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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 06-08-2010, 07:42 PM
Shipwatch1 Shipwatch1 is offline
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Question ~ HELP! Rear View Mirror Leaked/Stained Leather! ~

I have a 2004 330ci w/light grey leather interior.

Last week it was parked outside in the hot FL sun. The rear view mirror melted, leaked, dark liquid splattered on my middle console, melting spots and staining it and my gray leather seats!

The mirror is now foggy and I have been quoted $600 to replace it! My car is WELL maintained and I am sick/upset/frustrated that I did nothing wrong and BMW does not have a better quality mirror. The seats are not coming clean!

Any suggestions on:
1) the best way to clean leather seats? I have tried LEXOL cleaner, but no luck! (heard that Saddle Soap is NOT the answer!)

2) I see on an earlier post that there is a web site to order a replacement mirror (orders@sybesmas.com), BUT the site currently does not work. Suggestions?

ANYONE else had this rear view mirror leaking problem???

ANY advice/comments will be appreciated!

SO FRUSTRATED!!!

Last edited by Shipwatch1; 06-08-2010 at 07:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2010, 05:41 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipwatch1 View Post
ANYONE else had this rear view mirror leaking problem???
Yeah, others have had the same problem...

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ht=mirror+leak
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ht=mirror+leak

You can probably find a replacement on eBay or one of the forums if you can't get a reman'd one. I bought one for $100 shipped about 5 years ago. Not because mine leaked, but because I ordered my car without premium pkg.

You're probably going to have to dye the leather to correct the damage. Leatherique.com is where you need to go for that. They have dyes that match OEM interiors perfectly.
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2010, 08:09 AM
Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
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I assume this only affects auto dimming mirrors?

I was going retrofit one but I guess not...BMW never ceases to amaze me...
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2010, 08:14 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
I assume this only affects auto dimming mirrors?
Yup. The fluid that produces the dimming effect is what's leaked onto Shipwatch1's center console.

I'm in the same boat as you - I'll stick with my manual-dimming mirror. Reaching up to turn the clown nose isn't so bad compared to cleaning up the mess a failed auto-dimming mirror makes.

Last edited by G. P. Burdell; 06-09-2010 at 08:17 AM.
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2010, 08:23 AM
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MicahO MicahO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G. P. Burdell View Post
Yup. The fluid that produces the dimming effect is what's leaked onto Shipwatch1's center console.

I'm in the same boat as you - I'll stick with my manual-dimming mirror. Reaching up to turn the clown nose isn't so bad compared to cleaning up the mess a failed auto-dimming mirror makes.
+2 - I won't refit one now that I know the risk. I'm thrilled the Premium Package was not available on the early ZHP's.

(Actually, I'm so much of a curmudgeon, I think it should have stayed that way!)

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  #6  
Old 06-09-2010, 09:16 AM
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mawana mawana is offline
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I retrofitted with one from an 09 535i - has the small, rather hidden, clown noise. Of course I knew the risks of an auto-dimming mirror but the convenience is second-to-none! That's why I went with a newer version mirror.
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  #7  
Old 06-09-2010, 10:32 AM
djs1122 djs1122 is offline
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I had the leaking mirror problem. I posted a few weeks ago how to remove it and get the replacement from Symbesa (?). My replacement works great.
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2010, 11:36 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is online now
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The one in my car is 11 years old. It came out of a '99 model. I've had it in there 5 years, no problems. Hmmm... newer is better? Not always!

Save this post so when mine does leak I can get an e-nanananabooboo from all of you.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2010, 11:42 AM
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mawana mawana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
The one in my car is 11 years old. It came out of a '99 model. I've had it in there 5 years, no problems. Hmmm... newer is better? Not always!

Save this post so when mine does leak I can get an e-nanananabooboo from all of you.
Sure...but given the few failures out there noted on the older mirrors, I am sure you can understand why I rationalized that way. Besides, I also wanted compass and homelink on the mirror.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2010, 05:58 PM
ransomed ransomed is offline
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auto-dim mirror

So how can I tell if I have an auto dim mirror? I have a 2004 ZHP 330i. To my knowledge it is not auto-dim, but how can I tell for sure? The mirror has the red clown's nose on the bottom of the mirror. Thanks. Sorry to be dense.
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  #11  
Old 06-09-2010, 07:41 PM
djs1122 djs1122 is offline
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The premium package included the auto dimming mirror and BMW assist. Do you have the SOS button? If so, you have (had) BMW assist, and thus the premium package.
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2010, 11:21 PM
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mawana mawana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ransomed View Post
So how can I tell if I have an auto dim mirror? I have a 2004 ZHP 330i. To my knowledge it is not auto-dim, but how can I tell for sure? The mirror has the red clown's nose on the bottom of the mirror. Thanks. Sorry to be dense.
Is the clown nose fixed or can it be turned/twisted? If fixed, you have auto-dim!
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  #13  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:12 PM
pmvf pmvf is offline
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Same problem here. The mirrored leaked damaging rubber finishing next to the shift knob....I almost couldn't believe it...
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2010, 07:39 AM
STING19648 STING19648 is offline
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Hi, I have the same problem with my 2005 330I I emailed orders@sybesmas.com at 10pm last night and they responded this morning. not looking forward to removing the old one but this does still work. certainly beats paying BMW $600 or more for them to install a new one. Seeing as this is a fairly common problem I am surprised there has not been a recall or a class action suit!!!!!! anyway will update when I get this done and let you all know how it went ...
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  #15  
Old 08-24-2010, 12:10 PM
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mrblorry mrblorry is offline
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OK, I won't bother saving my pennies for an auto dim mirror. My Acura had one, and it didn't leak onto the interior, but it leaked oil all over the inside of the mirror. Apparently the same technology as BMW's, and just as reliable.
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  #16  
Old 09-08-2010, 08:33 AM
STING19648 STING19648 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STING19648 View Post
Hi, I have the same problem with my 2005 330I I emailed orders@sybesmas.com at 10pm last night and they responded this morning. not looking forward to removing the old one but this does still work. certainly beats paying BMW $600 or more for them to install a new one. Seeing as this is a fairly common problem I am surprised there has not been a recall or a class action suit!!!!!! anyway will update when I get this done and let you all know how it went ...
Hi Everyone,
just to let you know this worked like a dream.
mirror removal and reinstallation was a piece of cake.
reconditioned mirror looks like brand new.

