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Thread: Central rear view mirror discoloration

  1. #1

    Central rear view mirror discoloration

    This post has been updated in Nov 2013 to give the current repair info for the mirror discoloration.



    It is very important that you get your mirror repaired at the first sign of this because the discoloration occurs as a result of a fluid leak within the mirror and if allowed to go it'll leak out of the mirror and damage the dash.

    Radar-Mirror.com Mirror Repair are in Texas, and they do a fast turnaround service for around $100

    Their address is 4319 Glenhurst, Frisco, TX 75033. Phone is 972-571-7427. E-mail is:[email protected]


    Another company some of our owners have used to rebuild failed mirrors is: Sybesma's Electronics (www.sybesmas.com) in Michigan. Turnaround was less than a week and cost was under $100.


    Below are the instructions for removing the mirror from its mount on the screen. A good tip is to have someone put pressure on the back of the screen as you turn it, so there's less stress on the screen and its seals. There was an instance of heavy handed owner breaking his screen removing the mirror, so be gently forceful.
       
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  2. #2
    Sport Button On Nonplussed's Avatar
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    I have the same problem; let me know if you hit upon a solution (you always seem to be ahead of the curve).

  3. #3
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Is this the mirror issue?

    Last week I noticed what appeared to be an oval "sticker" on my review mirror. The reason I say it looked like a sticker is because it was perfectly symmetrical in placement on the mirror, and it made everything slightly blurry...kind of like a protective sticker/cover that comes on cell phones, electronics, etc. At first, I thought it might have been a recall that the service center installed while in for the fix, but after a closer look, I realized that it was bubble. In fact there were very small bubbles floating from the bottom of the mirror to the larger bubble near the top.

    I guess I really don't understand why there would be fluid in the mirror...maybe part of the auto-dimm feature? Anyway, now the bubble has expanded to over 90% of the mirror frame and everything is a bit fuzzy.

    Is this the dreaded mirror delamination issue or has someone been driving my car in the swamp?
    thegunguy

  4. #4
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    Mine problem was different

    It involved the mirror getting uniformly dark to the point that I could not distinguish if the cars behind me had lights on their roof. No bubbles, just the appearance that the dimmer had dimmed to the max.

  5. #5
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    your issue is my issue too!



    My mirror seems to have settled on an oval as you described, with reduced clarity especially outside the oval. Initially the shape varied but I think that was temperature related.

    I have yet to find a dealer in MI that has demonstrated knowledge re the Z8 so I can develop an ongoing relationship. For that matter, I have yet to see another Z8 in MI aside from mine. I know they are out there somewhere!

    I wonder what % of mirrors have failed and am also curious as to root cause. Don't really want to replace if the problem has not been addressed.

  6. #6
    Team Z8 zed8's Avatar
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    I had the same problem with my mirror. My car is a 2000 and another member with a 2000 car here suffered the same problem. May be after a certain period of time this problem occurs.

    In my case a fluid leaked to the red infrared plastic under the mirror. First there was a blurry view with a large bubble in the middle of the mirror. When it got cold that bubble turned in to black bubble like a cracked LCD.

    I took the car to the service and they told me I have to change the mirror.
    Hattat

    AF77768 Topasblau / Schwarz

    PP installed
    Motorsport 20" style 101 wheels
    Eisenmann catback
    Supersprint headers
    CDV removed
    Quaife LSD
    3.64 gearing

  7. #7
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Talked to Bill S. at BMW NA

    I talked to Bill about this issue, and he has asked that I email him a description so that he can forward it internally. I'll report back when I know more.

    I guess I'm going to put a cloth under the mirror just in case!
    thegunguy

  8. #8
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Bill and BMW NA are on the case...

    Here's a photo of the current status. The amount of fluid and air will vary - seems to be based on temp/pressure.
     
    thegunguy

  9. #9
    Team Z8 zed8's Avatar
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    Everything is the same with my mirror. Notice the white stain on the edges of the small red light just under the mirror glass, These stains occur because of the fluid. By the way what year is your car?
     
