BMW E36 Blog

BMW E36 Heated Mirrors

11th December 2007

BMW E36 Heated Mirrors

posted in Exterior, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks |

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Hi, I’ve been reading about the heated mirrors in BMW E36 cars recently. It seems that heated mirrors come with the winter package, which means that if you have heated seats (like me :-p), it means that you should have heated mirrors as well. The only weird thing that I found out is that almost all the BMW E36 car owners with heated mirrors say that these mirrors stay hot all the time while the car is turned on. I heard one of them saying that it’s connected with the OBC, but I believe this is wishful thinking and that’s far from the truth, because the rest are saying that heated mirrors will feel hot all the time regardless of the exterior temperature. This behavior is really weird, because it means that if the heated mirrors are on all the time, then what is the possible use of that in summer? Also, why I can’t control them? I believe the best setup is to control them with the defrost button, but that’s my humble opinion, not the engineers of BMW. Now, the bad news for me is that I have heated mirrors in my car, but I’ve never seen them in action, so this must mean that I either have a fuse or 2 mirrors to be replaced. I hope that finding heated mirrors for my babe is going to be an easy task.

I suggest you go and check your mirrors to see if you have the heated version or not. If someone else can check this, please try to find out if the mirrors will be heating all the time regardless of the exterior temperature or not.


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There are currently 10 responses to “BMW E36 Heated Mirrors”

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  1. 1 On December 11th, 2007, Barney McComas said:

    I have a ’94 325i convertible with the Winter Package – which comes in very handy in San Diego. (c; I’ve noticed that the heated side mirrors stay warm all the time, too. I’m guessing this is the result of a failure in a 13-year-old electronic system rather than design, since the 2nd fan setting of my climate control system also doesn’t work and my radio even has some glitches. Anyone who lives in (or has driven through) a colder climate has probably noticed that even the 11-button OBC warns you when the outside temperature approaches freezing, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the heated mirrors are also connected to and activated by the outside temp, but don’t know for sure. If anyone knows what causes the mirrors to stay heated and if it can be fixed, I’d sure like to stop heating my mirrors during our 9- to 10-months of warm weather.

  2. 2 On December 11th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    I checked my mirrors and found that the driver’s side mirror is hot while the other mirror is not (it’s not working I guess). I didn’t turn on the defrost nor the heated seats, which means that they don’t control the heated mirrors.

    The only last option that I can think of is the OBC because my OBC is showing -37C temperature. Does your OBC show the correct temp? If yes and the temperature is high (more than 15 Celcius) and your heated mirrors feel hot, then the OBC has nothing to do with it either.

  3. 3 On December 14th, 2007, sach767 said:

    I hv the same problem as tony sticks, only heated on 1 side. Anyway, it does say in the owners manual that is desinged to be heated at all times at a minimal temperature. Worst of all, I live in hot country, Malaysia..NO WINTER..hahaha. Cheers

  4. 4 On December 15th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:


    LOOL! that’s really funny. So, we’re sure now that our cars don’t have some mysterious problem. Can you please quote the whole paragraph from the owners manual and write it down here? thank you for pointing this out.

  5. 5 On December 16th, 2007, sach767 said:

    Page 52. Mirrors:


    The two outside mirrors are heated automatically at a controlled rate when the ignition key is in position 2.


  6. 6 On December 16th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Thanks sach, this explains it clearly.

  7. 7 On December 29th, 2007, Dennis said:


    Yeah i can confirm that the mirrors start heating at +3 degress celcius, when the temperature hits +3 degress mirrors and the back window defroster (dunno what’s the right name in english), turns on automatically.

  8. 8 On December 29th, 2007, Tony Sticks said:

    Hi Dennis,

    So, you mean that your mirrors don’t start heating unless the temp is 3 degrees or less. Is it possible that you mirrors are just heating all the time regardless of the outside temperature?

  9. 9 On June 20th, 2008, Petrit said:

    I have also the heated mirrors. When I bot the car, they were not coming hot at all.
    I sent the car to the electrician and he contected those with the back window defroster,
    so now I can control their on and off.

  10. 10 On June 20th, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Petrit: It weird why BMW didn’t connect it that way originally. It doesn’t make sense!!