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I have a 2002 E39 M5 with 55K mi on it. We have been having some toasty weather here in CA, and I now have a fluid bubble in the top half of my (internal) rear view mirror. Inside the bubble the mirror does not darken. In the region outside the bubble, it does. In daytime you can barely see the separation, but at night it is quite visible. I know this has been a historical failure issue, and this mirror was already replaced by Magna Donnelly in 2007.

I checked and an OEM replacement from BMW is between $500 and $650, depending on the source. Does anyone know if Magna Donnelly is still replacing mirrors? They appear to have a functioning website (Magna: Contact Us). Are the OEM versions still MD mirrors or are they now made by someone else? I am not sure I want to spend $500 on a mirror that will fail again in a few years.

I thought the replacement from MD was supposed to fix this problem, but it appears not. I had a link at one time to the procedure for replacing the mirror, but cannot find it all these years later...

Also, I considered just placing some sort of aftermarket mirror over the OEM, but that would look tacky, and I have heard these mirrors can leak that nasty electrochromic fluid which is toxic and corrosive soon after you get the bubble. All which mean replacement in the not too distant future.
 

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I have a 2002 E39 M5 with 55K mi on it. We have been having some toasty weather here in CA, and I now have a fluid bubble in the top half of my (internal) rear view mirror. Inside the bubble the mirror does not darken. In the region outside the bubble, it does. In daytime you can barely see the separation, but at night it is quite visible. I know this has been a historical failure issue, and this mirror was already replaced by Magna Donnelly in 2007.

I checked and an OEM replacement from BMW is between $500 and $650, depending on the source. Does anyone know if Magna Donnelly is still replacing mirrors? They appear to have a functioning website (Magna: Contact Us). Are the OEM versions still MD mirrors or are they now made by someone else? I am not sure I want to spend $500 on a mirror that will fail again in a few years.

I thought the replacement from MD was supposed to fix this problem, but it appears not. I had a link at one time to the procedure for replacing the mirror, but cannot find it all these years later...

Also, I considered just placing some sort of aftermarket mirror over the OEM, but that would look tacky, and I have heard these mirrors can leak that nasty electrochromic fluid which is toxic and corrosive soon after you get the bubble. All which mean replacement in the not too distant future.
1. http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/m5-e39-group-buy-forum-sponsor-discussion-offerings/189074-e39-m5-auto-dimming-mirror-repair.html
2. Clemster

Regards,
Jerry
 

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I have a 2002 E39 M5 with 55K mi on it. We have been having some toasty weather here in CA, and I now have a fluid bubble in the top half of my (internal) rear view mirror. Inside the bubble the mirror does not darken. In the region outside the bubble, it does. In daytime you can barely see the separation, but at night it is quite visible. I know this has been a historical failure issue, and this mirror was already replaced by Magna Donnelly in 2007.

I checked and an OEM replacement from BMW is between $500 and $650, depending on the source. Does anyone know if Magna Donnelly is still replacing mirrors? They appear to have a functioning website (Magna: Contact Us). Are the OEM versions still MD mirrors or are they now made by someone else? I am not sure I want to spend $500 on a mirror that will fail again in a few years.

I thought the replacement from MD was supposed to fix this problem, but it appears not. I had a link at one time to the procedure for replacing the mirror, but cannot find it all these years later...

Also, I considered just placing some sort of aftermarket mirror over the OEM, but that would look tacky, and I have heard these mirrors can leak that nasty electrochromic fluid which is toxic and corrosive soon after you get the bubble. All which mean replacement in the not too distant future.
I just use the square (rectangle) one from the non-M e39's. The one I have is auto-dimming, but I'm not sure if they all are.
 

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The first thing I did when I purchased my car was use RadarMirror that @gsfent posted (option 1). It was like $110 + shipping or so, with a 1 day turnaround (then add to/from shipping times based on your location from him - Texas). So far no issues, and of course eliminates some worry of leaking hopefully.

My buddy with an Mcoupe "thought" about doing this, but procrastinated (and was being cheap), then found leaky fluid on his dashboard which did some nasty stuff - so the $110 was well spent - and should have been done immediately instead of dealing with the frustration of cleanup.

Also just be careful in removing the mirror - follow the instructions instead of brute force. ask me how I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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I just use the square (rectangle) one from the non-M e39's. The one I have is auto-dimming, but I'm not sure if they all are.
It appears all the "square" versions appear to be NLA according to RealOEM. Besides any "electrochromic" versions (self dimming) will have this problem.
 

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Do you know if I can drive the car without the rear view mirror? I mean will there be any issues with the alarm or other electronics (besides the obvious rear view safety issue)?
Fortunately I haven't had to find out yet! However, from what I've read there are no reports of such issues. With this being a very common failure I would think there'd be a lot of posts about such problems. It sounds like the common course is to send your mirror off to be repaired (e.g. radar-mirror), so if that caused alarm issues while you were without it, there would be many posts about that. Hopefully someone with first hand knowledge will chime in if there actually are any side effects.
 

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I don't recall any issues driving or arming car without having a rear view mirror. Having never driven without an actual mirror, it threw me for a whirl every few seconds I'd look and there was literally nothing to look at. I was very confused, every single time I did it.

I know my car would beep/lock when I would press the button on the key fob, so the alarm seemed to work. That being said, the "red nose" on my mirror didn't work/flash when I bought it . . . and didn't work post radar-mirror - but that's not a function of the radar-mirror service. But I'm fine not having a red light flash - if that's what it's "supposed" to do when it's armed (frankly I'm unsure what the red nose does).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't recall any issues driving or arming car without having a rear view mirror. Having never driven without an actual mirror, it threw me for a whirl every few seconds I'd look and there was literally nothing to look at. I was very confused, every single time I did it.

I know my car would beep/lock when I would press the button on the key fob, so the alarm seemed to work. That being said, the "red nose" on my mirror didn't work/flash when I bought it . . . and didn't work post radar-mirror - but that's not a function of the radar-mirror service. But I'm fine not having a red light flash - if that's what it's "supposed" to do when it's armed (frankly I'm unsure what the red nose does).
Well, I ride a motorcycle and am somewhat used to using side mirrors for the rear view. I want to pull the mirror just in case it leaks, although Magna Donnelly assured me the replacements for the OEM would not leak back when I did the first exchange (they also said they would not fail).
 

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Sending my mirror to RadarMirror was the first thing I did after getting my car 2 1/2 years ago. Great service and quality, highly recommended. Your idea about driving sans mirror ain't a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sending my mirror to RadarMirror was the first thing I did after getting my car 2 1/2 years ago. Great service and quality, highly recommended...
Mirror is on the way to Radar_mirror. Spoke with Scott Wheeler over the weekend. He assures me his solution is long term and does not expect leaking failures. My mirror was originally replaced by Sybesma back in 2008 who used Magna Donnelly parts, so even these replacements had issues. Scott's price is very reasonable (compared to $550-650 BMW replacement cost with NO assurance they will not fail again).

What I am curious about is what technology is BMW currently using for the EC mirrors, and why do the more recent mirrors not fail and ours do?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Follow up

Sent off my mirror to Radar-mirror in Texas and got back the repaired unit.

Works like a champ. Darkens even better than the MD mirror replacement I had before. Pretty reasonable at under $150 shipped + lifetime warranty. Fast turnaround (under 2 weeks including shipping transit).
 
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