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Can you identify this?

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In the photograph below: that is the interior mirror area of one of my two Avensis T Spirt's. It is actually the 05 car, but is identical to the 56 car.

Can you identify the small rectangular part to the left of the mirror housing (which is about 1.1/2 inches wide by about 1/2 inch deep and has a connection under the roof headlining)

Both cars have this part but, the one in the 56 car is broken.

To date I have assumed it is the rain sensor for the auto-wipe. However, I have located (as yet unseen) a replacement (by name of part) from a breakers. But when I asked over the phone the breaker to describe the part he has, he, described a circular item around 1.1/2 inches in diameter.

So now I am in a quandary, have I mis-identified the part? if so what is it? Or, has Toyota changed the shape of the part. If you Google for Toyota rain-sensors you will find only circular parts, no sign of the rectangular one shown here.

The auto-wipe on the car with this broken part is not working and has reverted to intermittent wipe (when set on the auto- wipe) with variable timing.

Toyota want £270 for a rain sensor, this replacement from the breaker is - wait for this - ....£12 which is great...IF it is the part I'm looking for.

I am due to collect it tomorrow afternoon.





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Hi David,

Thank you for your reply.

No I'm pretty sure its not a cosmetic cover, I realise my photo has distorted the apparent size of the part so I have included another here of the broken one from the other car

I have as far as I can turned the part 45ish degrees from its normal position up against the windscreen so you can see the working side.

As you can see there is a hole approximately 3/8inch in diameter (might be slightly bigger) in the middle of the part, looking carefully you can see a tiny printed circuit board inside the hole. At one time there was a very fine coiled spring in the hole (this has been lost, one end of the spring was solder tinned and I guess at one time was attached to one or more of the tiny solder blobs that can be seen shining in the hole. This spring in use was in contact with the windscreen (I guess as a sensor for rain on the windscreen) to the left of the hole you can just see the remnants of the self adhesive pad that attached it to the windscreen.

As you can see there is nothing that will accommodate the breaker described part said to be something around the size of a 2p piece or bigger.

How did it get broken you may well ask. Well I don't actually know, either it was already faulty and damaged before I bought the car, or a roadside hand car wash knocked it off the screen when the inside of the windscreen was cleaned, I can't prove either.

If you compare the photos, you will see the non-broken part windscreen has a narrow black strip that was fitted by a windscreen fitter when it was replaced late last year, when I questioned this he assured me the auto wiper wouldn't work properly without it. The car with the broken part doesn't have this strip. Which makes me wonder if the screen was replaced before I bought it and this led to the previous owner trying to repair a non-existanr fault with the auto-wipers when all it need was a black strip fitted.

And, I still don't know if this is indeed anything to do with the auto-wipers.

Its as well to remember the part is actually quite small, compare the sunscreen black dots on the screen.



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Many people disable the auto wiper system as it doesn't work very well. The wiring to do this is behind the shield/cover which surrounds the rear view mirror mount onto the windscreen. It just unclips. Reactivating it is a case of re-attaching a wiring connector. 


The device which appears damaged could be linked to the original sat nav aerial. I had a similar unit on my old Celica. It was pointed out to me by a windscreen fitter who couldn't guarantee not damaging it if the screen was replaced. Perhaps that is why yours is no longer attached to the screen? 

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Hi Gary,

Thank you for your reply.

Now that makes sense. I don't use the built in sat nav it being the most laborious long-winded affair to set up and use - its the older pre-popup orange/black display unit type - so I wouldn't necessarily notice if it wasn't working  I prefer my elderly but doddle to use Tom Tom 825.

I imagine the way to test it is to try to use the built in sat nav, if it fails to work or reports a signal fault (does/will it do that? I don't know) will prove it.

As an aside, my local Toyota dealer was unable to identify what this part is (over the phone) even rummaging through various service manuals and documents. A call that took all of half an hour and a very embarrassed service dealer who ended up opining it was to do with the auto wipers, but I'm afraid I probably led him that way, as initially that's what I thought it was.

Anyway, If I can prove its the sat nav antenna I'll confirm it here in due course.

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To me that doesn't look like the rain sensor - it may be the GPS or Radio antenna. Actually I could not identity the part in the repair manual - so I may be wrong.

Have a look at the attached screenshot.



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Many thanks for that Artiom,

I'm now satisfied that the part I'm looking at is the sat nav/gps antenna. I've been under the mirror housing cover and located the auto wiper sensor, it hasn't been disconnected by the previous owner so may be genuinely faulty. Since I have a recycled sensor available I will collect it as arranged later today.

The radio works normally, that antenna is built in to the rear screen heater I believe, certainly if the radio is on at the same time as the heater is on some mild radio interference is experienced.

As far as a replacement part for the damaged gps antenna is concerned, that looks like being a much more difficult problem, my local Toyota dealer doesn't even list it as a separate part. for a recycled one I would need a donor car that originally had built in sat-nav, which does limit the number of possibilities.

My grateful thanks to all respondents to this thread, if anybody can put me in touch with a windscreen gps antenna I would be most grateful.

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Iirc there was an optional accessory upgrade available to the standard factory fit gps & that required an additional antenna - perhaps both your cars have it (although that would seem highly unlikely)?

Also iirc the antenna for the car radio is in 1 of the rear windows rather than in the rear demister.

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I'm beginning to wonder if there is anything wrong with the 56 car's auto-wipe at all, I'll explain...

In the 05 car (pre facelift), the auto wipe works as: switch to auto, on a rain free dry screen the wipers do not move until rainwater is on the windscreen. So the stalk switch can if you wish be left permanently in that position, the wipers will not operate unless it rains. There is no intermittent wipe option.

In the 56 car (post facelift), In dry weather the stalk switch is left in the off position. In rain the switch is moved to auto when the wiper move by whatever intermittent option dwell time is set (there are three positions) if the rain increases the wipers increase their wipe timing automatically, this is how mine appear to work at this time. Should they work as the 05 car or has Toyota made a change with the facelift upgrade that would only really be noticed by people like me who have one of each, leaving me chasing a fault that doesn't actually exist?

The user manuals in this area are not helpful giving only the bare-bones of the wiper operation.







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If the auto-lights work then the auto wiper could be working. Splitting the wiring disables both so presumably the sensor has two functions.

The main fault with the auto wipers was that its speed delay varied so widely it became a distraction.  

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Yes, I think you may be right Gary,

I collected the recycled sensor today and it does seem to have two sensor lenses in it. In its present form it is unlikely to work as the fixing gel pad is in an awful state (well I did get it for £12 against £270 for a new Toyota item) and will need thoroughly cleaning before any installation. I remember reading somewhere - I don't remember where, maybe in these forums - that if a rain sensor is replaced for any reason the gel pad must be replaced with a new one, no attempt should be made to use the old pad. In this particular case the gel pad is so badly damaged it couldn't be used anyway.

And again yes, the auto lights sensor does work although I do have an issue with its sensitivity (see other of my threads passim) thereby agreeing with your first paragraph..

So I'm leaning towards that Toyota altered the auto wiper operation between the two models, although I have no actual confirmation of this. But it would take someone like me regularly using both cars to notice it. The only real way for me to prove it without another owner confirming it is to settle down and get the recycled sensor cleaned up and try it.

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