Blind spot aspheric mirror installation - B5 Passat and A5 Jetta/Golf
Regular and Aspheric blind spot mirror installation for late mk4 VW Passat, and 2005.5 and newer mk5 VW
difficulty: 1/5 back to 1000q: mk4 VW Passat TDI "how to" index back to 1000q: mk5 Jetta "how to" list
This article shows how to replace your mirror with a flat, convex, or aspheric mirror retrofit on late mk4 VW Passat and mk5 VW Jetta, Golf, or Audi TDI.
Related link: 1000q: side view mirror cover, turn signal, or mirror replacement on mk4 Passat or mk5 VW. Some pictures from toolworks.com/bilofsky/boxster/mirrors.html and a5 specific pics mirrored with permission from furmanka.blogspot.com/2007/05/mk5-lusterka-mirrors.html.
In the US/Canada market, the regular mirror on the driver's side is flat. The regular mirror on the passenger side is convex, or curved outward, and says "Objects may appear closer etc.." An aspheric mirror is a mirror that is curved out to show more of the car's blind spot. The difference is that it's much more convex than even your existing passenger side mirror and has a super wide angle outer third section. The advantages are a cleaner look than using a stick on mirror and you also keep the heated mirror function. See below for model and year changes and mirror compatibility/part numbers. These are all genuine VW parts that are put on cars from foreign markets where they drive on the other side of the road or have an optional aspheric mirror.
You can replace the driver's side mirror with a flat section with no curve, a convex mirror with a medium curve, or a super wide curve aspheric. Most vendors stock only flat and aspheric mirrors. If you don't want a super wide angle on the driver's side, you could use a convex mirror on the driver's side, making it like the passenger side mirror. You can also order any of these mirrors in blue tint to reduce how much light is reflected. If you have tinted windows, I would stay with non tinted mirrors since the windows will already block some light.
Compared to the mk4 mirrors, the mk5 is a little smaller and shorter. On the bright side, it's curved and looks nicer and some had optional puddle lights on the lower housing.
Below are some examples of a Porsche Boxster mirror with field of view markers. Also are some before-after shots of a finished mk5 aspheric mirror conversion on the driver's side, pass side is convex with tint from furmanka.blogspot.com. VW/Audi/Porsche all use the same type of power mirror but your specific part may vary slightly. The standard flat driver's side US mirror has a field of view of about 18o, the Euro-code driver's side mirror has a field of view of about 20o in the convex section, 18o in the super wide outer third, for a total of about 40o field of view.
Driver's side US flat mirror Driver's side Euro aspheric mirror Objects look farther due to convex and the super wide blind spot section
Driver's side above and pass side below
Objects are closer then they appear when you switch to a convex or aspheric mirror on the driver's side, much like your passenger side mirror. The mirror comes stock on Euro cars and directly snaps onto your existing mirror housing. Because they are Euro-code mirrors instead of DOT approved mirrors, it is possible that your car may not pass your local inspection if required. They don't have the "objects are closer" warning as your existing passenger side mirror, as required by DOT regulations. Because it may be harder to judge distance and are not a DOT approved part, this modification is done at your own risk. Most people report a positive experience using the mirrors but a few people say that they can't get used to the wide view.
Note: a VW quirk is that the center position of the power mirror switch is "heat", not "off". If you leave it to the middle position of "heat", your existing heated mirror may already be burnt out. I suggest leaving the switch to "left" or "right" to avoid this. This is an opportunity to restore the heated defog mirror function when you add the blind spot mirror. VW changed the switch middle position to "off" sometime during the mk5 body.
Year/model changes and compatibility
The mk4 B5 Passat also used the same Jetta/Golf driver's side mirror glass 1998-2003 but had a passenger side stubby mirror 1998-1999. Then it used the Jetta/Golf glass 1999-2003. There was a lot of model year overlap in 1999 for Passat pass. side stubby mirrors because they used them until they ran out. In about 2004, the B5.5 Passat used completely new mirror housings with integrated turn signals, these housing and mirrors are not compatible with any 1998-2003 mirror.
The 2004+ part on the B5.5 Passat is the same mirror glass as the B6 passat and mk5 Jetta/Golf. All mk5 jetta/Golf/Passat mirrors are the same but the Jetta/Golf uses a different plastic mirror housing than the Passat.
Parts click links for current prices, all have heat, some have blue tint
note - double check the part numbers with your vendor!
For all Mk5 Jetta (2005.5+), Mk5 Golf (2006+) Mk4 Passat (2004-2005) and Mk5 Passat (2005+)
Flat mirror driver VW# 3c0 857 521 a
Convex mirror driver side VW# 3c0 857 521 b
Convex mirror passenger side VW# 3c0 857 622 a
Aspheric mirror driver side NO tint VW# 3c0 857 521
Aspheric mirror passenger side NO tint VW# 3c0 857 522 c
Aspheric driver side: "anti dazzle" electronic dimmer option VW#3c0 857 521 F
passenger: "anti dazzle" electronic dimmer option, check if aspheric VW#3c0 857 522 n
Set left and right of aspheric mirrors blue tint
Set left and right of aspheric mirrors NO tint
If your car is new and it's warm, the plastic should still be flexible and you should be able to just pull the mirror off without damage. Adjust the mirror all the way inboard so that you can reach under the far edge. Pry away at the ends while pushing in at the middle, try to pop the mirror off it's mounts. The mirror is flexible and shouldn't break but be careful. See below for detailed pictures. Then remove the mirror heater wires, marked below with a turquoise arrow below.
If your car is old and the plastic is dried out, remove the plastic side mirror housing to avoid breaking the snap clips inside. There are a few variations on the housing, so take a look at your car first to see which method applies. Look underneath the housing. There may be a few screws and a plastic plug covering an access hole. Remove these. The plastic mirror housing should come up and off, giving you access to the mirror clips. Then remove the clips holding the mirror (see pics below) and remove the heater wires.
Disconnect the heater wires and note which goes where.
I'm pretty sure they can be swapped but the red wire goes in the corner.
Here is the back of the original mirror. Attach the new heater wires and snap the new mirror into place.