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  #1  
Old 09-24-2009, 10:14 PM
avcer11 avcer11 is offline
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Rearview mirror compass blinking!!!!

Hi,

Was driving on I-5 to LA and was on cruise control around 11pm. Out of nowhere the compass characters 'SW' started blinking a bright red. I don't know what it is! I slammed on my brakes and the blinking stopped. 20 mins later I was back on cruise and it started blinking again!

Anyone encountered this? What was the blinking for?
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2009, 04:02 AM
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BerfsBimmer BerfsBimmer is offline
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I’ve seen just a few scattered reports of this. It appears to be a temporary loss of signal to the digital compass. If it is displaying directions incorrectly, you may need to calibrate it. If it’s back to normal, you may never see it again and I would forget about it. Some of us have had our iDrive reboot by itself once or maybe twice.

Chalk it up to another BMW electrical gremlin, high power lines, sunspots, UFO, warp in space, etc…
Now if you had looked in the mirror while it was blinking and saw Rod Serling in your back seat…
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2009, 04:18 AM
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ProfessorCook ProfessorCook is offline
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Were there any crop circles nearby?
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2009, 04:32 AM
ebloom ebloom is offline
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I've had this happen a few times. I think the display has 2 brightness levels (bright for daylight, dim for night), and therefore a light sensor. In certain lighting conditions the sensor gets confused and switches between bright and dim. Goes away after a few seconds when the surrounding light changes.

Of course I might be wrong, in which case I'll go with UFOs and/or gremlins.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:53 AM
avcer11 avcer11 is offline
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I think I will go with the UFO theory too!

Thanks everyone for responding. For a moment I thought my car was gonna blow up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerfsBimmer View Post
I’ve seen just a few scattered reports of this. It appears to be a temporary loss of signal to the digital compass. If it is displaying directions incorrectly, you may need to calibrate it. If it’s back to normal, you may never see it again and I would forget about it. Some of us have had our iDrive reboot by itself once or maybe twice.

Chalk it up to another BMW electrical gremlin, high power lines, sunspots, UFO, warp in space, etc…
Now if you had looked in the mirror while it was blinking and saw Rod Serling in your back seat…
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2014, 10:44 AM
VFitzyR VFitzyR is offline
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Maybe not a UFO

My mirror compass did this for the first time last night. It stopped after the state trooper that was following me went by. Maybe it's not a UFO. I wonder if it has something to do with the preemption traffic signal system that many emergency vehicles have. Just a guess.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:03 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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There's a procedure to recalibrate that compass.

Under the mirror there is a small opening you can stick a flat head into and press. Then you drive in a circle a couple times to calibrate it.

I'm not sure of the exact procedure but a quick google search should give you some hits
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:56 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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I work close to where we use a lot of LIDAR and LADARs and can tell you that when it happened to me it was because they were shooting them. A lot of new cars have the same type of sensors and it seems to effect the mirror compass by blinking it a lot. That is what I noticed maybe something else but seems consistent when mine blinked like that...
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:59 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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That's kinda odd. Laser and radar work through frequency waves.

Compasses traditionally use earth's magnetic field to show direction. Unless these cars are using some other technology to give compass readings, I don't see how radio waves can affect the compass.

Not saying it's not possible, it just doesn't make sense to me.
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