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Tech: temporary fix to folding rearview mirrors fault

April 28, 2014 in Tech corner, Technical

A lot of car owners regardless of brand have the same problem, their folding rearview mirrors fails to stop where they are supposed to. When pressing the unfold mirror pushbutton on the dashboard when the mirrors have been brought it, the mirrors are supposed to fold out and return to a stop position, when the solenoid breaks the mirror stops doing this and continues beyond the stop all the way around a 180° bend. This is a very frustrating problem since most often the mirror will never return to its designated out position and every time you turn on the ignition, even if you manually positioned the mirror to the correct place, it continues to move to an un-correct location.

What does the mechanic say? Well basically whats written in the Workshop Information System (WIS): replace the whole mirror, and thats gonna cost you a significant amount of money!

However for all of you who dont want or cant spend that amount of money right now or feel that you can live without those folding mirror since most people never use them anyway, there is a quick fix to the problem.

1. Turn ignition to on.

2. Press the fold/unfold pushbutton on the dash and manually move the mirror until its in its stop position is in the right place, one you’ve found a good stop location for the mirror, remove the plastic cover over the mirror on the inside of the door and there you’ll find two connectors, one black and one grey. Remove the grey connector.

(if you do not have auto-dimming rearview mirrors, you can stop at this point, just removing the connector will do the trick, however if you have auto-dimming mirrors you need to continue with step 3 and onwards because otherwise the dim function will not work)

3. Repeat step 2 for the other mirror, most often they wont find a location on the same time.

4. With the grey connector removed the mirror will no longer move either by turning on the ignition or by pressing the pushbutton.

rearview mirror electrical fix5. If you look at the backside of that grey 10-contact connector you’ll see that there are numbers next to the cables. According to the workshop information system (WIS) there is supposed to be a cable going to connector no 3 (purple on the image).

This is the power supply for the motor folding the mirror. Remove this cable from the grey connector by pushing a small flat metall object (for example a screwdriver) into the small openings next to the connector (see image) and then push the connector out.

6. Once out, tejp the connector so that it wont come into contact with any other electrical contacts and cause trouble and then park the connector int he rubber foam surrounding the metal frame.

7. Insert the grey connector into its contact again and re-attach the plastic frame.

Now the auto-dimming function on the side mirrors work, but the folding pushbutton on the dash is no longer functioning nor will the mirrors fold when turning on the ignition even though you didn’t touch that pushbutton.

4 responses to Tech: temporary fix to folding rearview mirrors fault

  1. Folding wing mirrors – yet another example of one step forward, two steps back. Perhaps we could also go back to hand cranking windows up and down, at least the front ones.

  2. Que comment from Angelo about extra electronic features in cars that break and are more expensive to replace….

  3. When I was involved with selling and working on Saab’s for a living it was always very hard to sell someone a Linear model as they wanted extra toys. It was always the same people who would then complain when their extra toys went wrong that they cost too much and why would anyone want them in the first place.

    • Tim said on May 7, 2014

      Well, I bought a fully loaded aero for almost twice the price of a linear and for that cost I expect the parts to work, preferably longer than four to five years…