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Rear/ Side mirrors auto-dimming in Model S, and my attempt to disable it

Discussion in 'Hong Kong' started by ediot, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. ediot

    ediot Member

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    This may come across as a bit of a sad story, it involves an SMALL incident that doesn't reflect well on Tesla HK (and i've prob given more than enough criticism about them in the past). Be it confirmation bias on my part, or just being overly demanding or massive generalizing - i hope what i wrote here doesn't come across as another "look, i TOLD you tesla HK is cxxp!" example.

    Lately, my girlfriend and I have separately noticed that the rear and side mirror automatically dim themselvs at some time around 6pm daily. I suppose the purpose is to reduce glare of cars of other headlights. However, we have never had a problem with non-dimming mirrors, and with these ones we REALLY struggle to see the lines in the road/ other cars. We would like to disable the auto-dimming feature.

    After scouring thru the entire user manual in the car, there was ZERO mention about it whatsoever. We turned to the internet, and some google-fu has shown that a number of owners in the US have asked the same question, and that they've been given a satisfactory answer by other owners on TMC etc. The solution is to:
    1) cover up the sensor on the "back" of the rearview mirror - it faces the front windshield
    OR
    2) cover the sensor on the "front" of the mirror like how it's described here:
    Tesla Model S Hidden Features, Tips, Tricks & Tidbits
    • DISABLE AUTO-DIMMING MIRRORS: Locate the tiny light sensor on the rear view mirror (facing the driver) which resides on the top edge and 1.5″ left from the center. Place a small piece of tape over it (eg electrical tape) will disable auto-dimming. [SocalTesla]
    Disable Auto dimming mirrors (Tech)

    now i've tried both solutions (in fact, i haven't undone option 1) - but the side mirrors still dim! and with option 2 that made the rearview mirror stops auto-dimming, there's a piece of tape ON THE MIRROR just to do that! ARGH! so my first question is, Does anyone else feel the same about the mirror auto-dimming, and have you found a way to disable it??


    Now here's the bit that happened just TODAY. Tesla has set up a road show car (A red P90DL) outside Kornhill/ Aeon near Tai Koo Shing. Now as I walked past it, there seemed to be about 6-7 delivery/tech specialist looking people in tesla shirts. So I walked up to them to ask about the auto-dimming mirrors, and how can i disable them. three separate tesla guys came up to me regarding this, and their answers were, as quoted,

    1. "i've never heard of this and it shouldn't be a problem"
    2. "i'm sorry, i dont know" (which i really appreciated, honesty is hard sometimes but its truthful)
    3. "No, there is no such auto-dimming feature that you claimed on our cars - the mirrors do not auto-dim at all"

    now it could be that i was projecting, or the fact that i'm a rather young owner of the model S at 32 years old (i seem to be about the same age as the guys giving me answer 3) but i felt a massive air of condescending tone in his voice, and that he was implying that i was making up bullshit. I dont know, i didn't react to that. but the number 3 guy TURNED AROUND AND WALKED OFF. do i have to chase you and show you my keys and the app on my phone to get you to talk to me? maybe follow up the question and check with headquarter technicians? recommend me to confirm with my sales guy or "delivery specialist" on this particular issue? ask me to elaborate on the problem i was facing?

    none. absolutely none, with an almost 180degree turn around to walk away. i felt mildly insulted, but i do not wish to turn this into a witchhunt or a "look, they're shxt" shoutout just because of this little, single, small incident. The guy may not have intended to do that for all i know.

    however, i'm feeling a little helpless on this side mirror auto-dimming issue, and a little more disappointed in Tesla's HK division in massive contrast to the great things Tesla have and are aiming to achieve, both on the big humanity scale and on the business/ customer service scale.

    /rant.


    My apologies for the wall of text. I've given it 12 hours since my encounter at the roadshow before i wrote this, but it still feels significant.
     
  2. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    It is sad that owners tend to know more about the cars than Tesla salespeople. I am not sure if it says more about the poor training of sales staff, or the excellent quality of owners.
     