    Hattat

    AF77768 Topasblau / Schwarz

    PP installed
    Motorsport 20" style 101 wheels
    Eisenmann catback
    Supersprint headers
    CDV removed
    Quaife LSD
    3.64 gearing

  10. #10
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    My car is a 2001. The "stains" that you point out are actually deformed, not stained...kind of like melted plastic.

    Do you have any pics from your car? BMW is looking for more examples.
    thegunguy

  11. #11
    Team Z8 zed8's Avatar
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    thegunguy,

    Here are a couple of pictures of the mirror. I noticed something about the time period of the occurance of the problems. My car is 2000 and the problem showed up last year and your car is 2001 and yours showed up this year. I guess our mirrors have a life expectancyof around 5 yeras.
     
    Hattat

    AF77768 Topasblau / Schwarz

    PP installed
    Motorsport 20" style 101 wheels
    Eisenmann catback
    Supersprint headers
    CDV removed
    Quaife LSD
    3.64 gearing

  12. #12

    I can confiirm that this is it...

    I have seen it on a few older cars before, and it was also becoming visible on my 2001 - AH60789 before I sold it.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  13. #13
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Zed8,

    Thanks for the pics. I had not noticed the fluid in the map lights. I checked mine and it is showing the same. I sent these photos on to Bill.
    thegunguy

  14. #14
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    Finally, here is a pic of my 2001 mirror

    I neglected to check the map lights but will when I visit her in storage later this week. The alarm light no longer flashes, but will emit a faint light while driving at night.

    The image degradation, distortion and failure of the mirror to dim at night is troubling. The shape of the bubble has seemed to settle; initially it changed shape over the first week or so.

    Aside, we were blessed with low 60's in MI over the holiday weekend, affording me an opportunity to take the car out. Only downside is that I turned over 10K on the odometer.
     

  15. #15
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    I noticed the same problem on my 2001. Is this something

    BMW is fixing under warranty or Goodwill?

  16. #16
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Right now, they are just investigating, but Bill S. did indicate that they would "take care" of it. So, I'm inclined to think that they will fix it with or without warranty. If you set aside all of the discussion on this year's BIG issue, BMW does have a solid history of repairing known defects on the Z8 outside of warranty.
    thegunguy

  17. #17
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    BMW is going to replace my mirror. They want me to send the defective mirror to their engineers to examine. Hopefully they can sort out the issue and solve it for us all going forward.
    thegunguy

  18. #18
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    MI weather is back to normal with temps in the 20's and enough snow/ice to keep drivers on their toes. Hoping that Indian summer comes soon and will afford me an opportunity to visit the local dealership (Eberhard in either West Bloomfield or Farmington Hills) and swap out my mirror.

  19. #19
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    BMW replaced my mirror yesterday without charge. They had me send the mirror to their engineers for analysis. So, the new mirror may show the same deterioration in a few years, but hopefully, BMW can sort out the source defect by then.

    While the cost of a mirror is minimal compared to other problems that a vehicle could suffer, BMW is doing what they can to show their commitment to my out of warranty Z8.
    thegunguy

  20. #20
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    Are the dealers aware of this? I would like to have mine swapped out on my next service visit.

    Can you let us know whether you went through your dealership first or BMWNA?

    thanks.

  21. #21
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Due to the limited nature of the car, it's a stretch to assume that the entire network of BMW dealers is up on all the issues of the Z8, particularly small issues like this one. I dealt with Bill at BMWNA from the start of this issue (see earlier posts), and I would suggest that anyone experiencing it do the same.

    Now, replacing the mirror does not guarantee that the problem will not reoccur. For this reason, Bill requested that my service center send him the defective mirror for analysis by BMW's engineers/technicians. So, until they know the cause, this issue may continue.

