How can I remove a BMW E46 wing mirror?

I’m not super proud of this, but I hit the wall while I was backing out of my garage the other day, and my BMW’s wing mirror almost snapped off. I can get the replacement parts, and I know how to put a new mirror on, but the old wing mirror is dangling by a thread, and I’m not quite sure how to safely remove it. What’s the safest way to remove a BMW E46 wing mirror?

I’m sorry to hear about your collision, but I’m glad the mirror was the only thing damaged! To remove your BMW E46 wing mirror, here’s what to do:
  • Disassemble your car door. Pull the triangular plastic pin out from the bottom of the rearview mirror. Once the pin is out, slide the piece up and remove it.
  • Remove the door panel. To do this, you’ll need to remove the five star-head screws that secure the panel. You can unscrew the three in the armrest. To get at one of the others, look behind the door handle for a small circular cap. Remove it, and use a small flathead screwdriver to remove the screw underneath. For the final screw, look behind the plastic piece labeled AIRBAG. Push the flathead screwdriver underneath the piece and pry that side out, then pry the other side out the same way. Once it’s out, remove the screw.
  • Remove the plastic clips. There should be six clips along the top and six along the bottom. They might snap off loudly—but don’t worry, they should come off intact!
  • Remove the panel. Remove the two wire harnesses and the door handle’s cable, then grip it about six inches from the top on either side and pull it up and away from the door.
  • Remove the mirror. Disconnect the harnesses connecting your mirrors to the memory module, then remove the two bolts on the car’s side of the mirror’s base. Lift your old mirror, fully remove it, and you should be all set!
This is a pretty complicated process, and since you damaged your car in a collision, collision coverage will likely cover the cost of a mechanic.
If you don’t have collision coverage, you may want to consider adding a policy to your plan, just to make sure that you’re insured for any eventuality. To do this easily, check out the Jerry app—we’ll get you customized quotes from top insurers in seconds so that all you need to do is pick the policy that works best for you, and we’ll even help you add it to your plan. We might even help you save some money to put towards this accident, too, since the average Jerry user saves $879 per year on car insurance.
Best of luck with the mirror replacement—you’ve got this!
Ben Guess
Answered on Jan 04, 2022
Ben has a BA in Journalism + Design from The New School, as well as three years’ experience in content writing and data journalism. They are deeply interested in how the car industry intersects with issues of inequity in the world, as well as in making auto insurance more accessible through writing. When they’re away from the keyboard, they enjoy baking, embroidering, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends. They are based in Boston, Massachusetts.

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