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2000 W220 S500 & 2007 W209 CLK280
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to retrofit an Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror (Internal) to a C180K 2003

If it is How do I remove the existing mirror so I can check if the appropriate wirring is present ?

Thanks
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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As far as I know, those do not require any electrical signal; there is something special about the glass itself. If that was an OEM option for your car I would simply buy one from your dealer and pay them to do the exchange. If you want to do it yourself, be patient and someone who has done that will give you the proper procedure.
 

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2013 C250
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7,273 Posts
fyi - I was told by a Electrical Engineer-type that these mirrors require some type of electrical power, but I'm not sure. He is not an automotive engineer.

Hopefully somebody here or one of the MB techs knows. I'd like to do that mod to my 06 ML.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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fyi - I was told by a Electrical Engineer-type that these mirrors require some type of electrical power, but I'm not sure. He is not an automotive engineer. Hopefully somebody here or one of the MB techs knows. I'd like to do that mod to my 06 ML.
MB-SV,

Mine has the garage door opener option and surely that requires an electrical signal. Also, I would have thought the auto-dimming feature would have come as standard equipment on your 2006 ML(?). It was apparently standard on my 2001 E320.

One of the reasons I answered as I did was I looked at a used MB once and the interior rearview mirror had turned an ugly color. I'm really not sure either, but my assumption at that time was that the "special coating" enabling the auto-dimming feature was what caused the color change.

I'm not trying to start an argument, but just adding my FYI to yours.
 

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I believe the mirror has some sort of fluid/liquid coating behind the glass and runs an electrical current through it to darken it.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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I believe the mirror has some sort of fluid/liquid coating behind the glass and runs an electrical current through it to darken it.
Hi AsianML,

So what triggers the current to start flowing throught the fluid, turning on the headlight switch? That makes the most sense, at least to me. Your post would seemingly support my assumption that the fluid (your word) or coating (my word) was old and had darkened due to the age of it.
 

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2013 C250
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I believe the mirror has some sort of fluid/liquid coating behind the glass and runs an electrical current through it to darken it.
That's how I understood it, based on the e.e.'s description.
 

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2013 C250
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MB-SV,

Mine has the garage door opener option and surely that requires an electrical signal. Also, I would have thought the auto-dimming feature would have come as standard equipment on your 2006 ML(?). It was apparently standard on my 2001 E320.

One of the reasons I answered as I did was I looked at a used MB once and the interior rearview mirror had turned an ugly color. I'm really not sure either, but my assumption at that time was that the "special coating" enabling the auto-dimming feature was what caused the color change.

I'm not trying to start an argument, but just adding my FYI to yours.
Of course, I know you are not trying to start an argument.:). This will end up being an educational thread for sure.

My 06 ML has a manual dimmer on the mirror, as compared to the auto-dimmer on my C-class (with P1 package).

Strange but I hardly ever need to use the ML manual dimmer thing on the mirror. The mirror might have some anti-glare coating on it. Or maybe because of the dark tint (of the factory privacy glass) on back window, the glare is reduced. Side mirror glare is probably reduced because of my 35% front side window tint.
 

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Hi AsianML,

So what triggers the current to start flowing throught the fluid, turning on the headlight switch? That makes the most sense, at least to me. Your post would seemingly support my assumption that the fluid (your word) or coating (my word) was old and had darkened due to the age of it.
You might see a small darkened circle on your mirror. That's the light sensor. When it senses bright light aimed at it, it'll activate some sort of circuit and triggers the current. I only have rough knowledge of how it works.
 

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MB-SV,

Mine has the garage door opener option and surely that requires an electrical signal. Also, I would have thought the auto-dimming feature would have come as standard equipment on your 2006 ML(?). It was apparently standard on my 2001 E320.

One of the reasons I answered as I did was I looked at a used MB once and the interior rearview mirror had turned an ugly color. I'm really not sure either, but my assumption at that time was that the "special coating" enabling the auto-dimming feature was what caused the color change.

I'm not trying to start an argument, but just adding my FYI to yours.
I don't believe the interior rearview mirror should be a different color if it's auto-dimming. It might be because of age or there could be a crack somewhere allowing air to get in????
 

