6 wires on the stalk end of the plug, and 4 wires on the other end. Cut the extra two wires so they no longer lead to the plug

          Use standard connectors to patch your wires you ran through the firewall to each of the two you just cut. It doesn't matter which goes to which.

          Tape or shrink wrap them and then run them neatly. Go ahead and turn your car with the ignition on and press the intensive button to hear for the Intensive wash pump run (there shouldn't be any liquid in it yet). If it does, then it's time to put the underdash kick panel back on and time for the final step, the washer tubing. This is ran from the intensive washer pump, down through the same path that the regular windscreen wash tubing runs.
          Using the clips, run all three tubes in a nice line together like this

          Run the tubing up towards the hood, following the windscreen wash tubing

          And finally when you run it up towards the top and center of the hood, leave it there for a second. using this diagram, the proper amount of washer tubing, and your old and new "3-way" valves, and your 2 "Y" shaped valves, cut the tubing accordingly and follow the shown diagram.

          Ignore the Black plastic "L" shape, it is not needed

          Once finished, plug the ends into the windscreen nozzles and plug either of the intensive tube or the regular tube into one of the valves and run it neatly like shown in the picture

          Your Reservoir should now look just like the picture

          You are now finished with the Intensive Wash Installation! Give yourself another Thumbs up!

          The Entire Installation of the Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash System should now be complete. Fill up your reservoirs and you are ready to go!



            If you see your headlamp wiper shafts spinning when activated, but the arms are not moving with the shafts, tighten up the nut to be sure and try again. If this still fails, the threading in the arms are too striped to grab the shaft and you will need to replace them.

            If you see that your wipers will wipe very far on one direction and not very far on the other direction and it starts to fall off the headlight and get caught on the grill, you need to reposition them so that the arms rest correctly when not in use.

            If you have random spraying from the headlamp washer nozzles or a very long period of time spraying fluid (they should only spray for about 3 seconds) then you will need either a new wash/wipe interval control unit or a new right headlight wiper motor. 9/10 times it will be a new control unit though, next to the rusted motors, the control unit is the next giant flaw in the design and problem to watch for.

            If it seems like the wipers are not synchronized in wiping patterns, do not fret. The right motor is supposed to stop just slightly before the left does.

            If water is not being sprayed to one or another headlight, be sure to check the valves to see if it's wet all around the area, if it is then you need to replace the "one-way" valve.

            If no fluid or wiping is working, check your fuse. Then, check to be sure your sidemarkers, at least, are on and your key is turned once, at least.

            If it seems one wiper is not wiping the entire headlight, adjust the headlight rings accordingly so that it ricochets (for lack of a better word) off one stopper and swings around to the next correctly.

            If the headlamp washer nozzles spray into the wrong spots, take a tack or a needle and manually adjust the nozzles so they spray directly to the center of the headlights.

            If you have any other questions regarding the Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash System installation, feel free to shoot me a PM. Before doing so, make sure to read this entire thread. You may also consult with the Factory Installation PDF.


            You may now enjoy your fully functional Headlamp Cleaning System/Intensive Wash System! Enjoy!:)


              Im so glad you put this up bud my full kit came last week and i didnt have a clue how to start it.


                Originally posted by Dixon View Post
                Im so glad you put this up bud my full kit came last week and i didnt have a clue how to start it.
                Yea your in Long Beach too, if you ever have trouble beyond this thread's help (which you shouldn't) but if you do, you can drive up to Newport and I'll help you out with it


                  I'm glad you took my advice in doing a full write up. This is invaluable, and you deserve massive props from everyone out there that owns a non-functional headlamp cleaning system
                  An unlucky E30 I came across in Rotterdam, Holland


                    Thank you! :D


                      i just received my kit a month ago from the u.k. thank you so much for this!
                      Gigitty Gigitty!!!!

                      88 cabrio becoming alpina b6 3.5s transplanted s62
                      92 Mtech 2 cabrio alpinweiss 770 code
                      88 325ix coupe manual lachsilber/cardinal
                      88 325ix coupe manual diamondschwartz/natur
                      87 e30 m3 for parts lachsilber/cardinal(serial number 7)
                      12 135i M sport cabrio grey/black


                        Great writeup.

                        Now I have to find the rest of the parts I need.

                        My 1989 e30 s52 Touring... this is Betty

                        My 1989 325i vert (sold)...this is Nina

                        My 1991 M5 (sold)... this is Veronica

                        Photo comparison: OEM vs aftermarket windscreen for a convertible


                          damn! i am so glad the photos are working again. thank you andrew.
                          Gigitty Gigitty!!!!

                          88 cabrio becoming alpina b6 3.5s transplanted s62
                          92 Mtech 2 cabrio alpinweiss 770 code
                          88 325ix coupe manual lachsilber/cardinal
                          88 325ix coupe manual diamondschwartz/natur
                          87 e30 m3 for parts lachsilber/cardinal(serial number 7)
                          12 135i M sport cabrio grey/black


                            Originally posted by flyboyx View Post
                            damn! i am so glad the photos are working again. thank you andrew.
                            You're very welcome! Glad to see SOMEBODY is using this thread. ;)


                              Originally posted by Japandrew73 View Post
                              You're very welcome! Glad to see SOMEBODY is using this thread. ;)
                              i will be using some of the info very soon. just ordered a tested full retro fit kit for $200 USD shipped from the UK :D

                              but im wiring the system to a euro touring rear wiper switch. i wanted them functional if needed, but not to be on every time my regular wiper is going. should be a fun system to wire.