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This past weekend I installed a couple of accessories on my wife's new 3i Touring, and figured I'd take some pics and post up some How-Tos. Neither is very complicated (other is fog lights), but hopefully they can help somebody - I'll point out some mistakes I made.

The auto-dimming mirror I installed is the standard model, not the Homelink version; that being said, installation is the same. Installation was pretty simple. Here's the rundown:

Time: 15-30 minutes

Parts Included in Kit:
- new mirror
- wiring harness
- foam rubber pads
- zip ties
- wire channel
- new A-pillar tether cilp

Tools Required:
- Two small flathead screwdrivers
- Medium flathead screwdriver
- 10mm socket & ratchet
- wire cutters
- T20 Torx screwdriver or bit
- panel/trim removal tool

Note that I didn't list a torque wrench; the torque is low and I found it more of a pain than anything. I wouldn't mess with one were I to do this over.


_DSC2098 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

As always, with any electrical installation in your car, disconnect the ground cable from the negative terminal of the battery. This is a good practice to start and maintain. In this case, it's especially important because you're working very near an airbag!

Use a 10mm socket on a ratchet or similar tool:


_DSC2132 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Begin by partially pulling out the door seal from the interior seam of the car. Simply pull down on the upper portion of seal and it easily comes down.


_DSC2032 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Next, start removal of the A-pillar. It's easy to get ahold of the outer corner, but I found the inner corner impossible. I stuck my panel removal into the area shown, then pulled the trim away from the pillar, towards me, with one hand on the outer corner, the other pulling on the trim tool. It took quite a tug to get it off.

However, DO NOT pull it all the way off! I'll show why below.


_DSC2033 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

I'm going to interrupt now and talk about the tethered clip which attaches the A-pillar trim to the A-pillar. It has a short plastic line keeping the two together, presumably so that the trim doesn't fly into your face when the curtain airbag goes off.

So, here it is. The left part is what sticks into the hole in the A-pillar, using two hooks to keep it in. The tether is the thin plastic line coming off from it, with the little head on the end. This goes into a slot on the A-pillar trim piece. Also on the trim piece is the male part of the clip, which is the lower part in the picture. As shown in the arrow, it goes into the other part of the clip and locks into place.

You get one of these in the kit, but it's all put together. You'll need to take the two pieces apart, using two small screwdrivers to push in on each hook on the male part, so you can pull it out from the female part. These hooks are on the left and right side of it in the picture.

You won't use the new male part, it's firmly attached to the A-pillar trim. But you WILL need the female section. We'll get to that later.


_DSC2131 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Ok, here we see that the trim still connected to the A-pillar itself through a tether. Circled in red is the 'head' of the tether in the trim - you can see a slot in it. The install guide said to use needle nose pliers, but I found that cumbersome. The normal flathead screwdriver worked very easily. Turn the tether 90 degrees, and push it through the slot in the trim.


_DSC2036 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Afterwards it looks like this:


_DSC2037 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Once free from the tether and other clips, pull it up in the direction of the arrow:


_DSC2045 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Now, remove the 'female' portion of the A-pillar tethered clip from the pillar. The small screwdriver is used here - there's a small gap between the outer face and the inner clips, which you can stick a screwdriver into. Push it in at the angles shown by the arrows, and bend the tabs inward, while pulling out on the clip. See the second picture for a better look.

I was able to get one side out, then the other. If you need to ruin the clip, go ahead, as you'll be installing a new one.


_DSC2047 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr


_DSC2055 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Done with the trim for now. Remove the old mirror by unscrewing the T20 screw which holds it into the windshield mount, and sliding it up and off, opposite the direction of the arrow shown below.

New one's installed the same way. Back off the screw on the new one, slide it on, and tighten securely - but not too tight!


_DSC2062 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr


_DSC2059 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Plug in the small black connector to the front side of the mirror, with the tab facing up. It'll click into place:


_DSC2065 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Next, install the trim cover which hides the wire and keeps it out of the way. It telescopes to fill the entire area between the mirror and headliner. The wider ears mount into the top of the mirror, so put the cable into the cover, leaving some slack, and push it into the mirror.


_DSC2066 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

While holding the lower part in, slide the upper section up, in the direction of the red arrow, and tuck the wire into the headliner.


_DSC2068 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Work around the rest of the headliner to the A-pillar, tucking in the wire. I found it helpful to slide the panel tool down the edge.


