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Well, I found that the mirror's turn signal really is bad. Starting a separate thread because it's a separate topic that will have diverging follow up posts.

I swapped it with the turn signal from the Passat and the good one worked on both cars, the bad one worked on none. I think 1 LED failed or a solder broke because 3 LED still light up dimly. The unit is sealed so there are no bulbs to replace.

The mk4 Passat B5.5 uses the same side view mirrors. I noticed a few differences vs. the mk5 Jetta parts.

The wire to the turn signal doesn't have a keeper on the Jetta. The passat has a little peg/hole that holds the wire.

The Passat uses phillips screws, the Jetta uses T10 torx screws.

The OEM part was cheap enough so that I just ordered a new one online. They sell copycat parts on ebay but it wasn't worth it to buy a pair or buy one and end up with one that side that looks different from the other.
 

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Finished the writeup. It requires total mirror disassembly because one of the screws cannot be reached. It was pretty easy although I sliced my finger on a sharp edge. That's always fun.

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/a5/turn-signal-side-mirror-replacement-jetta.htm

Here's what's in the turn signal.


There are 3 LEDs. The circuit board and contacts were corrorded due to moisture entering the turn signal. It's a sealed unit and I noticed a strong scrape on the turn signal plastic which wasn't there on older pics of the car. My best guess is that someone hit it in the parking lot with their car or shopping cart which broke the turn signal seal and let water in.


Refer to the link above for full details.
 

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Thanks, I've seen smoked lenses on ebay but I would want bright turn signals, not dark turn signals. Maybe you could solder extra LED to make it brighter?
 

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It sounds possible but you'd have to not break the lens when removing it and use some silicone sealant along the edge to weather proof it.
 

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Yea, I guess it's too much trouble. There's probably aftermarket ones already out there that'll do it.
 

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Thanks a ton for this writeup Chitty! I had pulled my door panel off and removed the mirror before I realized that's not how to get to the turn signal inside...doh.
 

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You're welcome!

It's surprisingly hard too. I'm not sure about the sportwagen but the 2010 Jetta is a little different. It doesn't have the black trim ring inside the colored housing cover.

Can you confirm if the 2010 Sportwagen has the round trim (second from right) or not?
 

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I don't remember that being inside the mirror...should've taken pictures, haha. I'm 99% sure my sportwagen doesn't have that.
 
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