Have your BMW power folding mirrors stopped working? We’re going to show you how to repair them with some readily available parts. If you have an older BMW with vertical folding electric mirrors that no longer work or have too much play in them you have two choices. You can buy a new one for quite a bit of money or you can repair yours cheaply with just a little bit of work. In most cases when your mirrors stop working most of the mirror is fine. The gears that transmit the power from the mirror’s motor to move the mirror have probably just worn and stripped out. Unfortunately BMW does not have these gears as service parts, but we found that they can be found from several vendors on eBay for around $30 per side. Replacing the gears is a little mechanically involved but it’s not too bad. This is what we did to fix the mirrors on Project E39 M5. The gears are available for many BMW models so check eBay and see if they have the gears for your model.
MotoIQ Pro Tip: The gear repair kits for a regular E39 will not work on the E39 M5’s power vertical folding mirrors. Apparently the M5 and M3 share the same rear view mirror design, so be sure to order the repair kit for an E46 M3. Use the pictures in this article of the gears to verify before you purchase.
First, remove the mirror from your car. Put some soft towels on your work surface so you don’t scratch up your mirrors when you work on them. Now you can move the mirror downward by hand, to reach the notch on the mirror lock and move it counterclockwise to unlock the mirror from the housing.
Now the mirror can be removed from the motor assembly.
Remove the mirror heater plugs if any from the mirror.
Disconnect the mirror heater plug from the mirror housing as well to get it out of the way.
This is way beyond the capacity of a BMW owner, but it was a great read.
Why is that?
Great article. I’m having problems with both sides on my M5 and thought I’d have to learn to live with it. The process looks a bit tedious but not difficult at all. Thanks for sharing a reasonable solution to the absurd replacement cost.