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Does any have experience buying a used rearview mirror w/openers, compass, rain sensor and auto dimming capability? Is it hard to replace a mirror with only a rain sensor and manual dimmer?

Thanks.
 

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Probably not. More than likely, the electrical harness needed to power the electrochromatic (auto dimming) mirror with built-in compass & UGDO (universal garage door opener) is secured somewhere above the headliner. Remove the sunroof access panel and look/feel around and you'll probably find it neatly tucked away or tied off.

My 1995 e34 came with a manual mirror, I purchased an EC mirror from an e38 and found the harness tucked away above the headliner. It was almost a simple plug-n-play after removing some pins from the harness. But this was because of different features in the e38s vs the e34. The e39 is newer and the features you mention in the mirror you're looking at were all options for the e39...so the wiring harness should be fine.

It's simple to remove the mirror from the windshield and install the old or new one. (see instructions below). Once you find the electrical harness...snake it thru the headliner so that it can be hooked into your new EC mirror, then mount the new mirror on the existing "button" on the windshield.

Electrical harness found above headliner of my e34:


Snake it thru the headliner (on the side that faces the windshield) so that you can connect it to the RV mirror:


Mount the RV mirror, then plug the harness in...then replace the cover around the base of the mirror and rain sensor:



Instructions on how to MOUNT the RV mirror and REMOVE the RV mirror (removal is DIFFERENT than mounting):




(your rain sensing wipers means that you have an oval shaped cover around the base of your RV mirror, just remove that cover then the removal procedure of the mirror will be the same)
 

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I'm working on my brother's E46, and am trying to get the plastic cover off of the rain sensing wiper on the windshield, but I don't want to snap the plastic tabs inside. Is there a trick to getting it off (there always is in BMW's)? Where on the cover do I pull or press to get it off without breaking or cracking it?
 
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