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Blind spot aspheric side view mirror installation on mk4 VW
Related links: 1000q: blind spot mirror installation for mk5 2005.5+ cars and mk4 VW Passat that used the rounder mirrors.
This article shows how to replace your mirror with a flat, convex, or aspheric mirror on all mk4 VW. This includes all 4th generation Jetta, Passat, New Beetle, and Golf. 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 optionalaspheric mirror.
Objects look farther due to convex and the super wide outer section
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.
The Porsche website toolworks.com/bilofsky/boxster/mirrors.html had some good pictures of the difference in field of view. 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 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. You can also buy a replacement Euro-code side view mirror switch that has [left, right, heat, off] positions. I would rather save the money and leave the switch to "left" or "right". Part number for the euro switch is below.
Year/model changes and compatibility
Since the procedure is almost identical for all mk4 and mk5 cars, I have put all the part numbers on one page.
All mk4 Jetta/Golf used the same mirror and housing.
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.
New beetle parts are not interchangeable with other VW parts. 1998-2000 used a different mirror glass and housing than 2001-2006 NB, early vs. late vin is indicated below in the parts list.
Parts click links for current prices, all have heat, some have blue tint
note - check the part numbers with your vendor as it may have changed or be erroneous
For all Mk4 Jetta/Golf, or 1998-2003 Passat driver's side, 2000-2003 Passat pass. side
Flat mirror driver side blue tint VW# 1J1857521D from ECS tuning , parts4vws (alt ECS tuning link, halfway down page)
Flat mirror driver side NO tint VW# 1J1-857-521-J from ECS tuning , (alt ECS tuning link, halfway down page)
Convex mirror passenger side blue tint VW# 1J1857522J from ECS tuning , parts4vws (alt ECS tuning link, halfway down page)
Convex mirror passenger side NO tint VW#1J1-857-522-R from ECS tuning ,(alt ECS tuning link, halfway down page)
Aspheric mirror driver side blue tint VW# 1J1857521C or J fromECS tuning from parts4vws (alt ECS tuning link, halfway down page)
Aspheric mirror driver side NO tint VW#3b1 857 521 a from ECS tuning (alt ECS tuning link, halfway down page)
Aspheric mirror passenger side blue tint VW# 1J2857522 C or R or K from ECS tuning from parts4vws (alt ECS tuning link, halfway down
Aspheric mirror passenger side NO tint VW# 3b1 857 522 a from ECS tuning (alt ECS tuning link, halfway down page)
Set of aspheric mirrors, left and right blue TINT from dubstopimports
Driver aspheric with pass Convex, left and right blue TINT
MK 4 Euro-spec side view mirror
switch-has [left, right, heat, off] positions, see note above - VW# 1J1-959-565-E-01C
For mk4 1998-2006 New Beetle
Flat mirror drivers side for early vin 1c1 857 521 e
Flat mirror drivers side for later vin 1c1 857 521 g
Convex mirror driver 1c2 857 521 a
Convex mirror passenger with "objects" text 1c2 857 522 a? or 1c2 857 522 c?
Convex mirror passenger with late VIN 1c2 857 522 b? or 1c2 857 522 e?
Aspheric mirror driver early vin 1c1 857 521 d
Aspheric mirror driver later vin 1c1 857 521 f
Aspheric mirror passenger 1c2 857 522
Remove the plastic side mirror housing (preferred). 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. This is the best way to safely remove the mirror. Remove the clips holding the mirror (see pics below) and remove the heater wires.
If your car is relatively new and it's warm, the plastic should still be flexible and you should be able to just pull the mirror off without damage. My car's plastic housing was held by torx screws that were under the mirror so I had to pry the mirror off. Warning: when I did this, it broke a few clips. Age, temperature, etc. can make the plastic brittle. I could repair it with JB weld in my case, your damage may not be repairable. To pry it off, adjust the mirror all the way inboard so that you can reach under the far edge. Wear gloves and your fingers or use an allen wrench as a pry bar. 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.
There are two ways the mirror can come off. It can pop off the black plastic holding tabs or pop off the white plastic actuator. Try to pop off the black tabs because it's less likely to break. The ring below snaps onto the mirror at 8 spots. The inner diameter of the ring has 6 post holes which the white plastic actuator fits into, only 4 of them are used. Below are two pictures where they are separate or assembled.
The two white plastic balls fit into two of the post holes, the white lever is freewheeling on the other two. Two are unused. If possible, try to remove the mirror with the ring still attached to the motor because the white plastic bits can be fragile. Mine broke so I glued it with JB weld. The picture below is of a mk4 car, mk5 and B5.5 mk4 passats used a slightly different motor but the procedure is identical.
In the picture below, one of the white plastic balls is broken off. Note the rubber boot - it should be snug against the rotating parts. If your assembly is broken and cannot be repaired, the balls/motor assembly is only available as 1 piece, VW part number 4a0 959 577.