Thread Number: 73751  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Automatic dimming car mirrors
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Post# 974148   12/17/2017 at 00:35 (306 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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I noticed a lot of cars these days have automatic dimming rearview mirrors. I've never had a car with one, but do they work? I remember the old Lincoln Town Cars and Ford Crown Victorias having them in the early 90s. They had a slider at the bottom that I guess adjusted how much it dimmed. The newer ones just seem to have an on/off button and have much less of a frame around them. And of course some cars also have a temperature and/or compass display built in. Others also have Onstar buttons or hands free phone built into it.

My car, almost looks like it has an auto dimming mirror, but the wire is just to power the map lights which are built into the mirror. There are two buttons on the bottom to turn them on. Another weird thing about my mirror is the day night lever has to be pushed up for not dim and pulled down/backward for dim. So it's kind of the opposite of most.

Post# 974149 , Reply# 1   12/17/2017 at 00:41 (306 days old) by Imperial70 (******)        

I've had auto-dim mirrors in a couple of my cars and they seem to work okay. Although the Ford I purchased this summer didn't come with one and that works just fine to. I don't miss the auto-dim feature.

Post# 974150 , Reply# 2   12/17/2017 at 00:43 (306 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

All of my moms cars have had them since 2006, my car now has one and my last car did too. The best one was in my moms 2006 Mercury Milan though, after that they made them not dim as much. Though I never have an issue with mine not being dim enough unless some asshole behind me has their brights on. The only thing I'm missing is auto dimming sideview mirrors.

What surprises me is how many cars leave this feature out in even well equipped models and/or make it a standalone option. I think it should be standard in all but the base trims.

Post# 974153 , Reply# 3   12/17/2017 at 00:51 (306 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My Lincoln MKS has auto dim rearview mirror and sideview mirrors too. And if someone behind me has lights that are still too bright I just push a button and raise the rear shade over the back windshield. I like that shade better than the auto-dimming mirrors.

Post# 974160 , Reply# 4   12/17/2017 at 02:09 (306 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I had it in the crappy 99 MB I had, which also had the drivers side mirror auto dimming as well.. .It was a good feature... Subaru offered it but only for the rear view mirror, not the drivers side mirror,, so I passed..

The drivers side mirror auto dimming was great.. it annoys the piss out of me when I'm driving at night and someone is in the left lane and their lights are shining into my eyes . I usually have to put my arm up on the windowsill with my hand blocking the glare.

Post# 974166 , Reply# 5   12/17/2017 at 04:02 (306 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 974184 , Reply# 6   12/17/2017 at 06:40 (306 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Dimming side mirrors are fine. Dimming rearview mirror, not so much. I would rather manually dim the rear-view myself. I have had both and the auto option is not a feature I have to have on the rearview.

Post# 974188 , Reply# 7   12/17/2017 at 07:15 (306 days old) by DADoES (TX,áU.S. of A.)        

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Both rear and driver's-side auto-dim on my Fusion.á Both side-views are also heated (when the rear-window defroster is turned on).

Post# 974192 , Reply# 8   12/17/2017 at 07:36 (306 days old) by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        

I have an auto dimming mirror on my new Golf. Never had one before.

So far I don't like it. When dimmed it doesn't show as well as previous "dipping" rather than "dimming" mirrors, yet it still dazzles. (I have always been a bit sensitive to glare and bright light.)
Also the Golf changed in 2015 or 2016 to a "frameless" interior mirror (no plastic border to the glass) but the glass is still made to suit the previous plastic border. There is a strip of about 5mm all around (quarter inch) that doesn't dim, and cars behind regularly sit with their headlights shining on the bright reflective area > Dazzle. Drives me nuts. (Otherwise love the car...)

Post# 974197 , Reply# 9   12/17/2017 at 08:01 (306 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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If only all headlights were what they once were - standard bulbs.

Unfortunately, we now have the high intensity discharge lamps which are more like blue laser beams. They dazzle me badly.

Manually flipping the rearview mirror works, but I still get dazzled peripherally from the wing mirrors.

And I think those silly 'Chelsea Tractors' (RangeRovers et al) sit too high up, even with their dipped beam activated, causing conventional cars to be caught full-glare, and drivers blinded.

Post# 974198 , Reply# 10   12/17/2017 at 08:08 (306 days old) by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
I feel your pain brother...

Yep, high riding cars with too bright lights..Grrr.

"Chelsea tractors" I guess Chelsea is a posher part of London?

Here in Melbourne, Chelsea is a bayside suburb but nothing flash.

Our poshest suburb is Toorak, and Range Rovers are known as "Toorak Tractors".

Post# 974205 , Reply# 11   12/17/2017 at 08:36 (306 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Yes, Chelsea is usually seen as the posher part of London.

Why folk think they need to drive 'off-roaders' through suburbia beats me. Maybe it's to combat the arrays of speed-bumps and pot-holes?

And it's getting much worse - Now the Scottish Government wants to have drivers driving at 20mph, yes twenty miles per hour, through all urban areas, not just certain streets! Thoroughly, thoroughly awful.

