DIY: Foggy auto dim rearview mirror.
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This is a discussion on DIY: Foggy auto dim rearview mirror. within the Cockpit and Cabin forums, part of the Tutorials & DIY category; So my 02 Wrx's rearview mirror decided it couldn't stand the heat in the sun anymore and developed a bubble ...

  1. #1
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    Sep 2009

    DIY: Foggy auto dim rearview mirror.

    So my 02 Wrx's rearview mirror decided it couldn't stand the heat in the sun anymore and developed a bubble in between the mirror and glass. A day later and the auto dim was no longer working at all. Great, so it's no longer half tint and half clear. But it left a foggy residue on the mirror. I could always find one in the classifieds or send it in with 75 bucks for another one.

    In theory, it's a great feature to have but I thought it was harder to see behind me at night. So instead of replacing it, I decided to take it apart and clean it up a bit. I am not responsible for any damage done to you or anything. Do so at your own risk because once you've tampered with the mirror, you won't be able to send it in for a replacement. Here's the process. Maybe it'll help someone.

    Tools needed : 1 thin flat head screwdriver and 1 clean razor blade.

    1. Start with unplugging the power and then removing the mirror sliding it down with the glass. It is held on by a spring clip. After it is off, you'll need to insert the flat head screwdriver into the slot as shown and gently pry it until the cover pops off.

    2. Insert screwdriver into the crevice and pry the housing apart. There are no clips as it looks to be glued together.

    3. To remove the rear part of the housing, you'll have to maneuver the connected circuit board through the hole as shown.

    4. Separate the metal strip from the glass to make life a bit easier. It's clamped on and lifts right up. You can clip these and discard of them.

    5. Face the mirror down, pull out on the tabs in the red triangle, and squeeze on the tabs in the red circle. This is to remove the circuit board from the glass.

    6. Insert the blade in between the glass and mirror where the arrow is shown. It can be anywhere along that line. Be careful as it can crack and you might have the edge of the glass chip a bit. Once the blade has made it's way through, follow along until the two pieces are separated. Discard the glass as it is of no use.

    Here you can see the fogginess on the glass.

    7. Clean the mirror thoroughly using Windex. I preferred to use newspaper instead of paper towels as it leaves the surfaces with no lint or streaks.

    8. After everything is clean, you can put everything back together in reverse order. I've use a bit of plastic adhesive to secure it back together and rubber bands are on temporarily until the glue dries. That sums it up. Hope it gives you a better idea if you want a poor mans fix. Not too time consuming. You can tint the glass if you'd like, but I decided to have my windows and rear windshield tinted instead. The compass should need to be recalibrated.

    Last edited by crow; 05-19-2010 at 12:52 PM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User oguitar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
    Nice write up.

    I wish my car had such fancy things.
    Life is like riding a bicycle in order to keep your balance you must keep moving.

  4. #3
    Registered User
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    Nov 2010
    great ! you have strong ability to do it by yourself !

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  6. #4
    Registered User
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    Jul 2011
    is this a common subaru issue? this exact thing just happened to my '01 outback after i left it in the sun this weekend.

  7. #5
    The Default One SeattleJeremy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Seattle, WA
    A friend of mine had this happen in his Forester, another friend had it happen in their Tahoe. It's common enough.

    Replacement mirrors can be found easily on ebay.

    To my knowledge there is only one or two companies make this type of rear view mirror. Gentex is one of them. Then the auto manufacturers install the components in to a housing that fits their vehicles, or have Gentex make the mirrors with housings that meet their specifications.

    Going though the motions that the OP did, seems silly. You end up with a regular rear view mirror without the flip button used when it's bright behind you.

  8. #6
            MainFrame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Austin, TX
    I Support ClubWRX I Support ClubWRX
    Good write up.. mine did the same thing, but I just pulled it off and replaced it with a standard rear view from my parts car.

  9. #7
    Registered User xFalleNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Voorhees, NJ
    Nice write up!
    --Anthony 2011 DGM WRX stg2+sf intake WTFtuned ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Official Subie owner as of 01/10/11
    Stink Eye Mob #87

    Bye bye Bimmer
    Hellooo '11 REX

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