No reason to pay a dealer hundreds of dollars for what you can do
yourself for less than $100. !!!!

Happy Motoring.
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  #17  
Old 04-12-2011, 06:54 PM
jblair85 jblair85 is offline
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Second Failure of Rear View Mirror

I had this same problem with my rear view mirror so I did some research and found a replacement on Ebay. I replaced the mirror and everything was fine for one week when it "melted" again.

Can I go back and put a manual dim mirror in my 2005 325i? If so, what is the part number so that I can look it up and order it.

What causes the auto dim to fail? Has anyone ever heard of it happening twice?
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2011, 07:22 PM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
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Was the new mirror an assist mirror? Apparently the assist wiring interferes with the autodimming circuitry on the non-assist mirrors and causes them to fail prematurely. You need to remove pins 4-7 to ensure everything works right.

If you want a manual dimming one I could sell you the one I was using until today (I just installed an autodimming mirror). It's originally from an 07/2003 build 330i ZHP
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Last edited by TerraPhantm; 04-12-2011 at 07:24 PM.
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  #19  
Old 04-19-2011, 07:24 AM
jblair85 jblair85 is offline
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Thanks for the response!
My factory mirror had the SOS feature and the one I bought did not have this. I assume that is what you mean by "assist." Wish I would of known about the pins 4 and 7 thing before installing it. At this point I would not mind going to the manual dim you are offering. What is the part number so that I can see if it would work in my model?
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  #20  
Old 06-13-2011, 06:13 AM
cindya30 cindya30 is offline
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rear view mirror leak

I too have a dimmer mirror and it leaked all over my leather seats and console. I asked BMW to pay for the repairs however they refused citing that the car was past warranty. I talked with the BMW rep and with the BMW customer care manager. I put in a claim under my comprehensive insurance and they will pay for the damage to the leather but not for the replacement of the mirror as they say it is a defective BMW part.
Quite frustrating to see this is happening to others as well.
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  #21  
Old 06-13-2011, 07:52 PM
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gordo325xiwagon gordo325xiwagon is offline
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The same leaking mirror issue has been a major problem for Jaguar 1997-2002 models. Mirrors manufactured by Donnelly in Europe (merged into Magna, the giant OEM auto parts suppier). Also the same US clearing house, Sybesma's Electronics in Holland, MI, is used to rebuild user's defective mirrors. It is a supplier issue, not BMW's fault. The new/replacement mirrors use a gel pack instead of fluid.
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  #22  
Old 07-23-2011, 10:01 AM
TAKAFOOMI TAKAFOOMI is offline
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2004 E46 mirror

Quote:
Originally Posted by STING19648 View Post
Hi Everyone,
just to let you know this worked like a dream.
mirror removal and reinstallation was a piece of cake.
reconditioned mirror looks like brand new.

No reason to pay a dealer hundreds of dollars for what you can do
yourself for less than $100. !!!!

Happy Motoring.
I just wrote them a note.. .do you have to ship them your current mirror? With all this heat we've been having, my mirror looks like it is half filled with some sort of grey liquid/discoloration. I assume it's the same issue you've all described.
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  #23  
Old 09-16-2011, 04:30 PM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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My daughter's 2004 325i just got hit by the same problem. The damage done by the liquid is disgusting, infuriating, and worst of all, apparently permanent. I emailed sybesmas.com for more information on their replacement mirror, as it's not clear from STING19648's posts exactly what they have.
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  #24  
Old 09-16-2011, 05:15 PM
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gordo325xiwagon gordo325xiwagon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Variocam View Post
My daughter's 2004 325i just got hit by the same problem. The damage done by the liquid is disgusting, infuriating, and worst of all, apparently permanent. I emailed sybesmas.com for more information on their replacement mirror, as it's not clear from STING19648's posts exactly what they have.
They rebuild our old mirrors... Jag, BMW, and others. You take yours off, and send it to them. If they have a replacement ready, they send it to you; otherwise they rebuild your unit and send it back to you, .
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  #25  
Old 09-16-2011, 07:40 PM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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Thanks for the information. After this experience, I'm inclined to replace mine with a manual one.
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