  3. samleemc

    samleemc Member

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    Hi ediot, I have the same issue as you experienced, and I totally agreed with you especially on the part of "young owner" (I am 27 yrs old...)

    I guess Tesla's training to their staff only focus on getting them to the "introduction" level. For owner like us, who focus on detail and get to the bottom of each problem, we better ask questions here, or send an email to their HQ for a better answer.

    Not only Tesla, I found that, most Tech company has the same issue. Apple, Tesla, Google....etc.
     
  4. ediot

    ediot Member

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    So, is anyone else experiencing this same issue with the mirrors darkening themselves? i've almost cut into a lane to the left yesterday with a car square in the mirror - one of its headlight wasnt on and due to the darkened mirror, i couldn't even notice the car being there. Of course, it is my responsibility to pay full attention, but i'd just like to see if anyone else's cars have:

    1) mirrors that auto-dim during driving after 6pm (they go back to normal when you put the car in park)
    and/or
    2) prefer it if the mirrors do not auto-dim at all
    and/or
    3) have found a way to disable the auto-dim function

    thanks
     
  5. Captain_Kong

    Captain_Kong Member

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    Location:
    HK
    If you really really want to un-dim the mirrors - the dimmed mirrors should work by an electric wire connecting to the mirror and activating crystals on command. By disconnecting this wire, you should be able to un-dim the mirrors.

    May be you friendly garage or Tesla service centre can disconnect this wire for you fairly easily.
     
  6. ediot

    ediot Member

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    thanks captain, i'm gonna look into this. I've given tesla a call, they said they'll get back to me - not holding my breath for it tho :p
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Just wait a few months and they will undim themselves. Mine haven't dimmed for over two years.
     
  8. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    While I do not have the answer to this, perhaps your can find what wire goes to the sensor in the mirror housing or fuse that powers the dimming crystals (though the fuse may control multiple things) and disconnect one/both of them. You should be able to find some fuse diagrams and hopefully can trace what wire is connecting to that sensor, though perhaps there is more than one sensor on newer cars and that is why your tap stopped the inside mirror and not the outside mirrors.
     
  9. ediot

    ediot Member

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    it's not a bug, it's a feature! :p
    its kinda ironic that i'm kinda looking forward to this happening so i don't have to mess with my car's wirings etc

    thanks, i'll have a look at the fuse diagrams later and see if i could do it that way. hopefully the dimming on the side mirrors doesn't share the same circuit as the auto-folding and/or mirror direction adjustments.


    A QUICK UPDATE
    i heard back from Tesla HK, they confirmed that "newer" model S's have dimming mirrors. They didn't specify what "newer" meant in this context - My car was delivered late Dec 2015/ early jan 2016, however when i googled this auto-dimming issue, many have talked about dealing with/ solving this issue up to two years before. (e.g. Disable Auto dimming mirrors (Tech) thread started March 2013). Something has changed since then, as my car's sensor and auto dimming look/behave a bit different and i can't disable it the way the older users did.

    Anyway, Tesla HK said they would not provide service to disable this "safety" feature for me, and highly recommend against disabling it myself via messing with the wirings. Fair enough i suppose, although it is definitely less safe to not notice other cars via your side mirrors in my experience. The rearview camera (which i always have as my top half screen) has its own downsides, and CANNOT fully replace the function of the side mirrors.

    So my next step would be to look up fuse diagrams and see if there's a simple fuse i could pop out to let me actually drive safer at night.
     
  10. SSD420

    SSD420 Member

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    Isn't that the truth. I went to test drive a model s before confirming my model X from reservation to confirmed. This was about 2 weeks before I'd ever get to test drive the MX. The tesla employee seemed clueless to my questions about both MS and MX.

    It's frustrating that us tesla owners (or almost tesla owners) know more about the car than the sales people trying to sell to us.
     
