Side View Mirror Blind Spot Solution? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Question Side View Mirror Blind Spot Solution?

I also posted this in the R-Class section but it may be relevant to ML owners, too...

Really like my R-Class but side view mirror blind spots are a problem. A couple times I have checked my left side mirror and started moving over into that lane only to be honked at because my side view mirror was unable to pickup the car whose front bumper was almost even with my rear door. Yes, I do turn my head to look but I still miss these guys once in awhile. I think Mercedes went for aerodynamics and esthetics over function when they designed the side view mirrors for the R-Class.

Recently I saw a newspaper article that said most people do not adjust their side view mirrors properly, saying that most people adjust their side view mirrors so that they see the sides of their own vehicles (guilty as charged). The article went on to say proper side view mirror adjustment should not show any of their own vehicle. Instead, both side view mirrors should be adjusted so that as the image of an overtaking vehicle leaves the interior rear view mirror it is picked up by the appropriate side view mirror (The image of an overtaking vehicle on your left would start to appear in your left side view mirror just as it "disappeared" from the center rear view mirror) and the same for vehicle overtaking on the right).

I have since adjusted my mirrors to this new orientation and after getting over the uncomfortable feeling of not seeing the side of your own vehicle in the side view mirrors, it does work well. The problem with the new mirror orientation is when "backing up". Yes, you can adjust the mirrors back to the old "see the side of your car" setting, but this takes time and you then have to re-adjust the mirrors to the "new" orientation afterwards, which can be difficult to do without actually driving.

Awhile back I found a website that might have a solution to this problem. The company is called "Multivex Mirrors" and they offer a "retrofit" mirror that is cut to fit and installed over the existing mirror.

Multivex makes the following claims:

The closest part of the mirror to vehicle operator:

— Is spherical convex, i.e. constant curvature.
— Is fundamentally distortion free.
— Is usually flatter than OEM mirrors.
— Normally provides larger images than OEM convex mirrors.
— Therefore, produces better distance judgment to trailing vehicles.
— Is used to look mainly straight rearward.

The farthest part of the mirror from vehicle operator:
— Has increasing curvature toward it's outer edge, i.e. is aspheric.
— Has patented increasing curvature producing optically controlled expansion of the field-of-view.
— Is used to look mainly into the former lateral "blind areas".
— Virtually eliminates the "blind areas".

The company offers full instruction on how to make a template of your outside mirrors, which are then used to cut a mirror that will fit over the existing mirror without losing "heated" mirror functionality.

They also offer pre-made side view mirror glass for vehicles for which they have already received templates. On their website they list pre-made mirrors for ML Mercedes up to the 2006 model year. I assume that the side view mirrors on a 2006 ML are the same as a 2006 R-Class, but are they the same for a 2007 R-Class or later years?

I admit I am intrigued by this product but wanted know what the rest of you think.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 01:19 PM
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I think you post sounds like a commercial. But if you're really bothered order Euro spec mirror elements, they are spherical and you wont loose the heating function.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 02:33 PM
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I wonder if you could retrofit the new mirrors of the facelifted 2009-2010 models. They seem bigger and provide more visibility.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bocabenz View Post
I wonder if you could retrofit the new mirrors of the facelifted 2009-2010 models. They seem bigger and provide more visibility.
It has been done. You have to use ones with the same options (i.e. folding, heating etc.) as the stock ones. Saw one about a month ago. Quality sucks, but you can tell whats what.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 03:44 PM
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Anybody who has ever taken a performance driving course from Bondurant or BMW or any of the other reputable training companies knows that outside mirrors should be positioned as described by the OP. With almost any modern car -- and certainly with the ML, although I can't speak for the R Class -- it is possible to position your mirrors such that a vehicle coming up on your left side appears in the left mirror before it disappears from the inside rearview mirror, and it appears in your peripheral vision before it disappears from the left side mirror. Ditto on the right. That is how you should set your mirrors.

Once you get used to this (about a month, typically) it becomes very disturbing to see your own vehicle in your side mirrors because you know that means you have a blind spot.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 06:51 PM
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After having driven several vehicles in Europe with convex side mirrors, I guess I have been spoiled maybe, but I am continuously disappointed to not see convex mirrors in use on this side of the pond. Especially on brands that have them standard in Europe. Instead we're hearing about electronic systems with cameras, radar, ... gadgetry that is going to cost several thousand $ ... while we all could have some convex mirrors at no / minimal extra charge.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2010, 10:25 PM
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Smile PLZ HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello guys how are you ?
I'm a new resident here in California so when i drove cars here i felt the difference because i came from Jordan , so i asked myself " are Jordanian cars smarter than cars here in the USA ???" i asked this question because the left (driver) mirror is flat(planner) while the passenger's mirror is convexed (written on it "objects are closer than what they appear") so that made me insane , because in Jordan we have both mirrors convexed (written on it "objects are closer than what they appear") so my question is " if i bought my left mirror from Jordan (convexed one),is it okay to install it here in America according to American system?????"

please help me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 05:48 AM
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There are differing opinions about mirror adjustment and what I will present here is the most widely recommended method taught in driving schools here in the U.S.

Inside rear view mirror adjusted to see as much of the back window as possible and covering more to the right rear if possible. Both outside mirrors adjusted so you can barely see the rear sides of your vehicle by only shifting your eyes and without the need to move your head. When making a lane change, check your mirrors, then turn your head to check the appropriate blind spot, signal, then check again - then begin the lane change. This takes only a couple of seconds to do it correctly. (Checking twice is the Santa Claus rule: He checks his list and checks it twice .... One of the most common comments after a traffic crash is "I didn't see them".)

If you adjust your mirrors as stated in the previous post you will create another blind spot at the rear corners of your vehicle. Mirrors are not designed to cover every view around your vehicle and are an aid, not an only solution. You must turn your head. You can demonstrate the blind spots to yourself by lining up next to a car and slowly drive forward or backward until you cannot see the car in the inside or outside mirrors and it is not covered by your peripheral vision. You will be able to hide a full car in the blind spot.

Jim W.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 07:48 AM
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I agree with manwagon's instructions on adjusting the side view mirrors. Also the European W163 ML drivers side rear view mirror is the aspheric type. I don't know if the W164 is aspheric also but I imagine they are. They run about $100 US and will directly fit the US ML's mirror housing.
Sorry JW but I disagree with your method, at least for me. Adjusting the side view mirrors so I can just see the side of my vehicle is just not enough. It still leaves a blind spot. Now that I am used to the adjustment I find seeing the side of the vehicle I'm diving annoying. However having said that I do recognize that each vehicle's mirrors and driver positions are different and should be adjusted to provide the safest possible condition for each combination. Thus 3 positions on my Memory seat / Mirror settings.
As far as not having the aspheric mirrors in the US blame the DOT, the same government agency that makes Mercedes remove the non DOT approved Warning Triangles in US delivered vehicles.

Last edited by Mike's ML; 07-14-2010 at 07:54 AM.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 07:51 AM
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I like your discussion.Thank you very much.
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