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Old 02-11-2012, 05:47 PM   #1
luftpirate
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2002 WRX Wagon
Midnight Black Pearl

Default DIY : 06-07 WRX In-Mirror Compass Display Repair

Disclaimer : I am not responsible for any damage you do to either yourself or your property by attempting this repair. If you do not feel comfortable you can purchase a used mirror for $60-130 on Ebay.

Symptoms : Compass display no longer lights up, is or dim.

Potential Cause : Cold solder joints with resistors on circuit board.

I almost purchased a replacement mirror off Ebay but decided to crack mine open first to see if it would be a simple repair. Researching NASIOC there must be a rash of these mirrors with the same symptoms. I was able to isolate the fault in mine, which is probably the result of thermal expansion from the resistor, slowly over time breaking the solder connections.

First start by unplugging the bus from the back of the mirror.

http://i.imgur.com/vpRr5.jpg

Then use a old credit card or a plastic guitar pick / spudger to work your way around the bezel of the mirror releasing the plastic snaps which hold the front bezel to the rear backing.

http://i.imgur.com/JPy9w.jpg

Be gentle and be sure to release all the clips, do not try to rip the front bezel off before you have worked your way all around. One each end of the mirror there are two large clips you will have to release. They are the hardest ones.

http://i.imgur.com/aZqNL.jpg

Once the backing is off remove the connector for the auto dimming mirror.

http://i.imgur.com/Aw9Ru.jpg

Next you will need to remove the circuit board from the back of the mirror chassis. Be gentle with the board and note the clips. Start with the clips on the left as highlighted.

http://i.imgur.com/kXBp0.jpg

Once you have removed the circuit board it should look something like this.

http://i.imgur.com/t0uts.jpg

In my case I have highlighted the particular resistors causing issues. You may be able to confirm this while pushing on the back of them with a piece of plastic while your bus is still connected to the circuit board, and observing the behavior of the display.

http://i.imgur.com/QdO8m.jpg

Here we are after touching up all the solder connections, using flux to ensure we got a good even joint. Be sure to clean the flux off with alcohol and cue tips once done.

http://i.imgur.com/G4uqc.jpg

Now test before re-assembly, following directions in reverse.

http://i.imgur.com/TvNGo.jpg

This may apply to other models/years with the same issue. One thing to note was this mirrors circuit board is probably used on other models because the display had a temperature read out which is hidden and disabled on my mirror.
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Last edited by luftpirate; 02-20-2012 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
Mulder
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Nice job, BUT-
A standard soldering iron as pictured should never be used on surface mount components. You got away with it but it's very easy to destroy the parts and circuit board unless the proper temperature-controlled iron is used.
The mirror is a Gentex or Donnelly (not sure which was the Subaru OEM supplier in '06-'07), so yes the circuit board will be shared with other models that have the temp feature.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
Cougar4
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The clocks have a similair problem with one of the resistors. The original solder melts away due to the heat. As far as I know, once the bad joints are reflowed with new solder the problem doesn't return.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:36 PM   #4
luftpirate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder View Post
Nice job, BUT-
A standard soldering iron as pictured should never be used on surface mount components. You got away with it but it's very easy to destroy the parts and circuit board unless the proper temperature-controlled iron is used.
Agreed, I probably should have also performed the repair in a ISO 3 certified clean room wearing multiple ground straps, but I like to live on the edge.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
bc3forsd
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is there any way to change the color of the display? just out of pure curiosity
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:05 PM   #6
Cougar4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bc3forsd View Post
is there any way to change the color of the display? just out of pure curiosity
You would have to use some colored plastic filters in front of the display lens in order to change the color. That is the only way I can think of at least.

Last edited by Cougar4; 02-25-2012 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:15 PM   #7
veener79
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I am having this issue now too with my 08.

I am not that good with a soldering iron yet. Is there any other way to fix this?
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:59 AM   #8
Mulder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veener79 View Post
I am having this issue now too with my 08.

