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Aftermarket rear-view mirror?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by milleron, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. milleron

    milleron Member

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    The autodimming functionality on my new MS is the worst of any car I've owned since this technology became available. To make matters laughably worse, its frame (or the periphery of the mirror) is highly reflective so that very bright flashes of reflected light are frequently stabbing me in the eye when driving at night. I'd gladly throw it in the trash in favor of a manually dimmed mirror were one available. If it's not, I'll resort to trying to paint the rear-facing frame flat black, but the autodimming is so bad, I'd rather replace the whole thing.
    Has anyone noticed the problem with the rearview and found a solution or a replacement?
     
  2. snd92

    snd92 Member

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    Tint the rear window. Problem solved. I do agree that autodimming is bad, easily seen on the loaners I’ve driven.
     
  3. Kristoffer Helle

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    New or old MS? My 2015 mirror is much better than my 2017.
    It's also a bit bigger.
     
  4. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    the auto dim on my rear view is never dark enough. 2013 S.
     
  5. milleron

    milleron Member

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    It's brand new, I'd look for an older Model S rearview, but it seems that owners have been finding fault with them since the beginning. I'm really hoping it's possible to simply replace the terribly designed POS with a manually dimmed mirror.
    Does anyone know if that can be done?
     
  6. kev1n

    kev1n Member

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    i dont like the auto dim function either, im surprised there isnt a way to turn it off

    what i did was use a broadway mirror to cover up the stock one, problem solved.
     
  7. milleron

    milleron Member

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    #7 milleron, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    I found Broadway mirrors on Amazon, but they're simply wide-view. They are not "dimmable" or "day/night" adjustable, so how is one helpful for night driving?
     
  8. kev1n

    kev1n Member

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  9. snd92

    snd92 Member

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    Just disconnect the power to the mirror and auto dimming is turned off.
     
  10. milleron

    milleron Member

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    With auto-dimming turned OFF, nighttime glare would be even worse. How would that help the problem?
     
  11. snd92

    snd92 Member

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    I did tell @kev1n the only way to turn off auto dimming. Obviously it would not solve your problem, @milleron.
     
  12. kev1n

    kev1n Member

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    i meant, im surprised there isnt a switch like other cars. i like it but sometimes it can be of less help and impair vision.
     
  13. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    FYI the interior mirror in my 2014 is made by Volvo, says so stamped inside, probably intended to fit in some Volvo. Keep in mind this mirror is the one for pre-AP cars. Simpler gear and a different mirror design up there on the windshield. Back then, OE parts were sourced from other manufacturers, seemed the normal thing for Tesla to do for getting cars to market. ... now maybe Tesla makes their own mirror.

    I had my mirror apart because I wanted to see if I could mount radar detector display inside.. I could.. but chose not to.

    What I did with the interior mirror was rotate it 180 degrees so now it is upside down. Why? It didn't turn all the mirror images 180* as some might think;)... but this actually raises up the mirror a few millimeters so you can see more under it. I'm a tall driver, continuously ducking my head down to see road / pedestrians on right side of car.. every millimeter gained under that mirror is several feet of roadway seen under it when glancing in that direction. Also, the upside down mirror shape better accommodates the curvature / shape of the rear window image as seen in the mirror... the top arc of the rear window closely follows the mirror edge arc .. so aesthetics.. it's a better image fill and use of the mirror space. I didn't realize this until after doing the work, just a nice bonus.

    What about dimming? I found turning the mirror upside down did not affect the excellent auto-dimming feature.. it still works well. Auto dimming must sense a differential of light hitting the mirror glass versus ambient light level sensed through the windshield. All three mirrors are driven by the auto-dimming decisions of the interior mirror.

    Test: the best and strongest (darkest) effect of auto-dimming is at dusk, near sundown.. point the car east allowing the glimmering last rays of sunshine to hit the interior mirror dead-on. All your mirrors should become very darkened within a couple minutes.

    Check the "view to ambient" from the forward facing side of the interior mirror, that it has a clear view out the windshield. Mine has a little sensor on it. Obstruction (radar detector in the way?) or window tint film, etc. would affect system judgement for dimming, and maybe cause some degree of "perma-darkening" and bottoming out in darkness with no more room to dim .. so the system would seems less active.

    Also, rear window tinting diminishes the effect of auto-dimming. It would dim less because less light is hitting the mirror glass surface. So rear window tint means your outside mirrors also aren't dimming as much as they could, which means you're getting beaned in the eyes from the side mirrors showing headlights behind you whereas the window tint makes center mirror glare more bearable. Removing the rear tint would darken side mirrors more.
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. milleron

    milleron Member

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    So my idea of replacing the interior rearview would render the exterior mirrors' dimming inoperable. So much for that thought.
    It's looking like I'm just stuck. I can hardly believe that Tesla requires me to suffer with a review mirror that couldn't have passed muster in 1985.
    I'll call service on the off chance that the function could be adjustable, and post results here. Failing that I'll try those yellow-tinted clip-on glasses that they say enhance vision for night driving
     
  15. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    tinting rear window will make side mirror dimming worse
     
  16. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    You haven't really said what is bad about it. Doesn't dim fast enough? Not dimming dark enough? Not dimming? Always dimming too easily? What... ?
     
  17. milleron

    milleron Member

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    scottm,
    You're right. What I find so inadequate is the degree of dimming. Following headlights are still much to bright for me even when the mirror has fully dimmed.
    What has worked well for me to work around this problem are these polarized yellow night-driving clip-ons. They reduce glare from the interior and exterior rearview mirrors to an acceptable level and, as an added bonus, reduce the glare of oncoming headlights considerably .
     
  18. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    #18 scottm, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    I wonder if it's possible to hack the mirror to adjust the sensitivity of the surface sensing element to perceive more light, thereby darkening the mirror more aggressively and possibly to a deeper dark? If it's using a photo sensing resistor to detect (and from the video in the link below suggests both front and rear facing sensors are CdS cells), then strapping a high value resistor across the driver facing sensor terminals will lower its resistance, overall, all the time (emulating "more light hitting it").

    May get lucky and find a tuning pot on the circuit board that is used to calibrate the difference, give it a tweak. Ya, it would be nice if there was a knob on this exposed to the driver to adjust from outside the mirror, like other cars have.

    Or, hack the mirror gel driver to increase the degree of dimming by amplifying / modifying its signal. This is probably a PWM signal of sorts that changes voltage output to the mirror, so stretching or shrinking the PW might do it. There is very low voltage flowing through the glass layers. A scope would tell. Increasing the voltage flow a bit to the glass will make it darker.
     
  19. kev1n

    kev1n Member

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    it would probably be easier to add a switch to turn on/off the dim function. has anyone gave that a try yet?
     
  20. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    I tried a forced dimming... it's easy to do.. Put your finger over the hole on the back of the mirror to cover it so no light hits that sensor. All three mirrors go very dark within about 30 seconds... in the middle of the day! Let go and whoosh they come back to full brightness in about the same amount of time.
     

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