Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2005 (3rd Generation) Acura TL -- Side view mirror repair

This is more of a solution than a question:

I have a 3rd generation Acura TL (2005) and I had the following problems with my side view mirrors:

  1. Actuator would “click” as if it were trying to go beyond its normal range of motion.
  2. Mirror browned at corners and edges
  3. Actuator would “creak” during normal operation within its normal range of motion.

My dealer told me I had to have the entire unit replaced (over $250 per mirror). They also told me it was not possible to remove the mirror from the side mirror housing without removing it from the door. I found this hard to believe, so I decided instead to give a shot at fixing this myself.

Problem 1:
Doing a search on Google yielded a very simple fix: sometimes the mirror gets pushed by something, which forces the actuator out of alignment. You can simply push the mirror with your fingers in the opposite direction of where it is trying to turn too far in order to solve this problem.

Problem 2:
The mirror, as it turns out, was designed to be removed using a very specialized tool: a flathead screwdriver [see attached document scan, and photo with my hand holding the mirror]. Replacement is very simple.

Problem 3:
This one took a little figuring out. If you look at the attached images, you’ll notice in the closeup that the actuator is composed of two parts: a donut-shaped surface that the mirror rests directly on, and a piece of plastic in the center that seems to serve as a pivot point, held on by a bolt. The center piece of plastic was getting into a constant state of “catch and release” with the outer donut shaped plastic, causing the “creaking” sound. I could also push this with the screwdriver to create a “snap” or “click” as I forced it to move.

By simply forcing it into place with my screwdriver, and then tightening the bolt in the center, I was able to stop the noise. I also added more lubrication to the surrounding area.

This was too simple of a fix for something that could have cost me $500 at the dealer for both mirrors, that I wanted to share it. I hope this helps other 3rd generation Acura TL owners out there. These seem to be common problems from information I’ve found online.

it was the more lubrication that solved it. Over time the lube gets squeezed out of the normal travel range. The clicking is from lack of lube. As you said, Acura replaces the whole mirror, so if the car’s still under warranty that’s the way to go because, hey, you get new parts. Otherwise, an easier fix is to just rotate the mirror (with the power button) to the extremes of travel a couple times. That spreads the grease around again.

The browning, btw, is caused when you leave the mirror heater on when it’s not cold. You’re actually toasting the back of the mirror. Be sure to turn that off when you don’t actually need it.

Once again “side view” mirror rears it’s ugly head.

SIDE MIRROR says it all without being redundant.
Or outside rear view mirror is accurate too.
Inside mirror and outside mirror are most accurate.

The noise stopped after tightening the bolt which had loosened. I lubed it after that for additional protection.