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Auto dimming mirror installation

Discussion in 'Prius c Accessories and Modifications' started by col127, Aug 2, 2012.

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  1. col127

    col127 Member

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    Has anyone installed an auto dimming mirror themselves on their Prius C? Planning on buying one for my C3. I saw an install manual and it didn't look like it would take that long to do, BUT, being someone who's not that handy, I don't want to wreck my new car :p

    Called a dealership and they quoted me $100 + tax for the labour.

    Is it easy to do? Any tips/pictures? Any advice? Thanks a lot!
  2. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Active Member

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    Spend the $100.
  3. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    It is extremely easy to do. 3 wires, one always hot (usually yellow or red), one negative (usually black) and one that is hot when in ACC or IG ON (usually white). I've done it on all 4 of my cars (2001 Prius, 2006 Prius, 2012 Sonata and 2013 Camry Hybrid). I ordered whichever one I could find on Ebay. Nearly all are the same. I've found that Nissan, Hyundai and Toyota all use the same "Homelink" auto-dimming mirrors made by Gentex. The main thing you need to make sure of when ordering it is that the wiring harness comes with it and that it fits on the mount that's already installed on your car.

    It is one of the simplest things I've ever done. In every case I've tapped wires already available in the roof such as the map light or front dome light (always hot or hot when the door is opened) and vanity lights (hot in ACC (most cars, not sure about the C)) or in the case of my 06 Prius and 13 TCH, I used the 12V pwr outlet for an ACC switched supply and ran it up the molding around the passenger side windshield.

    The wire that's supposed to be always hot can be hooked to an ACC connected wire (the homelink functions will only work with the car in ACC or IG ON) or or the wire that supposed to be ACC can be connected to an always hot connection (the auto dimming function will be always on if you wire it this way. No current draw unless a bright light is shining it from behind). I'd say do it yourself but, that's just me. I try to do everything myself though.
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  4. dellrio

    dellrio Im pretty much awesome

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    ^^^ What he said - easy install, you don't have to be handy, save your $100 for something else. This should take about 20 minutes or so.
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  5. col127

    col127 Member

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    Hmmm - need any special tools for the job? How do you tuck the wire from the mirror into the headliner? How do you pull it off? :)
  6. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    You just pull it down a little. You'll see. No special tools just some wire taps.
  7. col127

    col127 Member

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    just realized the fuse box for the prius C is in the engine bay? so you had to fish a wire to there ?
  8. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    No, I just used the power from the dome light and the aux outlet.
  9. col127

    col127 Member

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    oh... hmm - wish i knew how to do that ! so you didn't have to run any wires through the a pillar or anything - just from the mirror up towards the dome lights and somehow connected them? :0
  10. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Yes but, I don't have the C. What I did was located an always hot 12V source (hot even when car is off. "Usually" a yellow wire) and hooked that up to the garage door function (in my case it was in the map lights (just above the mirror)) using one of these wire taps (purchase at AutoZone etc).

    Then locate a switched 12V source (hot when the car is turned to ACC or IG ON), tap into that with a wiretap and hook it to the auto dimming function (usually a white wire). In my case this was the 12V pwr oulet (aka cigarette lighter). I did have to run this behind the dash and up the molding around the windshield (the hardest part of the whole install).

    Then hook the black wire (ground or negative) to any screw near the map lights that screws into metal.

    Like I said, very simple
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  11. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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  12. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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  13. col127

    col127 Member

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    Okay - so i finally got the mirror - looks like there's 3 wires. One for 12V, one ground and a 'reverse feed' one - So basically I just need to ground the wire (is that just a screw that's into metal?), and then use the one for the power (12V doesn't need to be always on - I just have a regular dim mirror w/ compass). What's the reverse feed wire for? Do I need that? Also, looks like my wires aren't long enough - can i just get any wire and tie them together with a wire tie (like what you would for your home's electrical?).
  14. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Did you get a homelink mirror? Did you get the one I showed you a link to? If a homelink mirror, one wire is for the auto dimming function (usually white), one wire is for the garage door opener (usually red) and one wire is for the ground or negative.
    Yes, the negative (black) wire just hooks up to any screw that screws into metal. I don't know what a reverse feed wire is as I've never heard that terminology b4. I'm guessing that's the wire for the garage door opener or the compass (not sure).
    Can you post a pic of the mirror in question?
    As far as extending the wires on the pigtail, the best way to do it is to solder wire to the existing pigtail wires and cover it with heat shrink but beyond that, yes you can use a wire tap (small size) like the one I linked to previously or even small solderless connectors (available at Home Depot or Lowes) could be used but I wouldn't recommend them. If you do use them, wrap them and the wires with tape.
  15. dellrio

    dellrio Im pretty much awesome

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    Do not use wire ties like they use in home wiring as they are not protected very well from moisture. Keep in mind the entire car body is the negative "wire" so it would only take a small amount of moisture or condensation to create a potential short. Solder + Heat shrink is best as mentioned above, otherwise go to the automotive section of almost any retailer or an auto parts store or hardware store and get the connectors there.
  16. col127

    col127 Member

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    Unfortunately I don't know how to solder wires... :( the connectors you speak of - is it something like this? Online Electronics > Butt Connectors ?
  17. col127

    col127 Member

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    Hi there,

    No I didn't. Here's a link to the mirror I got from eBay - Rear View Mirror w/ Auto Dim and Compass Ford Mustang | eBay

    I don't know how to solder wire, so looks like connectors are the way to go. Is regular black electrical tape good enough? Does the entire wire need to be wrapped in tape or just the part with the connector?



  18. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    The only thing I can think of that would be a "reverse" feed would be that the auto dimming feature would shut off in reverse (which makes sense). I'm guessing that this would be a 12V + signal from the reverse light switch that when 12V is applied, would shut off the auto dimming function. There is a posibility (slim) that it operates the opposite of what I stated meaning a 12V - signal (or chassis ground) will cancel operation. If this is the case, you will need to hook up both wires to a 12V + source (switched when car is on or ACC). It is probably a 12V + signal though.

    Here's what I would do: Hook up the 12V+ and ground wires and do not connect the reverse feed wire. If it works, great, if not, hook up the reverse feed to chassis ground. If it still doesn't work, hook up the reverse feed to +12V. If it still doesn't work, then, I don't know.
  19. col127

    col127 Member

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    Yeah, I think that's what it is - the guy who sold it labelled it as "reverse lights - not needed" - so looks like I won't need it. There's one ground wire, then a 12V ignition wire. So I guess those are the only two I need to hook up? I guess I need to find what I can connect the 12V wire to :p

    How should I "end the reverse light" wire - is there an end cap of some sort?

    And are these Online Electronics > Butt Connectors the type of connectors you were referring to when extending the wires? Looks like all the wires are wrapped - looks like with just black wire tape? Is that right?



  20. col127

    col127 Member

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    here's some instructions i got specifically for the prius C with a homelink mirror. how can i adopt this for my mirror? again, all i have is a 12v ignition wire and a ground wire. i'm going to leave the reverse lights wire (do i just cap this with a wire screw? or something else?)... i just need to know what to connect those wires to and i don't have auto knowledge to decipher which ones that would be from the instructions. see attached. thanks for the help :)

    Attached Files:

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