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artec540 02-18-2012 11:45 AM

Wide-angle mirrors
As far as I know, all BMWs sold in Germany come with wide-angle mirrors, whether they are heated, self-dimming or plain, tinted or clear. US market cars, courtesy of NHTSA, come with flat mirrors on the driverís door, convex mirrors on the passengerís door, with warnings for morons on the latter. This is true whether they are self-dimming or not. I think all US BMWs have heated mirrors, but I may be wrong on that.

While wide-angle mirrors are convex, the convex mirrors fitted to US cars are NOT wide-angle in the same way as the German market ones are. The German for ďwide angle mirrorsĒ is ďWeitwinkelspiegelglasĒ, following the German liking for combining adjectives and nouns into potrmaneau words. I donít know what any of the part numbers are or where they can be ordered from for delivery to the US. I have bought (or leased) all my recent BMWs for European delivery and have bought my mirrors from either the Niederlassung (factory owned dealer) at Frankfurter Ring 35 in Munich or the dealer in Landshut, about 80 km to the North. As Iím sure everyone knows, they are dead easy to fit.

As you can see in the photos, the wide-angle mirrors have the outermost 20% (about) angled outward and slightly more convex than the rest. This provides a very effective view into neighboring lanes and virtually eliminates blind spots.

Iím sure a lot of people know all this and Iím preaching to the choir, but I hope it may help a few people. Iíve had these mirrors on all my cars since the early 70s, when they could be bought in the US for Mercedes. I cannot imagine why they arenít allowed hereÖ.. I think they should be compulsory on all cars. If I have to drive a car without them, I feel paranoid and spend my time looking behind me.

Iím posting a few photos for clarification purposes. The mirror with the black rim round it is from an E 60 550 and the wiring on the back shows that it is heated and self-dimming. Another one is shown on my present 335 and the back of an earlier one shows the heater terminals. When I bought the pair that are on my current car, the model had just been face-lifted and the only cars that used wide-angle mirrors in the new shape were those destined for China! Nevertheless, the dealer in Landshut ordered them at about lunchtime and they were in by 8:30 the next morning!

Slightly off topic, a BMW option that is often bad-mouthed, usually by people who have never given it a chance, is the Active Steering. Iíve had it ever since it became available and in fact refused to get a diesel 335, which I wanted, because active steering wasnít available on it. The first couple of times one drives a car so fitted, itís too easy to overdo your steering in tight, suburban corners, but after a few trips, a car without really feels clumsy, as if one has to twist oneís arms into a plait!

Rainmanrey 03-29-2012 07:08 AM

I live in Germany, but I have a US spec 2011 135i. My last car was a Euro Spec GTI and had the mirrors you speak of... LOVED them! How can I upgrade mine and how much would it cost?

thesmaz 04-10-2012 06:43 AM

There are numerous junkyards within in a few miles of K-Town that you should be able to find a set at, just ask one of the guys that work at the auto hobby shop where they are.

GreyCoupe 02-24-2014 02:50 PM

Great post. Any updates about sources?

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