_DSC2070 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Tuck the wire next to the existing harness and wire tie the two together, using the taped sections of the mirror wire to protect it.


_DSC2075 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Now, into the connector. Push the tab in and pull up on the existing harness connector.


_DSC2071 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Snap in the connector from the new mirror pigtail harness, then do the same for the other pair; this is basically splicing into the existing wires and using their power.


_DSC2073 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Foam rubber tape time! Put one strip across the two original lower connectors in that area, circled in red. I also put a second strip around the second connector of the connector which is sticking out, circled in green.


_DSC2085 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Moar zipties! I put one around the Upper harness connection point and the wires on the new harness, then another around that bundle and the second smaller connection not used for the mirror. This tucked the upper harness connection in between the small unused connection and the lower mirror/OE connection.


_DSC2090 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Wiring is done! Trim the zip ties and you're ready to move on.


_DSC2094 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

Ok, now the tethered clip. Be careful here, DON'T get ahead of yourself, or you'll have a heck of a time getting things together.

1) Take the new, female side of the clip, and rotate its tether through the slot in the existing male side clip which is still on the A-pillar trim. See picture below!

2) Once the tether's in, snap the female side of the clip onto the male side.


_DSC2096 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

If you screwed up and put the female part of the clip into the A-pillar without tethering it first, you'll either need to: ignore the tether; remove it and put it together in the manner above, or; yell at it and cut your fingers trying to get the tether in before resorting to removing it and starting over.

Anyway, once the entire clip is on the A-pillar trim, begin its reassembly by inserting the lower tabs into their slots in the dash, pushing down to seat it in. One of the tabs wanted to bend on me, so I had to straighten it out to get it into the tab furthest away from the driver.

When it seats fully in, move the trim piece towards the A-pillar, making sure your wiring is tucked in enough so it can snap into place.

Line up the tethered clip to its hole, and press the trim piece onto the A-pillar. I had to whack it firmly to get it to completely seat.


_DSC2097 by GirchyGirchy, on Flickr

It should be done! Reconnect the battery and test it out. Instructions on setting the compass zone are in the book, then drive around in a circle to calibrate it. It also shows how to test the dimming function.
 

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Great guide! I had the dealer do it, but That's a great step by step instruction set.
 

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This is great, I just ordered the auto dim mirror. Thanks for the step by step, it cleared up some questions I had after reading the install directions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is great, I just ordered the auto dim mirror. Thanks for the step by step, it cleared up some questions I had after reading the install directions.
No problem! I was hoping it would clear up the clip especially, the directions are pretty vague on it. The service manual is a little better but it's still hard to tell how things fit together. Good luck!

Hopefully I'll have the fog light one up tonight.
 

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Does anyone know if it is possible to replace the auto dimming mirror the GT comes with with the homelink mirror? I would think you would just be able to unplug the existing mirror and remove it and then attach the new one to the windshield and plug it in.


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I got my mirror in last weekend. Only thing I noticed is that you can still activate the homelink while the car is off. That's a security issue if you have to park the car outside for any reason. The other homelink mirror would only allow the the homelink to work if the car is either in acc or on.
 

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Does anyone know if it is possible to replace the auto dimming mirror the GT comes with with the homelink mirror? I would think you would just be able to unplug the existing mirror and remove it and then attach the new one to the windshield and plug it in.
No, because you also have the sensor for the rain sensing wipers in the mirror. Also, if you have the GT tech package, you have the camera/radar in the mirror. Evidently, a Homelink mirror with those specialized options on it doesn't exist. Bummer...
 

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No, because you also have the sensor for the rain sensing wipers in the mirror. Also, if you have the GT tech package, you have the camera/radar in the mirror. Evidently, a Homelink mirror with those specialized options on it doesn't exist. Bummer...
Are you sure? There is a separate sensor by my mirror for the rain sensing wipers and headlights.


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Are you sure? There is a separate sensor by my mirror for the rain sensing wipers and headlights.
Perhaps you are right about that. There is a sensor on the back of the mirror. The sGT is the only one with an auto-dimming mirror as standard and they specifically exclude the sGT from the mirror accessory that they sell. I concluded that there must be a reason for that and it had to be some sensor our car has that the others don't. Perhaps my conclusion is wrong.