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2002 E320 sports limitted edition
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There is some kind of oil based liquid inside that dims it and I understand some sort of sensor. My drivers side mirrow was getting spotty like something was coming off the mirrow and it was getting so bad the entire mirror needed to be replaced. My SA at the dealer tried to get me just the glass but because of the oil liquid and sensor the whole unit needed to be replaced. It was about $600 just for the mirror which even the my MB SA thought was ridiculous so I got it at cost from my indy for about $350. That is the MB cost to my indy. No aftermarket mirror for me. Still expensive but at least I got it cheaper at the indy who 90% of the time uses OEM parts. They recommended I stick with MB mirror. A friend with a 2005 E class had the same issue and replaced it for over $600 at the dealer. We were told this can be a common issue. :surrender:
 

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You might see a small darkened circle on your mirror. That's the light sensor. When it senses bright light aimed at it, it'll activate some sort of circuit and triggers the current. I only have rough knowledge of how it works.
This is pretty accurate. It actually has two sensors, one looking forward and the one asianml mentioned looking backwards. Mirror dimming is controlled as a function of light intensity and difference between rear and forward sensors (you don't want it to become bright when a car at the rear lights up your cabin with high beams).

The interior mirror also serves as a master for the driver side exterior mirror dimming control.

There is a layer of electrolyte gel that darkens the mirror when control voltage is applied (in the range of 5 to 80%).

Note also that the mirror brightens up when you put reverse gear on.

It all may feel simple but there actually is a lot of intelligence built in. Normally the driver does not detect anything much happening, this is the way it should be and the way MB wants it to be. Electronics are not there to have fancy screen savers on the radio display or audio spectrum analysers but they are there to make driving a pleasure (I know someone will refer to some electronics related issues that MB has had, that is a bit unfortunate but seems to be getting better even if no car will ever be completely free from SW bugs etc.).
 

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2000 W220 S500 & 2007 W209 CLK280
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hi
Glad to see my original post got some info flowing.

But my original questions were
1. is the retrofit possible
2. how do I get the mirror I have off to check if at lease a power connection is there.
sounds like i may also need some connection / signal from reverse gear as well.
P.S. I don't want the outside mirrors to dim as well as this would I am sure cost a lot more since I would need to replace both those as well, although I do like the sound of the auto down tilt for parking which I have not got ?

Thanks
 

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Thanks Diesel Benz,
I've always wondered exactly how it worked. Your description is the most complete from anyone I've asked.

I'm always annoyed by DRL's behind me during the day.
As you said, there are 2 sensors, with one on the back of my mirror facing the front windshield.
During the day, the auto-dimming won't usually come on, so I block the sensor at the back of the mirror and am able to dim all mirrors during the day. The sensor is the master for the 3 mirrors.
Again as you explained, if I partially block the sensor, I get partial dimming.
It works for me. Derek

ps: It certainly will be an interesting retro-fit and you'll have to bring power up to the mirror and naturally you won't have to feed the side mirrors (in your case).

Mirrors are changed all the time, so the dealer could do it or an indy car electronics guy should be able to also.
 

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1. is the retrofit possible
2. how do I get the mirror I have off to check if at lease a power connection is there.
sounds like i may also need some connection / signal from reverse gear as well.
The rearview mirror is "driven" by the overhead control panel control module. It would get all the necessary "external info" like gear on reverse through the CAN-bus.

There is a retrofit guide for the dimming mirrors, it could be that the control unit in the car is already compatible for this.

I'd suggest searching for a mirror removal guide from the car specific group (I remember one on the W211 section too although it is a bit different).
 

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'85 2.3-16 '99 C280 '11 GLK350
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A CLK auto-dimming/homelink mirror has been retrofit onto a 190E with power coming from the overhead light circuit, so it's just a matter of mounting and wiring.
 

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A CLK auto-dimming/homelink mirror has been retrofit onto a 190E with power coming from the overhead light circuit, so it's just a matter of mounting and wiring.
190E? That would be a W210 car, this thread was about a 2003 W203 if I remember right, those are unlikely the same.
 

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'85 2.3-16 '99 C280 '11 GLK350
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190E? That would be a W210 car, this thread was about a 2003 W203 if I remember right, those are unlikely the same.
W201 car, from the 80's. ;)

I'm just saying that it's not that hard to put in a recycled Mercedes auto dim and homelink equiped rearview mirror into earlier models. All the electronics are in the mirror housing and just need the 12VDC.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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I don't believe the interior rearview mirror should be a different color if it's auto-dimming. It might be because of age or there could be a crack somewhere allowing air to get in????
That is apparently what happened AsianML. It was an older MB (don't remember how old) and I think your crack theory is highly possible.
 
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