  11. Nismode

    Nismode Member

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    Granted, owners probably spend a lot more time living and tinkering with the car than those that work at Tesla and may not own one :p
     
  12. SSD420

    SSD420 Member

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    I was told that you're correct. Most of
    the staff cannot afford to drive a Tesla, but they have internal staff Contests where they can rack up "Tesla hours" and grand prizes such as "tesla weekends" whereas they get to take one of the Tesla's for a few hours, days or weekends.

    Besides me reading the online manual in MyTesla countless times, this forum has definitely taught me a lot.

    Thanks Tesla Motors Club!! :)
     
    • Like x 1
  13. ediot

    ediot Member

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    update:

    went by Tesla@ The Pulse the other day, only two staff in there. one in a Tesla fleece and one in a shirt and suit trousers. I talked to the fleece guy who says... no the mirrors don't dim.

    the guy in the shirt came over and the fleece guy mentioned my issue to him, and the shirt guy says yes, the mirrors DO have an auto dimming feature (FINALLY!!1!!111eleven1!). He says that they shouldn't be so dark that i'm not able to see out of them at night (which is the issue i'm experiencing), and that he can book my car in for a check-up. I mentioned a few worries after a few Q&A with him, whilst the fleece guy comically chimed in and talked about how the dimming can be controlled and fixed by Tesla Service. the memory of him denying this feature even existed no more than two minutes ago was still fresh on my mind.

    Points from the shirt guy:
    1. Yes the auto dimming feature exists
    2. for safety reasons, the auto dimming occurs to prevent lights from other cars blinding you in the mirrors
    3. you cannot turn it on/off via the centre console as a user of the car
    4. the dimming of the mirrors shouldn't be so strong that you can't see out of them - this can be adjusted by Tesla Service

    The questions/worries that i mentioned:
    1. is the electrochromatic dimming controlled via the console software, i.e. a custom version of linux running ubuntu?
    1.answer. no, it's a separate wiring that doesn't go thru the software.
    2. So you can control the dimming via OBDII connection?
    2.answer. We'll leave that to the technicians to answer the technical questions
    3. So the technicians CAN sort out my dimming issue?
    3.answer. They can have a look at the dimming on your car, and if they're too dark, they can reduce the dimming.
    4. i know that your service centre is quite busy and i don't want to leave my car behind for too long, what can be arranged?
    4.answer. (Asked for my VIN) i'm booking in a request now, service centre will find a time to get your car looked at and turned around on the same day. they'll give you (i.e. ME) a call when they find a timeslot. (note: no loaner car mentioned)
    5. what if i borrow a loaner car whilst my car is looked at?
    5.answer. That's possible but may take a while, since we're quite short on loaners.

    I then confirmed they booked me in for Service Centre to call me "some time soon". this little convo was on friday 20th jun, the phonecall hasn't happened yet. i'm still waiting and see how far this gets stretched. To be honest i'm almost finding more amusement than frustration in my experience now. No just due to this mirror dimming thing per se, but just my experience with Tesla HK overall.

    oh, did i mention the fleece guy recommended me to look on forums to find solutions to Tesla related stuff? out of curiosity i asked him which ones, he mentioned their official forum, and www.discuss.com.hk. Now i haven't found many useful Tesla threads on www.discuss.com.hk forum, but TMC is literally the very first google result when you search "tesla forum hk"... at least he knew exactly where the shopping mall toilet was when i asked lol
     
  14. nghktom

    nghktom Member

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    my mirror dims at night time. Though it seems a bit dark, but I prefer it that way, especially a lot of idiots in HK has changed its xeon light which i believe the LUX is well above the law permits.
     
  15. ediot

    ediot Member

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    just a self reminder/update. Tesla HK STILL hasn't given me a call.

    i've gradually gotten used to quick glancing at the rear camera on my screen then turning my head 130 degrees either left/right to look, like some physically retarded owl with tiny eyes, before changing lanes when it's dark outside (which is when my mirrors are dimmed).
     
  16. icemankaka

    icemankaka Member

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    Report to td that this feature bears nth to drivability!
     

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