A common problem with BMWs is the side mirror gets discolored over time. This is a known issue with multiple BMW, including the 1, 3, 5, 6 series and X1, X3, X5.
What you will need
It is strongly recommended to use gloves and glasses to avoid injuries if the glass breaks.
- Use the mirror switch to move down the side mirror.
- Use a dashboard trim removal tool to pry the old mirror out.If you don't have a trim removal tool, you can use a ruler or even a flat screwdriver. Just be careful to avoid damaging the side mirror housing.
- Remove the old BMW mirror from the side mirror housing. Handle the glass with care.
- Remove the two wires that connect to the mirror heating element. Pull the cables away from the mirror to remove them.
- Place the replacement BMW mirror next to the side mirror housing.
- Connect two electrical wires to the heating element. Orientation does not matter.
- Align the new mirror with the tabs on the housing. If you skip this step, you will break the tabs on the new mirror.
- Press the new mirror in place until you hear it click. Ensure the new mirror is secured into the side mirror housing. Clean the new mirror glass once you are done with the repair.
If a damaged BMW side view mirror has a heating element, it isn't easy to salvage the heating element. We strongly recommend buying a BMW side mirror glass that already has the backing plate.
We recommend that you buy a mirror that has a backing plate as well. Otherwise, you will need to remove the old mirror. Heat the glass. Remove it from the backing plate. Reuse the old backing plate.
- We don't recommend installing a glass by gluing it over the damaged mirror. Also, avoid universal plastic side-view mirrors that you cut and glue on top of the old mirror. With these methods, you will get a very distorted and limited view.
- If your BMW has heated windows, make sure the new side mirror glass has an integrated circuit for a heated mirror.
- Ensure that the new mirror matches the color of your mirror as well.
No need to spend $300+ to replace the whole mirror. The side mirror glass can be easily replaced and is an easy DIY project.
To fix this problem, you will need a new side mirror glass, which can be purchased online for under $50. The procedure to replace a side-view mirror on BMWs takes less than 10 minutes. Step by step instructions can be found below, or watch the video on doing this yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What should I keep in mind when buying a BMW replacement side mirror?
- Make sure the new mirror is convex and not flat. It should be similar to the original BMW mirror, which notes that "objects are closer than they appear." That's because it makes the mirror slightly convex to increase the viewing area.
- Can I replace just the damaged mirror on my BMW?
- Yes. You can replace the mirror alone. It is much easier to install a new BMW that already has the backing plate. If your replacement BMW mirror doesn't have the backing plate, you will need to glue the new glass on the old backing plate.