BMW E90 HomeLink/Temp/Compass/Anti Dazzle Mirror Retrofit to E46 by delmarco

By diyauto
( 2 )

11 minute read

Pictorial DIY: BMW E90 HomeLink/Temp/Compass/Anti Dazzle Mirror Retrofit to E46

Compliments of delmarco @


This is for an upgrade from the stock E46 AUTO DIM Mirror to the later model years AUTO DIM Mirrors with the enhanced features. My car also has RAIN SENSOR but during the DIY I realized the Rain Sensor module has no business with the mirror other than sharing the housing. So I will state here that this DIY is workable regardless of rain sensor or not. 

This has to be the easiest DIY for the E46 provided you get your hands on a good mirror that has all the trimmings uncut and unspoiled. There is no tools required for this DIY other than opposable thumbs, a brain and a dental pick.

I lucked out and found this 2006 E90 Premium Package Mirror on eBay for under $200. It came in new condition with the connector still attached. Make sure your mirror also come with its connector harness attached or you will have to splice wires and possibly trek down to the dealership to buy a new mirror harness for the upgraded mirror you are installing.

From 2001 to now BMW has not really changed their mirrors. Once the mirror that is currently in your E46 has auto dim then the connector harness will be the same for all later year mirrors with auto dim as well as other mirrors with both auto dim and the other features. I believe this is regardless of what model car you get the mirror from (IE. a 2008 7 Series Sedan's mirror should fit in a 2001 E46 sedan)

My new mirror came with the pigtails of the E90 connector cut from the car and not cut from the mirror. So I was able to un-clip the E90's in-car-connector's wire pigtail leaving just the mirror and it's connector. Which I was hoping would also connect up to the E46's in-car-connector.

Start the DIY by removing the current mirror. The rain sensor housing un-couples from the center. Press your opposable thumbs against them and spread the shells apart. It should give you no trouble whatsoever. 

Underneath you will find the mirror's neck and, if you have it, the rain sensor module that sits against the glass and away from the mirror. So don't touch it.

Next up you will un-clip the old mirror's connector from the E46 in-car-connector and remove the mirror from the car. Swivel the neck on the top hinge towards the passenger side until it pops out. It may be stiff so give a slow firm pull. The Dealership's DIY Manual says turn it about 45 degrees to release it. Again it should give you no trouble.

Compare the connector clips of the new and old mirrors. They are the same. 

Attach the new mirror. If your E46's in-car-connector is different than that of the new mirror's then you need to find a E90's (or E46 that came with Anti Dazzle) in-car-connector. The dealer sells a retrofit kit or harness connector just for this thing.

Screw the neck of the new mirror onto the car. This should be no problem.

Now you are almost done...

here is where you can test the new mirror once the harness connectors are all connected. turn the car on and make sure the compass lights up and when you press any homelink button a small yellow indicator lamp blinks.

Time to finish up by replacing the housing. I noticed the housing that came with the new mirror was the newer, bigger E90 style with vents and all. Not sure what the E90 was packing under all that plastic... 

I tried to get cute, but it didn't look pretty. lol. 

The E90 housing also fits onto the E46 but the E46 rain sensor footprint didn't match up properly...

Most of you buying mirrors may not get any E90 (or whatever) housings with the mirror so don't worry about getting this with the new mirrors since your old E46 housing will work and fit over any of the newer mirrors.

Calibrating The Mirror (Part 2)

Once you see everything is working you can turn on your cabin lights to see how the mirror auto dims. Mine dimmed immediately and to my surprise it was

a Blue-ish tint dim and the not the same as the E46 original dim.

Drive around for 30 minutes or so before doing anything. I found this got the mirror warmed up as the auto dim feature seemed to have a mind of its own during the first couple of minutes it came on and the compass was stuck on NW.

After find a empty parking lot where you can do a a couple of tight circles (donuts) without drawing the attention of law enforcement. Get a dental pick or something similar where the pointed end is slightly "grippy" or "rubbery" or just rough. You will find the hole at the bottom of the mirror and fish around for what should be a small button inside the hole. My button was way in there and felt metallic and slippery. A pin and pen did not work for me even though the BMW Dealer's Manual said to use one or the other. 

Once you find your button, push and hold for about 8 seconds or until a C appears. Now start doing donuts until the C becomes a direction. You can also turn on your GPS (Tom Tom Go 720 was what I have in my car) to double check. After about 3-5 minutes of circling my C became an S for south.

Now stick your dental pick in there again, find the button and hold for 3-4 seconds or until the number 8 appears. Use the BMW Dealership guide to locate your Zone Code. For New York and the Tri-State Area it is 11. Push the button to change the number and stop when it gets to your number. Mine went from 8 to 9 to 10 and to 11. After you find your number leave it alone and in about 10 seconds your direction will reappear and your mirror will be ready for use.

There is a main HOMELINK website specific for Homelink Calibration. Google for it and you should find it or I will try to post a link later on.

As you can see below my mirror also carry characters for Temperature Display. At the moment I have no idea on how to bring that feature up. But if anyone can add info I will be grateful. I will also try to update with info on this later.


You now have the $3,350 E90 BMW Premium Package in your car!


Good Question...

Yes you can! In fact back in the early 2000s lots of DIYs surfaced that had this idea in mind. 

You mainly need this retrofit wire loom harness which I just sold on eBay for $52 with my old mirror... :stickoutt

The rest of what you are supposed to do is pretty obvious. The premium package mirrors only need power and ground to work for each feature on whatever mirror you get. All you got to do is splice these wires going to your car to any power and ground source on your car. 

This allows you to basically add ANY 2001 to present day Premium Package Mirror (whether it has auto dimmer, compass, alarm-LED, homelink, SOS, etc...) to ANY BMW sedan and coupe from 1992* to present day. 

Not a lot of BMW drivers are savvy to this mirror DIY secret!

The retrofit wire loom harness by itself can be bought at any BMW Dealership for around $30+. Then you go on eBay and get yourself a Premium Package Mirror for a cheap and lo' your E32, E34, E36 or early year E46 cars can have the same 2009 Premium Package mirrors that BMW want $3,350 for on their 2009 vehicles.

*I haven't checked but all BMW sedans and coupes from 1992 to present day are supposed to share the same hex-shaped mirror anchor on their windshields.