Apparently, the best part is, that driving at such a slow speed actually increases carbon dioxide emissions, which contributes to global warming.

Post# 974207 , Reply# 12   12/17/2017 at 08:48 (306 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Believe that the company which made/patented these is the money behind Betsy deVos...the Prince family of western Michigan.

Post# 974212 , Reply# 13   12/17/2017 at 09:22 (306 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Our 2013 Subaru Impreza 5-door has one . . .

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. . . with compass and HomeLink garage door opener integration.  The opener buttons only work with the engine running or with the key in the ACC position so you don't need to bring the transmitter into the house when you park in the driveway.


Dimmer's great when the all too common jacked-up Ford Excursion with poorly aimed retrofit HIDs (i.e.: no such thing as "low beams" even on low beams) is behind you at a red light.

Post# 974213 , Reply# 14   12/17/2017 at 09:23 (306 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Wish we had such a thing, may look into aftermarket

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We have a lot of SUV and pik'up truck drivers in our region who run HID lamps and mains (brights) all the time. It makes it very hard to navigate poor roads at night.

Twice this year I've read in the local paper of a cop pulling someone over for it, but with all the yee-haws and strats, I've no hope anything significant can be done about it.

Anybody have aftermarket solutions?

Post# 974215 , Reply# 15   12/17/2017 at 09:30 (306 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
self dimming mirrors

work until they don't work.
The wire connecting them lies against the windshield and expansion and contraction eventually fractures the wire inside the insulation.
JamieL., I think Genetec of Holland Mi., or Zeeland was the company that pioneered them. However, I think Betsy DeVoss and husband Dick donated their own Amway funds to the Trump campaign.

Post# 974217 , Reply# 16   12/17/2017 at 09:33 (306 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Anybody have aftermarket solutions?

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Yes.  Lots of choices.


Post# 974220 , Reply# 17   12/17/2017 at 10:11 (306 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Thanks, Joe!

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I am definitely going to look into this.

Post# 974221 , Reply# 18   12/17/2017 at 10:11 (306 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
Mazda CX-5

My Mazda crossover (2016.5 model, Grand Touring trim) has an auto-dimming mirror, as did my previous VW Passat TDI (sold back to VW under settlement). They work fine. If either car had a manual override, I never figured out how to make it work. Both cars were the highest trim level, and at one time VW offered auto dim only on its high end trim level: SEL).

Post# 974270 , Reply# 19   12/17/2017 at 15:25 (305 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
motor-mirrors ...

only vehicle I have with auto dim mirror is 2003 Land Rover-electrochromatic type with VFD compass display-I am pretty sure the LR mirror came from a US suppier as it is very similar to auto dim mirror I swiped from a wrecked '98 buick.Got a couple motorized auto mirrors (both identical)from an '84 T-bird and an '85 Camaro-intended to install one in my '82 z28,but never got around to it. I live in a "Hick"area,so common local habit is to mount those LED light bars to jacked-up "Bubba trucks"...LED bars appear on cars too :)

Post# 974281 , Reply# 20   12/17/2017 at 16:39 (305 days old) by cadman (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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I've found that the old (early 80's) GM auto-dimming mirrors seem to work pretty well. These were still prismatic with a small motor and a dial to adjust sensitivity. These fell out of favor in the late 80's when the liquid crystal type came out, which are long as the liquid doesn't leak out, as made famous with the '93 AllantÚs.

Post# 974340 , Reply# 21   12/17/2017 at 20:43 (305 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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The last 5 vehicles I have owned have all had auto dimming rearview. They have all worked great and I like having to not manually switch back and forth. The auto dimming sideview mirrors work great too. This is a feature I look for when I buy a car.


Post# 974400 , Reply# 22   12/18/2017 at 07:34 (305 days old) by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

Both of my vehicles have the auto dimming mirrors inside and both outside. They both also have the intense headlights. Interesting on both is if you leave the headlight setting on automatic the brighter lights come on. If you change the switch to manual you have the choice of which lights come on. Just have to remember to shut them off after stopping. I don't drive much at night anymore so usually use the lower intense lighting since usually in the city at night.


Post# 974412 , Reply# 23   12/18/2017 at 09:00 (305 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
"Just have to remember to shut them off after stopping.&

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All three of my Subarus (1992 and 1996 Legacy [gone], 2013 Impreza [daily driver]) have headlights that turn off when you shut off the engine, even if the knob is in the on position.  If you turn the knob to off and back to on, the headlights will turn on with the warning tone when you open any driver or passenger door.


Don't know when they added it but it's similar to the headlights-on when the engine's running feature on many fleet vehicles in the belief that if daytime running lights are good, low beams during the day are even better.

Post# 974418 , Reply# 24   12/18/2017 at 09:25 (305 days old) by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        

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Both my 2003 Passat and my 2011 Nissan Leaf have auto-dimming inside rear view mirrors.
I love them and would not buy a car without them.
Hard to believe some "top trim level" cars still come with manual "flip switch" interior rear view mirrors and auto dimming mirrors are not even an available option.

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