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Fixing common problem with power mirrors

A couple of years ago, driver’s side rear view mirror, started giving me trouble. When I was trying to close/open the mirrors, it was very loud and wasn’t moving smoothly.

Several days later, the mechanism totally failed, causing the mirror to indefinitely trying to open/close with loud noise. Back then I thought it was just my luck, so took the mirror apart and quickly fixed it.

Unfortunately today, I had exactly the same issue with the passenger’s side mirror, proving that this is a typical problem with Starlet’s electrically folding mirrors’ mechanism.

So this time I took my time through the restoration process, taking photos of each step in order to share the solution of this common problem with the world (and for me to remember in the future not to repeat certain mistakes ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

First of all get your tools ready. Nothing fancy, just a cross screw driver, cable ties and a 10mm metric socket tool.

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Now that you got your toys ready, let’s get our hands dirty! First of all, remove the triangle plastic, covering the main screws holding the mirrors. In the photo below you can see how its clips hold it in place, in order to remove it easier. But more or less if you just pull it, it will come off. And then remove the 3 10mm screws ย it was covering.

*NOTE* After removing those screws, mirror ย will be holding off the power mirrors wiring. So you’d better hold it, or perform the next step first.

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In order to remove the power mirrors’ plug, some door trimming has to be removed. First remove the cross screw from the door handle. Then pull it out/forwards the dash (notice the hook clip holding it). Then remove the 2 annoying plastic screws holding the upper part of the door trim. The right one can be removed right away. The left one is hidden under the door’s card board, so you have to pull that our first. Finally lift the plastic trimming, find beneath the power mirrors’ plug and remove it.

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No more foreplay, let’s get into serious stuff now! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is a very very VERY important step, which would save me lot’s of time and some money too if I knew it in advance, is found in the photo below. Removing the glass mirror off the rest of the assembly. Have a close look how its clips are, and judge on how you are going to pull it out.

“1” is the bottom part of the mirror. You have to pull it out gently and evenly. After doing that, you lift the mirror upwards, and then pull out the “2” clips.

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Becareful not to confuse where each type of clip is, or applying excessive force. It’s BAD!

So, after this step you can see cleary the power mirrors mechanism, and you might immediately notice what has gone bad in there! If not, you are not paying enough attention, but there is more work to be done before you can actually access the problematic part.

Remove the various surrounding parts from the mirror assembly. A waterproof cover, the 3 screws under the mirror holding it on its base, a plastic clip holding down the wire, and the plastic cover. All of these are easily removed, but try to remember what goes where, and where you removed each screw from.

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After remove all the above parts, you will end up with a “bowl of motors”. There are 5 or 6 screws holding the 2 power mirror mechanisms down (mirror adjusting and mirror folding motors). As soon as you remove them, then you can take everything out.

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Have a closer look now. Do you see what’s the problem? The whole folding mechanism is held together by its plastic cover. The plastic clips holding the cover down, are too tiny, so they easy break and the gears inside won’t contact each other. Feel free to open the cover and see, but it’s messy in there, full of grease.

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By now I believe you have guessed what’s the solution to this problem. CABLE TIES! Put them around the plastic cover, in order to hold it down.

The ones I had, were a bit thick and short. But since I couldn’t be bothered much, I used to of them. When using thick cable ties, make sure that their ends won’t be in the mirror’s way when adjusting it.

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Well, that was all! Now just follow the reverse procedure to assemble your mirror.

If you end up with some extra screws, no worries. That’s typical for every DIY job, not to say a tradition! ๐Ÿ™‚

You all done now! Go wash those dirty hands!

I hope someone will find this little tutorial useful.

Updated: August 29, 2009 — 2:25 pm

2 Comments

  1. Hi, good how to… I did it on my glanza.. but I coundt get it works… my mirror dont.. close.. only move to right.. left.. down… up.. :S I gonna try it again.. ( but the point is.. that my mirror was working.. but a litle slow … that why i decided to clean it..

    1. Noisy/slow folding mirrors, usually means that the sticky white grease inside the folding mechanism’s gears might got dirt.
      If there is clicking sound then it’s my case; the mechanism’s casing has broken.
      In your case, if just 1 mirror is the problem, and there is no noise from the gears, then my guess is that something stops them from rotating.
      If the problem is with both mirrors, then I’d suggest checking your wiring/fuses, as it sounds like an electrical problem.

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