    One further note - the my service advisor told me that he had seen the same issue on several E46 M3s.
    thegunguy

  22. #22
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    A follow up message from BMW via Bill Stuart on the mirror bubble issue:

    "The engineer who inspected the mirror you sent said the mirror had a failed seal for the electrochromic liquid which provides the dimming function of the mirror. The failed seal allowed the electrochromic liquid to leak out, resulting in the air bubble that was visible in the mirror. He was unable to determine the root cause. The technology in our mirrors are no different from other automobile manufacturers. As you know, BMW stands behind its products. Any future customer claims for this issue will be handled on a case-by-case basis under goodwill."
    thegunguy

  23. #23
    DSC Off Orcatek's Avatar
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    Smile Mirror Replaced by Manufacturer

    How do you remove it. I just got my replacement.

    BTW, I bypassed BMW and went to the mirror maker and they replaced it free. Quick and easy.

    Contact is Dani.Andriacchi at magnadon.com

    Had the whole issue resolved in one day via email. Found the info on m5board where they were having a problem with their mirrors.

  24. #24
    That is good news, did they have a reason for the issue, and is the new unit a permanent fix to the issue?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  25. #25
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    great timing on the post. While Bill Stuart had previously authorized me to take the car in for replacement of the mirror, I could tell the BMW dealer was not thrilled.

    I was to have my windshield replaced today but the replacement screen was damaged so I will wait a few more days. Having a replacement mirror on hand (here's hoping my email to the maker produces a similarly speedy resolution) at the time of replacement will save some hassle.

    Aside, my alarm stopped working at the time of the mirror issue. Has anyone else experienced this? It may well be a coincidence.

    Lastly, I will also inquire of the maker if they traced the root cause. I will post whatever I learn.

  26. #26
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orcatek View Post
    How do you remove it. I just got my replacement.

    BTW, I bypassed BMW and went to the mirror maker and they replaced it free. Quick and easy.

    Contact is Dani.Andriacchi at magnadon.com

    Had the whole issue resolved in one day via email. Found the info on m5board where they were having a problem with their mirrors.
    Mine was installed by the BMW dealer; so, I'm unsure of the procedure. However, many modern mirrors slide on/off a fixed anchor on the windscreen. If this is the case, there is usually some sort of spring clip holding the mirror in place.

    If you're not comfortable trying to work it out yourself, call an auto-glass outfit. They install it - should be reasonably priced.
    Last edited by thegunguy; September 5th 2007 at 14:15.
    thegunguy

  27. #27
    DSC Off Orcatek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    That is good news, did they have a reason for the issue, and is the new unit a permanent fix to the issue?

    Didn't really say much, just they would replace it. They said it was the first Z8, but they contacted Germany after I sent requested photos and quickly sent me a claim form. Everything handle thru email.

    This is one of the reasons I peak at the M5board. Common engine and a large owner group to seek out answers.

  28. #28
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    When I had my windshield replaced last month due to the lovely stones here in AZ, the glass people rotated it 90 degrees and then it came right off the window. I don't remember which direction they turned the mirror. If you want to talk to them, the number is 602-618-0364. The phone is a cell number for Mark, the owner of Autoglass here in Phoenix, AZ.

  29. #29
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    Hmmm.... no reply as yet from magnadon.com. I hope its just due to end of summer vacations.

  30. #30
    DSC Off Orcatek's Avatar
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    I got an email saying the person was on vacation for like 2 weeks - automated reply.

  31. #31
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    Magnadon came through nicely for me. Once I emailed the form and a pic of my mirror, they Fed-Ex'd a replacement.

    I had inquired about root cause but that was not addressed. Given the swift action I am not going to quibble.