As I think about it, it could also be that the power going to the mirror for a system with sensors turns on with the ignition while adding Homelink requires you to have the power going to it all of the time. But that would require only adding another power wire to the fuse panel. It could also be that the harness plug -- given the extra stuff on the sGT -- is not compatible with the Homelink mirror. If that were true, then you'd need to do some custom wiring, but it could be done if you know what you are doing. I guess someone will have to look at the wiring diagrams to find out. I'm also wondering of the auto-dimming feature is also somehow tied into the rain sensing logic.
 
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Perhaps you are right about that. There is a sensor on the back of the mirror. The sGT is the only one with an auto-dimming mirror as standard and they specifically exclude the sGT from the mirror accessory that they sell. I concluded that there must be a reason for that and it had to be some sensor our car has that the others don't. Perhaps my conclusion is wrong.

As I think about it, it could also be that the power going to the mirror for a system with sensors turns on with the ignition while adding Homelink requires you to have the power going to it all of the time. But that would require only adding another power wire to the fuse panel. It could also be that the harness plug -- given the extra stuff on the sGT -- is not compatible with the Homelink mirror. If that were true, then you'd need to do some custom wiring, but it could be done if you know what you are doing. I guess someone will have to look at the wiring diagrams to find out. I'm also wondering of the auto-dimming feature is also somehow tied into the rain sensing logic.
I'll ask the dealer about when I go in for my first service.
 

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While I be the first to admit I'm a big chicken touching anything inside of the car, your instructions with detailed pictures might enable me to get past touching anything not made of metal. Very well done and many thanks.:yes:
 

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I got my mirror in last weekend. Only thing I noticed is that you can still activate the homelink while the car is off. That's a security issue if you have to park the car outside for any reason. The other homelink mirror would only allow the the homelink to work if the car is either in acc or on.
Every car that I have had with homelink, may it be in the mirror or a separate module in the sun visor, has always been operable with the car off. Those vehicles include a '08 and '12 Mazda3, '10 Lexus IS 250, '12 Nissan Maxima, and '96 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
 

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Homelink Mirror on sGT

As most of you who own sGT's have noticed, there is no Homelink mirror as an option. I've talked with the MITO people (the distributors of Gentex mirrors) about the issue. If you'll notice the installation above, you'll see that there are only two wires going into the mirror. On the sGT auto-dimming mirror you have 3. The wire between the red and black is the wire from the rear body control module (RBCM). According to the MITO techs, this turns off the auto-dim when you have the car in reverse so you have a clear view to the back. Neither the auto-dim mirror above, or the Mazda Homelink mirror have this signal built into it. Since all of the other body trims don't have this function in the RBCM, there is no wire to connect. Therefore, if you have bright lights, you'll have a dim view through the mirror when backing up.

The MITO tech people assure me that not attaching that RBCM wire will have no negative effect. Therefore you could get a 50-GENK45AM Gentex mirror and install it with custom wiring. You'll already have an ignition power and ground from the current mirror and you'll just have to tap a full power line for the only other connection you'll need. If you were willing to have the Homelink only run when the ignition is on, you could attach the power wire to both locations. Otherwise, you'll just have to run a power wire from the fuse panel, up the A pillar and into the mirror. Just like the other trims, the mirror might dim when backing up.

Now, I'm still not sure about what happens when you don't attach the RBCM wire, i.e., will you get an error code???? Perhaps one of you that knows a Mazda dealer can get an answer to that. Unfortunately, the cheapest I've seen a 50-GENK45AM mirror is $279. If you are going to remove the A-pillar, you'll also need a new clip - but I'm sure that's pretty cheap.

Questions??? Comments????
 
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Homelink solution for the sGT

I've purchased a Gentex mirror and working with the supplier on a Homelink solution for the sGT. He's making a custom pigtail harness to try and enable the contact to the RBCM. There may also be a solution for those of you who have the sGT tech package. I'll let you know when the testing is complete.
 

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Great step-by-step. I had your post in the car with me next to the instructions and everything went as smooth as can be. Still, there's no reason that a-pillar cover should be so hard to get back in the right spot!
 

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Any tips on getting the A-pillar panel off? It's the only thing that's holding me back right now. Feels like I might break it when I'm pulling the panel out.
 

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What do you mean by clip?
Just search for this part: MAZDA D65168162A

You will break this clip when you take off the A-pillar and it should be replaced with a new one. You can also probably get one at the dealer. You can read about it in the instructions you downloaded.
 
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