Special thanks for this write up goes to Fezzik (David Honey).
Posted with permission from the author.
This is the How To on the installation of heated mirrors. A few things first before I go on. I have the automatic climate control with the rear window defogger switch on it. The side view mirrors are linked to this switch. For those with manual climate control, I assume that it is also linked to your rear defogger switch (RichK on maxima.org said he got the same reading as I). Total costs are as follows quoted from Dave Burnette (1-888-254-6060):
Mirror Heater Relay = $12.22
Side view mirror glass with heating element only = $45.72 per side
First of all. Make sure you do not have the heated mirror option. To make sure, you can either press the rear window defogger switch and put your hands on the mirror to see if it gets warm or pop off your side view mirror glass and see if you have wires running to the mirror itself. If you do, then you have this option already. The picture below is one showing the difference in the two mirrors. The right does not have this option and the left mirror does. You will have to purchase the mirror on the left because it has a heater element built into the glass mirror.
If you do not, then follow these instructions to get them. First of all, open your hood and when looking at the engine bay look to your left and you will see a black box that contains some relays. Open that up and find the corresponding spot for the heated mirror (it says on the black box where its at.) If you have a spot to put a relay in then all is well so far, and later you will have to buy the relay or in my case I had a nice surprise and already had the relay there. Ok the next criteria you need to find out in order for you to proceed is to take off your door paneling and look at the wiring harness going to the side view mirror (see below pic). The big black plastic piece is the cover to the side view mirror. There are 3 wires (yellow purple and dark blue) going into this and into the side view mirror. There are 3 wires corresponding to these wires on the other side of the connectors. Now take note of the other 2 wires (Green and light blue) coming out of the top right two holes. There is normally nothing here, but on the corresponding other side there are two wires leading up to these.
These are the wires that are pre-wired for the heated mirror. I tested this theory out by hooking up a voltmeter to the wires that I put in the top right holes. (I originally had the connector in the above picture disconnected and tried to test the voltage on the 2 small pins and that was too hard to do. I shorted the circuit and blew fuse 13… so do like I did above. SO much easier). When plugged into a voltmeter and with the rear defroster on I got around 12 volts (sorry about the blurry pictures):
And with the rear defogger switch off reads 0.001Volts:
The next step is to take off the black plastic cover that is covering the side view mirror bolts (same plastic cover as seen in the above picture that the 3 wires are running into.) Unplug the connector, and take off the three bolts that are holding the mirror onto the door.
What it looks like with the mirror off (inside). Also notice how many wires are running into this connector. Look below the black tape. 5 of them.
Outside view with mirror off:
Now you have to take out the 3 screws that are below the side view mirror.Notice the blue. Yep that’s locktite. I striped the head of the screw on the passenger side and took me 2 hours to finally get it out. SO BE CAREFUL TAKING THESE OUT:
Here is the assembly all apart:
Now look at the part of the side view mirror that faces the car the part that has the 3 places to bolt onto. There is a cover on this that you have to take off. The insulation is glued on there so your going tear that. Nothing you can do about that. Look below how I tore mine. Unscrew the thing that is holding the wiring harness in place.
I apologize but I forgot to take some pictures from here on out. It was getting late. But now, you can have full access to this gray tubing.
Remove the actuators (the things that make the mirror go up and down, right and left) from the side view mirror. This is held on by 3 screws. When you take this off you will see 4 wires. Didn’t I just say there was 3 wires going to the side view mirror. I did. But one is spliced somewhere in the gray tubing. Dave Burnette (You maxima guys should know him) and I were talking about this for awhile until I finally found out the reason The ECM even shows 3 wires but if you look inside the actuator, there is a wire that is split. Ok back to the subject at hand. Remove the 2 connectors (gray and black) from the actuator. Remember which go where. I marked it with scotch tape. Now the wiring can slide down the tube that is inside the mirror. Wish I had a pic of this but you will see what I am talking about. Now you can run wire through the gray tubing easily.
First I ran 2 wires long enough to reach from the other end of the side view mirror where the heater element connector is to reach all the way to the connector in the door panel.To run wire through this gray tubing was tricky, but I used solder wire. The stuff that’s flimsy. Well, it’s stoutenough to push the solder wire through the grey tubing. Then I tied ( you may try taping it) to the wire and pulled it through. You now have a wire going all the way through.
Now put everything back together the way you took it off. I did not worry about the insulation from the above picture because it all went back and even though it is torn still covered everything up. Now that everything is back together you now have what you started with but, now with 2 wires running through the mirror. Here’s the part where I had to get creative. You have to have a metal pin connector to fit into the big plastic connector. Luckily I have a storage area of computer parts and wiring harnesses from computers. I actually got the 2 pins I need from a 1985 Honda Accord radio wiring harness for aftermarket systems. Lucky me.
Now all that leaves is the connector for the side view mirror. Take a look at it below:
Of all things I found to fit into here… it was a long computer jumper. Sorta like the audio cables you plug from your cd drive to your sound card, but I had a 2 prong one. With a little bit of firm pressure it fit right in and quite snugly. Popped the mirrors back into place and I now have heated side view mirror option on my car. Supposed to snow soon. Can’t wait to try it out.
Special thanks go out to my dad for helping me decipher the wiring diagram on the ESM and reading the voltage, and to Dave Burnette for his time in this as well.