  32. #32
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    Fluid laeking out of the mirror

    I did some research on what fluid could be leaking out of the mirror. I can't remeber which it was, but the liquid in whch the liquid crystal that causes dimming is either dimethyl formamide or dimethylacetamide (they are very similar chemically). They are powerful solvents, which is why they attack the clear lanses on the lights. They will also do a number on the plastic panels on the dash and console. Worse yet, they have a low vapor pressure so they don't evaporate. Both also have the aroma of rotting fish.

    From a health standpoint they very readily absorb through skin and can act as a carrier for the absorbtion of other chemicals.

  33. #33
    Fred, from a health and longevity point of view what would you say about getting rid of this over complex thing, and just replace it with the simple manual mirror that the X3 has in it? I have long had that idea in the back of my mind, but hearing that the goo inside could be very bad in every way makes me wonder if doing this swap sooner than later might be provident.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  34. #34
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Don't know if they have the same issue, but the rounded "M" mirror in the E46 M3 and E39 M5 would more aesthetically fit with the Z8 than the current mirror. Anyone want to do some research?

    See #8.
       
    Last edited by thegunguy; September 26th 2007 at 03:18.
    thegunguy

  35. #35
    DSC Off Orcatek's Avatar
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    The mount appears the same, the question is the wiring. Also I've always wanted to put one of the BMW mirrors with homelink in.

    The fluid issue seems to be tied to all the autodim mirrors. Not sure if the oval are immune.

  36. #36
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Lupin's Avatar
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    mirror

    Fantastic service , I followed your steps and e-mail Dani.Andriacchi at magnadon.com
    he sent me a new one .
    It took me 5 minutes to remove and install the new one
    again a big thank you to our community
    and of course to magnadon
    Luigi

    Quote Originally Posted by Orcatek View Post
    How do you remove it. I just got my replacement.

    BTW, I bypassed BMW and went to the mirror maker and they replaced it free. Quick and easy.

    Contact is Dani.Andriacchi at magnadon.com

    Had the whole issue resolved in one day via email. Found the info on m5board where they were having a problem with their mirrors.

  37. #37
    Sport Button On - DSC Off gutMD's Avatar
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    Just noticed the "mirror isuue" in my new 2002 Topaz car.
    The appearance of the mirror is a bit different than previous posts insofar as there is no oval present in the center of the mirror. Rather there is a horizontal line at the top of the unit-see photo.

    I will try to get a replacement also.

    Which way do you need to rotate the mirror to remove it?
     

  38. #38
    DSC Off Orcatek's Avatar
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    Yes that's it. Mine was on the edge like yours.

  39. #39
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Yep - you got it.

    To remove the mirror:
    1. Insert key
    2. Press starter button
    3. Drive to dealer

    Joking aside - the windscreen in the Z8 is quite fragile.
    thegunguy

  40. #40
    Sport Button On - DSC Off gutMD's Avatar
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    UPDATE !
    Tried to reach Dani at Magnadon. Invalid email and phone disconnected.
    Went onto M5 Board-same problem.

    Evidently Magnadon has turned issue over to new company called Sybesmas who is now sending out replacements.

    Just sent a email to them at [email protected]

    Will wait for response and keep you all updated.

    Here is link to M5 Board thread on this issue.

    http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/sho...t=mirror+issue

    Hopefully they will continue to make good on issue because looks like factory replacement will run between $500-1000.

    Regards,
    Gary

  41. #41
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    BMW is replacing the mirror at no cost on the Z8. Not sure about the M5. I'd contact the service center prior to ordering a new one.
    thegunguy

  42. #42
    Sport Button On - DSC Off gutMD's Avatar
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    Thanks, will do. Did you contact your local dealer service department directly or did you go throuigh BMW NA first?

  43. #43
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    Seems BMW NA is stepping up and replacing the defective center mirror. I had contacted BMW NA and they sent a new mirror to my local dealer who installed it at no cost. The process was very easy. A phone call to BMW NA and a couple of emails. Took about two weeks start to finish.

