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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-28-2007, 01:20 PM
seabrook seabrook is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 330i
How to test a self-dimming rear view mirror?

I have a 2002 330i with the premium package. It has a self-dimmng rear view mirror (w/clown nose light) that I'm not sure is working properly. During the day it's without tint but at night it has only a slight blue tint. Unlike cars mirrors that have manual day/night controls my mirrow never gets as dark. How dark do these mirrors get normally and is there anyway to goose it to a darker tint at night? Alternatively is it possible to retro fit a manual mirror at this point? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2007, 09:15 PM
dr1994sts dr1994sts is offline
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Location: Arlington Heights, IL
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 325i
I've noticed the exact same thing in my car, and I think it's just the way they operate. Just dropped my car off at the dealer for some work, and asked the same question. If they find a problem I'll let you know, but I think it is what it is. My external mirrors also have the blue tint, but they're tinted all of the time.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2007, 10:43 PM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 97 528i
Its suposed to dim down more as it senses light from behind.
The sensor is the dot on the mirror, or is on my 2000.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2007, 11:14 PM
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v33_n0d3 v33_n0d3 is offline
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Location: Burbank
 
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Posts: 2,337
Mein Auto: 2001 325i Sedan
Too bad the side view mirrors aren't auto-dimming. SUV's and large pickups with Ultra Bright White's/Xenons suck balls.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crowz View Post
Its suposed to dim down more as it senses light from behind.
The sensor is the dot on the mirror, or is on my 2000.
That's correct. Fiddling around with the sensor never showed me anything that's visible to the eye. What does it do, polarize?
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2007, 11:33 PM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 97 528i
I figured it was based on the same thing as those auto dimming sunglasses that used to be popular but with electric current as the stimulator on it. No clue actually
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2007, 12:47 AM
geeek204 geeek204 is offline
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Mein Auto: e46 325i, e92 335i, A7
Something to do with electrical current, I know. I remember reading something in the manual about it being a electrically activated gel something or other. All I know is mine works very well, when the glare is heavy at night, everything gets a blue tint and a nice dimming effect. Well done BMW!

Storm
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2007, 06:55 AM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Location: New York
 
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Mein Auto: 2008 535i
Here is a test, does it cut the glare well? If you can see the lights, but they don't glare and blind you, then it is working.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2007, 08:47 PM
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JoeBimmmer JoeBimmmer is offline
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Location: Central Virginia - 38N 78W
 
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Man - '00 323 Ci
To check a self dimming mirror out in the daytime you have to make it think it's night time. Cover the light sensor on the front side of the mirror (it's in the little detention on the passengers side of the mirror). It takes about a minute and you can very plainly see the mirror glass get dark.

I keep a small piece of black electrical tape handy to stick over the daylight sensor . . . I cover the sensor in the daytime whenever there is one of those obnoxious vehicles behind that have BRIGHT daytime running lights (or the terminally cluless ones who drive with their high beams on in the daytime).
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2007, 06:47 AM
b027 b027 is offline
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Location: Maryland Eastern Shore, USA
 
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Mein Auto: Jet Black 2002 330i
x2 what Joe said.

I suspect the mirror works by comparing light levels measured at the front and rear sensors. if there is proportionally more light detected by the rear sensor (e.g. from headlights at night, or if the front sensor is covered) the mirror will become darker.
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2007, 02:37 PM
davehayes2204 davehayes2204 is offline
E46 325ci sport
Location: Liverpool, England
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Mein Auto: E46 325ci Sport
you only need to cover one of the sensors to cancel this function. i personaly keep the one on the back of the mirror covered at all times as i find it really restricts the vision when auto dimmed!
try this and if you notice a difference...it works!
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