I am not that good with a soldering iron yet. Is there any other way to fix this?
Yes.
1- buy a new mirror
2- bribe friend with soldering skills using beer or other appropriate currency

Otherwise, no.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:13 AM   #9
04ts
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Just finished doing surgery on my defective mirror.
Thanks a lot OP, the surgery was a success!
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:02 AM   #10
RustyHinge
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Thanks for this DIY. I'm sure there are a few people that will be using this to save a few bucks.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:54 AM   #11
veener79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder View Post
Nice job, BUT-
A standard soldering iron as pictured should never be used on surface mount components. You got away with it but it's very easy to destroy the parts and circuit board unless the proper temperature-controlled iron is used.
The mirror is a Gentex or Donnelly (not sure which was the Subaru OEM supplier in '06-'07), so yes the circuit board will be shared with other models that have the temp feature.
At this point we have nothing to loose if we try this. Worse is we have to buy a new mirror to replace the one that was broken all ready before the repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder View Post
Yes.
1- buy a new mirror
2- bribe friend with soldering skills using beer or other appropriate currency

Otherwise, no.
Ok I took the plunge and did this job this morning. Took about an hour. Getting the clips undone was the biggest PIA.

I did the soldering my self. I do not have great skills at this. But I was able to do it. Just worked it little by little so I did not over heat the board.

I a very happy with this. Thank you again for this DIY.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:12 PM   #12
luftpirate
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Great to hear guys. I have done two repairs now and they are both still working. The second mirror had a failed joint on one of the lower "111" resistors so suppose it could be any of those four or possibly more than one. It's a good idea to test before re-assembling everything.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:20 PM   #13
Bill Robin
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Thanks for the DIY. Good information and pictures. Same circuit board on my 2009 forester mirror. Mirror display working now.
Thanks again luftpirate
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:08 PM   #14
Midnite Racer X
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Worked on my 08 sti. The resistor test (pushing them against the board) actually didn't make it come on. Only after I soldered the resistors, despite the test, did the compass come back to life. Thanks for the tip, OP!
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:55 PM   #15
mattisnotreal617
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Great write up luftpirate! That dim compass has been bugging me forever!!! Props to you
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:49 PM   #16
rockGITout
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Great fix!

I only had to solder one of the joints. You can figure out which one(s) it is by pressing on each corner to see if it fixes the problem.



Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:00 PM   #17
tac79phoenix
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Had this same issue with my 08 WRX. Followed these repair instructions, got myself a 30W fine point soldering iron for like 10 bucks and now I'm good to go! My culprit was the top 620 one. Thanks a ton for the write-up luftpirate! Saved me a bunch of money!
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:12 AM   #18
luftpirate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tac79phoenix View Post
Had this same issue with my 08 WRX. Followed these repair instructions, got myself a 30W fine point soldering iron for like 10 bucks and now I'm good to go! My culprit was the top 620 one. Thanks a ton for the write-up luftpirate! Saved me a bunch of money!

Awesome glad to hear all the success stories!
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:13 PM   #19
David E.
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Just bought one of these mirrors on Ebay. Do you know the wiring? Has three wires, I figure ground, switched positive and reverse lock out. Not interested in the reverse, so only need to know positive and negative.
Want to confirm before I hook it up.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:04 PM   #20
WRBWRX07
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another successful mission on this end.

thanks alot for the time and effort you have given to support our needs.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:11 PM   #21
dictoresno
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i thought this was gonna be another walkthrough for the fix for when the auto dim feature "bleeds". i know it was a known issue across a bunch of OEM mirrors. someone did a step by step to clean it out and remove the auto dim function in order to not have to replace it. i cant find that thread again. anyone have that?

EDIT: found it, here in case anyone else reads this thread in search for this different problem

http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/cockpi...ew-mirror.html
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:29 PM   #22
aweak_reception
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This worked on the mirror in my 2010 WRX, the backlight for the compass was dim at the top/out completely at times. Re-soldered the joints on the things marked '620'.

Saved me from buying a replacement, funny this happened 2 months out of warranty...
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #23
sizemic1
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Another success story here

Thanks for the write up.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:12 PM   #24
veener79
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After a year my mirror is acting back up. Going to see if it was a maybe something I missed.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:34 PM   #25
Scoobiesdoobies
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i had a similar problem with the overhead ECU displaying my mpg, temp and direction on my f250. similar fix. i temporarily fixed the problem with hot glue, then found a service on ebay for 35 bux you can send it in to.
they warrenty the product to be defect free for 1 year and tape the access seam with their sticker so its tamper proof.

they just re soldered the resistors since two of them had the joints break off.
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