  44. #44
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    I noticed the mirror issue just this past week. Who do you contact at BMW NA (number/email)? Has anyone thought about replacing the mirror with the homelink mirror offered by BMW for the Z4? The cost is around $500 but it removes the garage door opener clutter from the visor.

  45. #45
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    Initial query was to BMW NA, Jason Beidelman, who subsequently refered the issue of mirror replacement to Elaine Young who handled the issue for me. Her contact in Customer Relations is at 800.831.1117x8232.

  46. #46
    Z8 Novice
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    I also have the same problem. I was told that the mirror has to be replaced and quoted $700 for a new one. I am open to suggestions.

  47. #47
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    My mirror problem manifested back in 2006, when my Z8 had under 10K miles. I got a replacement through Magnadon (the mfg for BMW) but learned last week that my mirror is not compatible with the replacement key I just ordered. Don't know the root issue there but have asked for Bill Stuart's assistance.

    I will update soon.

  48. #48
    Sport Button On
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    My mirror was replaced at no cost. 2001 with 22.5k miles

  49. #49
    Z8 Novice
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    Has anyone with a Euro had the mirror replace free of charge?

  50. #50
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    Mine is a euro. Magnadon sent me a US spec. Am awaiting shipment of a euro spec mirror to swap out, courtesy of Bill Stuart.

  51. #51
    Z8 Novice
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    Can you provide a phone number? I would really appreciate it.

  52. #52
    You could also try connecting with Sybesma?s Electronics here in the USA, they have been supplying mirrors to our M5 brethern at a greatly reduced cost for the same reason. Here is the response I just got from them....

    Thank you for contacting us. The cost for a mirror exchange is $75.00 plus shipping/handling to the United States. If you reside outside of the USA, please contact us for pricing. You will be required to return the defective mirror and a pre-paid label will be provided for you to do so.

    The attached form will need to be completed and pictures of the following will need to be included for us to determine what mirror it is that you are in need of.

    -Front and rear views of the mirror
    -The plug (number of pins and wire colors are helpful)
    -The mounting bracket located on the windshield

    You may send payment via email when your order is submitted otherwise, we will contact you when you mirror is ready to ship for that information.

    Do not open the black casing surrounding the mirror as this will cause damage and the unit will no longer be valuable as an exchange and you will be charged the full purchase price of $200.00.

    Thank you,
    Sybesma?s Electronics
    616-392-6911
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  53. #53

    A useful diagram...

    that shows how to correctly replace the mirror.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  54. #54
    Sport Button On - DSC Off gutMD's Avatar
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    Been trying to get my replacement mirror from Sybesma's for 6 months now and am repeatedly being told that they cannot get the mirror from the supplier.
    Anyone have any luck anywhere else or have any thoughts?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    ---------------------------------
    Regards,
    Gary
    2002 Topaz // Crema

  55. #55
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Why go to the supplier when you can just have BMW replace it for free?
    thegunguy

  56. #56

    My second has gone bad

    Hello -

    At measly 68,250 miles my 2002 mirror has leaked... This is actually the second time it has happened to me as my 2000 M5 had the same issue when I had the car. It was replaced at the time under warranty. Obviously this is an issue that BMW has to be intimately familiar with. I will try my best to see if I can get it replaced by them. I will keep you posted on my quest to get this done.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  57. #57

    50% solution

    BMWNA has agreed to discount the mirror replacement with a 50% courtesy discount. While this is a "well known" problem and not limited just to the Z8, I am ok with their offer considering the age and mileage of the car.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  58. #58
    Is there no alternative? Did you replace it with another 'going to leak' unit, or something that is better made?
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  59. #59
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    I just replaced my M5 mirror through Sybesmas (link is in the 3/11/08 post above). Fast turnaround and about $100. Five minutes to install. Same deal is available for Z8 mirrors.

