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General E46 Forum
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:44 PM   #1
ex-expats
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Auto-tilt mirror: works but restores to the wrong position 99% of the time!

Hi all-

The car: 2004 330Ci + fully loaded (lux, cold weather +sports pkgs, manual, hk) - original owner - so I know it has been taken care of and garaged.

I have looked all over the place for this information, but most people's failure mode seems to be a total lack of manual control with the auto-tilt still working.

In my case, the mirror manually adjusts perfectly well (both sides work).

The problem is that when I put the gearshift in Reverse, the mirror tilts down as expected, but when the gearshift is taken out of Reverse (to any gear) - the mirror begins to tilt back up but lands at pretty much any other position than the start position (which at the time had been the position set in the seat memory).

Sometimes the mirror will re-adjust back to the right position (the programmed one) if you press the correct memory button, but not always.

I thought it might be some sensor in the passenger mirror that is having some electrical problems, but I didn't want to just start pulling it apart without some insight. I'd hate to trash the mirror and end up with more work.

If anyone has any ideas, that would be great!

Thanks,
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:20 PM   #2
ex-expats
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Minutes after changing my web search to add potentiometer to my search, I found something that suggested replacing the mirror motor (w/memory). I believe that the part # is 67 13 8 375 458 (per BMW South Atlanta's web page). It runs about $190, which is way cheaper than the previous mentions on other mirror issues. I know that the motor is mounted behind the glass (And to be very careful to pry it off the mount without damaging the clips) but do I need to pull the door panel off to attach the wiring harness or is that in the mirror housing? Any one have a link to a good instruction?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-14-2016, 01:11 AM   #3
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There is a connector on my mirror motor so I can go in through the glass.
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:22 AM   #4
markusmarkus
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If you decide to buy the mirror try ordering it from BMW of Fairfax (Virginia). It seems to have the lowest prices of any dealer or vendor!
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Old 05-15-2016, 02:26 AM   #5
BMWoah
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Mine sort of does a similar thing. After reverse it always returns to the wrong position. I just touch seat memory 1 after putting it in N or D and it returns. Myself, until it is super bad I would just get used to readjusting it. I wouldn't want to be without the tilting option considering how much damage scraping into a curb can do to the rim.
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:47 PM   #6
ex-expats
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Wrong PN for 2004 wing mirror (right)

After looking at Fairfax BMW's site. It would seem to appear that the correct P/N for this wing mirror motor (right) is actually 67136961407, which of course is $$$$$ at $650!

The prior incorrect p/n is for 1999-2003 apparently.
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:58 AM   #7
Onizukachan
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Yep. You can buy a replacement mirror assembly for $4 more than just the mirror.
I'd check the mirror ribbon cable (could also be driver's side ribbon issue) first for signs of corrosion damage before I replaced the mirror itself.
When you say it tilts correctly, do you mean to full dip, or to a user defined amount?
If it is full dip, that doesn't mean you don't have memory issues /ribbon cable issues.
I patched my ribbon cable where the trace had corroded thru instead of spending hundreds on new Oem part or buying a used one that would fail again eventually also.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:13 PM   #8
ex-expats
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I don't think my car has the user defined tilt option enabled (at least I have never been able to change it when it was tilted down) so the position it has gone to is always the same.

It seems to come up to a semi random position most of the time. And in some cases the motor thinks it is where it should be such that when I lock, then unlock the mirror tilts to some way out of whack place unless I store the "new" normal position if I have to adjust it after auto tilt. (I hope that made sense).

In terms of cracking things open to inspect the ribbon cable, is there a good tutorial? The dealer quoted about $1100 to fix this and while annoying it's not worth >10% of the remaining book value of the car. However, I would love for it to work right!

Thanks in advance for any material or instructions!
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:44 PM   #9
bmwbob89
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Find a used mirror assemble at a junk yard. That is what I did. BMW want stupid money for those motors. Most yards want about 150 to 200 for one. I manged to look a lot and found one for 50.00 shipped to me. Swapped the painted cover over and it works great.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:48 PM   #10
Commando
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Still? Common sense will get you through the mirror problem - all the info you need has been provided above. Can you remove the door trim?
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:45 AM   #11
markusmarkus
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If I recall properly, the mirror has a memory module that tells the mirror's motors where to position the mirror. I may be wrong.
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:44 AM   #12
Onizukachan
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It does, it is inside the driver's mirror.
Thus why I suggested checking the driver's side ribbon cable after taking off the door panel and mirror first.
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If I were to give my Touring a first name, I'd probably name it "Alan".
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Last edited by Onizukachan; 09-15-2016 at 09:45 AM.
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