A common ailment for the E39 heated side view mirror is a problem created by a failure of the external (ambient) temperature sensor. Whether due to sensor decapitation or electronics fault, this issue causes the heated mirrors to default to "on" even in balmy conditions. The result is a brown, burnt condition around the edges of the mirror. The solution is to purchase replacement glass and DIY.
Here's the result of the problem.
Remove the adulterated mirror by tilting the mirror inward as far as it will go and pry the mirror off with gentle but firm pressure until it pops off.
Once removed, you'll see how the wires are connected to the mirror.
Wiggle the connectors off using a gentle back and forth motion.
Reconnect the wires.
Pop the mirror back into place. Be careful to make sure the mirror is aligned correctly for seating.
End results. A clean, new look.
How do you know if you have a heated side mirror? Just pop them out and see for those two wires? My driver side mirror has that little burning patch to the sides.
Yeah, I could've done that but was too lazy to open another tab, type in last seven, and keep on searching .... Was hoping to simply pop off the mirror and confirm, but now you have made me do some work.
So, if you have heated side mirrors does that mean it only comes with heated seats and or heated steering wheel?
Just a tip for those that are thinking about doing this:
1. Be sure to get the correct mirror (driver mirror is flat in order to judge proper distance while passenger is aspherical to gain a wider field of view), but either one can be installed. Just be aware.
2. I'd order the Euro Aspherical mirrors if I was going to replace. OEM is best. I got some cheap Chinese knock offs and the glass fell off of it when the temps fell below zero.... My brother was lucky though and his are perfect. Go figure.
Heated mirrors are pretty much standard. Absolutely no relation to heated seats (Cold Weather Package) or the 4 prong (boat) heated steering wheel.
Last edited by BavarianE31; 03-04-2014 at 03:12 AM.
Mods, please move this to DIY section so we don't lose. :-)
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awesome! my driver side mirror has burnt edges as well. nice to know they may be heated.
I replaced mine with the European e39 mirrors (they are tinted blue for glare, heated, and convex at the outer edge)
Function wise, they are WAY better than the American ones.... and they don't have the writing that tells you to be careful for cars in the mirror!
The best part is, no more blind spot! (i had a blind spot problem before doing this changeup)
- - - Updated - - -
PS if you look at RealOEM, they show all the different mirrors for the different continents... I tried to order the middle eastern passenger side because it had cool-looking middle eastern writing on it but dealer told me they are not allowed to order that one
Last edited by fullthrottle540; 03-04-2014 at 01:29 PM.
That looks easy enough. Thanks. Got the same junk on my mirrors. I'll be doing this shortly I think.
You mentioned they overcook due to the sensor misreading and keeping them heated all the time. Is the sensor in the glass, or something central, connected to the ambient air temp sensor? Point is, will the new heated glass get cooked in time as well?
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Not sure how the BMW is wired up, but I know that my Infiniti only heats the mirrors when you use rear defrost...
But then again, that would be too simple for BMW... i wouldn't be surprised if it was in fact hooked up to the ambient sensor through the main computer
Last edited by fullthrottle540; 03-04-2014 at 02:08 PM.
Its the ambient temp sensor under the front bumper.
My old driver mirror did the brown edge thing as well, but my ambient temp sensor was always working, so they can become de-silvered by age too.
I did the Euro mirrors on both sides. Very nice, but takes a few drives to get used to the new driver side mirror. The outer aspherical edge makes "objects are closer than they appear" effect kind of strange at first, but all good after adapting to it.. Really helps remove blind spots. Great upgrade.
But ... it hurts my eyes with those magic mirrors ........ just saying.
Wow, I'm impressed to know more fancy stuff like heated wiper spra nozzles on our cars. More reason to love BMW and E39.
Thanks! I've been meaning to replace my mirrors for a while now and this thread kicked me into action. I ordered the Euros mainly because of the blue tint which hopefully will make them easier on the eyes at night. However, even if it makes no diff, the blind spot feature will be worthwhile.
Last edited by sleuth255; 03-04-2014 at 08:18 PM.
I almost bought a non OEM set off ebay, but will be holding off until I just get the real deal. No faster way to make a vehicle feel cheap than putting on bad mirrors.
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Just replaced my drivers side with this DIY, easy peesy!
thanks for the effort!