Rear view mirror just went Tango Union; Options? - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 26th May 2017, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Rear view mirror just went Tango Union; Options?

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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post #2 of 14 Old 26th May 2017, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhl93449 View Post
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. https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/m5-...or-repair.html
2. Clemster

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Jerry

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post #3 of 14 Old 26th May 2017, 11:41 AM
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I tried this:

https://www.amazon.com/Mirror-Dimmin.../dp/B01IWJP9CY

The very very difficult part is opening the mirror case and not breaking the tabs. The actual replacement part is easy.


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post #4 of 14 Old 26th May 2017, 03:35 PM
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...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.
Yes, definitely pull it out if you haven't already. You don't want that goop all over your shifter.

https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39...ml#post1653226

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post #5 of 14 Old 26th May 2017, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhl93449 View Post
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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post #6 of 14 Old 26th May 2017, 06:31 PM
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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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post #7 of 14 Old 27th May 2017, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, definitely pull it out if you haven't already. You don't want that goop all over your shifter.

https://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39...ml#post1653226

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)?
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post #8 of 14 Old 27th May 2017, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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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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post #9 of 14 Old 27th May 2017, 05:31 AM
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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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post #10 of 14 Old 27th May 2017, 06:31 AM
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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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