  60. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Is there no alternative? Did you replace it with another 'going to leak' unit, or something that is better made?
    The part is on it's way to VA Beach - taking the car in for service when it gets here.
    Skip Hammerman

    2002 BMW Z8 - Meisterschaft GT, PP installed, CDV delete
    2013 BMW X3
    2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

  61. #61
    in Coral Gables, Florida DirkZ8's Avatar
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    New mirror which was installed last week (courtesy BMWNA) started leaking after the car had been parked in the sun for a couple of hours. Fluid actually dripped out of it.

    Update 6/30/2010: The second new mirror arrived and it was installed under "parts warranty". We'll see how long this one will last.
    Dirk

    Alpina #142
    www.bmwccca.com

  62. #62
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness
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    Add me to the list

    Just noticed it on my 2003 with 210 miles. Here are some pics for the record. Contacted [email protected] and am waiting to see what they can do. Will keep you all posted.
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    2003 Z8 Black/Red

  63. #63
    Z8Mania
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    Mine did it too- like 2 years ago. And the car lock antenna is in there as well and the LCD fluid caused the antenna to fail- so if your remote locking stops working one possible cause is the mirror.

  64. #64
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    I'd love to see a smaller mirror option. I've often wondered if the oval M mirror would swap as I think it would block less view to the right, and it's a little more integrated into the design of the interior.

    I think the next time I'm at Dana's I'm going to see if parts guy will let me do a test fitting.
    thegunguy

  65. #65
    Z8Mania
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    I suspect you are on to something because the car shares much with the E39. And besides, what's behind you isn't important!

  66. #66
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    If the electronic "guts" are a match, perhaps....

  67. #67
    I have the same issue and contacted Sybesmas - see below for their response. While not ideal, it does leave open the option of going with a smaller case if they can't reuse the original.

    "Thank you for the order. Unfortunately, we do not have the plastics in house to build you a mirror as a pre-exchange. However, if you would like to send your mirror into us, as a repair and return, we will gladly exchange out the defective glass cell. The cost for repair is $95 (including shipping/handling) which will be retained up front prior to the repair. Customers in Canada will be charged $120. Please be advised that, to repair your mirror, we must open the plastics in your mirror. In the rare instance your plastics break beyond repair, Sybesma's will make every effort to find a comparable replacement but no guarantees are made. If unit does break, $15 will be retained as a bench fee and $80 refunded. (If you would like your mirror shipped back, an additional $16 in shipping/handling charges will apply) (Canadian shipping varies for return) Please send your mirror along with contact info (or the initial order form sent) stating you would like the mirror repaired and returned."

  68. #68
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    For those contacting the mirror manufacturer, BMW was replacing them under a case by case basis at no cost as of a year or so ago, but I'm unsure of any recent cars with the issue. I'd suggest contacting Bill's team before having to pay for an exchange. See all my original posts in this thread.
    thegunguy

  69. #69
    Sport Button On
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    I just had mine replaced about 2 months ago. Bill Stuart had my local dealer do it for 1/2 price. He said that they used to do it for free but with the economy and such they couldn't do a free replacement. I still thought that it was very nice of him considering this is a 10 yr old car. I was very happy with what BMWNA did.

  70. #70
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    What did half price come to?

  71. #71
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    $225 including installation.

  72. #72
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness
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    $450 is $150 less than what I was quoted (600+tax). That's for the part only.
    2003 Z8 Black/Red

  73. #73
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    225 (half price) is certainly a fair price... 500 or 600 is steep, but at least it can be done. I still like Rifles idea, about the smaller mirror.

  74. #74
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    It looks like the oval M mirror lists about $200 less than the larger Z8 mirror. I just sent an email off to Dana to see if he has Z8 in the shop that he could do a test fit, etc. I made the request under "low priority" status, but maybe he can do a quick swap during a down period. I'll let you know what I hear, but if it's too much trouble for him, I'm thinking of getting one to test in the next few weeks.
    thegunguy

  75. #75
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I would think the attachment point/system is the same, but will the electronics mate? Let us know.

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