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Faults, Fixes and DIY Please share your experience and knowledge with other members by contributing your own DIY, or by helping another member find the elusive fix!

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Old Sun, May-28-2006, 05:10:08 PM   #1
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Default DIY - Delaminated Rearview Mirror Fix

Well my wife's car suffered from the inevitable rearview mirror failure.

The rearview mirror started to look very hazy on a hot day here in So Cal, and later that night the liquid inside looked like it seperated and images in the mirror were blurred and doubled.

So I called the stealer and they wanted $500... $410 with CCA.

I'm a DIY person so I figured I had nothing to lose since the whole thing needed to be replaced, and I decided to try and fix it myself.

The only bad thing about this whole problem was that I waited a few days for the weekend to do it! ARGH!!! WARNING to anyone that may experience this failure: Remove the rearview as soon as possible.

When I went out to the garage on Saturday, I noticed that the rearview mirror was still hazy but it cleared up a little. Then I noticed that the liquid contents leaked out of the mirror onto the center console!!!! WTF?!? Well there's something corrosive in the liquid as it melted some of the plastic console pieces. My wife was very upset that her car was messed up. I setup an appointment with the BMW rep but I bought the plastic interior pieces anyway as I don't know if they will replace anything. It's out of warranty.

Anyways, for the fix:

1. Remove the rearview mirror.
a. Remove the two plastic pieces that are snapped together behind the mirror.
2. Turn the mirror braket clockwise to about 1 oclock, it will come off.
a. Unplug the wiring.
3. I would suggest wearing some rubber gloves.
4. Get a precision flathead screwdriver (yea those really small ones).
5. Slowly and carefully seperate the plastic of the mirror, the front and rear sections; it's the seam towards the front. It comes apart relatively easily just don't force it so it breaks the tabs inside.
6. Once it's apart, you will notice that the mirror seperates easily from the backside, just unplug the wirirng.
7. Remove the circuit board from the rear side of the mirror.
a. There will be two wires (red and black) coming from the circuit board to metal wiring on the top and bottom of the mirror.
b. Remove the metal wiring from the mirror and cut the red and black wires off of the circuit board.
c. Carefully peel off the black plastic piece that held the circuit board off of the back of the mirror... you will reuse this so don't f.. it up, and remember the original position.
8. You will notice that the mirror is actually made of two pieces; you will need to seperate them very carefully.
a. Get a couple of new razors.
b. You will carefully work your way around the mirror and remove the resin / glue that was used to hold them together. Work slowly so you don't break the mirror / cut yourself.
c. You will notice that there is a black seam on the outside perimeter of the mirror. That is also adhesive between the front and back mirror pieces. You must seperate that as well with a razor, carefully!
9. Once you've seperated them, clean both pieces very carefully with a non-streaking glass cleaner.
10. I tried to assemble the glass together as originally designed but I noticed that the front glass piece that goes over the mirror has some coating on it and causes double vision.
11. So to get around this, you just need the mirror portion. However, if you use just the mirror portion, the components don't fit together correctly as that thickness of both mirror and glass is needed to correctly put everything back together.
12. Get some masking tape and tape the back of the mirror up completely. Get some VERY thin double sided tape and put it on the back of the mirror over the masking tape.
a. Put the glass on the backside of the mirror, this is just to provide the correct thickness.
13. Now put the plastic piece that you peeled off the back of the mirror and put it on the glass side of the newly assembled mirror and glass.
14. Put the circuit board back on and re-assemble in reverse order.
15. If you've broken any tabs, you can permanently glue the front plastic to the rear plastic of the mirror housing.
16. Plug the wiring back in and put it back in the car.
17. Clean the mirror and viola!

I have yet to drive the car at night, which for some people it may be unacceptable as now there's no dimming feature, however my wife's car has a good tint on the rear window so I don't see that it will be a problem.

Good luck!

94 RX7

and the wifes:
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Old Mon, May-29-2006, 06:20:10 AM   #2
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that's interesting...

I'm not quite sure what the liquid inside the mirror is :nixweiss: I didn't know we had liquid in there... what purpose does it serve?
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Old Mon, May-29-2006, 05:04:02 PM   #3
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The liquid may be some kind of liquid crystal; the contents were somewhat oily. The way that it works is that the autodimming sensor senses when there's light coming into it from the rear and applies current to the liquid which changes the liquid crystal properties. In this case it looks like it makes the liquid darker.
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Old Thu, Sep-02-2010, 02:46:31 AM   #4
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Just faced this problem. Been hot around here lately and noticed there seemed to be a slight seperation and fluid between my rear view mirror. I didn't have time or daylight to fix it right away so I put a zip lock bag around it for a couple days (so the fluid wouldnt ruin my dash) and just completed the fix. I didn't have double sided tape so I used gasket/trim adhesive (like a really good contact cement) which seemed to work fine.

Something I would like to add. I was having a hard time getting the 2 glass pieces apart, so I decided to head it up with hot water, then using the razor blade. I also had a much easier time taking of the black plastic piece that hold the circuit board on after I heated with a hair dryer.

THANK YOU for the write up!!!! Sometimes if frustrates me that BMW spends so much time and money into these stupid features. I could probably afford a brand new M3 if it weren't for all the stupid features they put in these cars. Just give me a CSL engine and take all the luxury crap and keep if for the pretty boys!!!!
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Old Thu, Sep-02-2010, 03:15:53 PM   #5
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If I remember correctly, the fluid is mercury. That is what I remember from reading.

Or you could pay Sybemas $75 + shipping for a rebuilt mirror that has the same functionality.
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Old Fri, Sep-03-2010, 01:05:06 AM   #6
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I just paid the $75 and got my new mirror in the mail 3 days later. I just sent the old one back. I can't wait to put the mirror on tomorrow. It looks great and I think that they changed the liquid in it.
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Discussing DIY - Delaminated Rearview Mirror Fix in the Faults, Fixes and DIY Forum - Please share your experience and knowledge with other members by contributing your own DIY, or by helping another member find the elusive fix! at BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)