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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a NOS auto dim rear view mirror for our 2000 Beetle. It turns out that the early (pre 2002?) Beetles use a different connector to the later ones. I looked all over and couldn't find how to rewire an early car for a late mirror, so I thought I would post what I did.

It turns out all the wires you need are in the connector, but VW changed the connectors on the later cars. If you want a later style clock and thermometer along with an auto dim mirror, you have a bit of work to do. There are several ways to do this, but I elected to keep the car connector and harness intact and change the mirror connector. On the newer mirrors, there are actually two connectors, one for the interior lights & mirror and another for the clock & thermometer. You will need to source the small connector for the clock from a junk car. It shouldn't be too hard, as I think every car after 2002 or so had one.

Once you have the new mirror and the small 10 pin connector you can get to work. The first thing you need to do is cut the connector from old mirror. You will need to connect every wire, so keep the wires as long as you can. You will most likely discard the old mirror assembly, so don't worry about the wires left on it. Next you will cut the corresponding connector from the new mirror. On this one you are more interested in the wires going to the mirror than the connector, but you may need one wire from the connector, so don't cut them too short! And finally you should have the small 10 pin connector from the junkyard. OK, now that we have everything, lets get soldering!

First, lets examine what we have. You should have a large(r) 12 pin connector from the old mirror, (from now one we'll call this the 12 pin connector) a small(er) 10 pin connector and the new mirror which should have 6 wires coming off the circuit board, marked P1 through P6. So, how to connect them up and make it work?

If you look at the 12 pin connector, you will see numbers for the pins down each side. They are even down one side and odd the other. So looking at it you have pins 2,4,6,8,10 & 12 and 1,3,5,7,9 & 11. On the 10 pin connector, the pins are marked (in very tiny numbers) 1-5 across the top row and 6-10 on the bottom. Yes, VW keeps things consistent – NOT! You probably cannot see which wire goes to which pin, so you need to use an ohm meter and figure out which pin goes to which wire. By the way, I used a safety pin (a paper clip would work as well) on the lead to the ohm meter to get down inside the connector. On my 10 Pin connector, it had 8 wires. Pin 1 and 6 were empty. Pin #9 has a wire, but I cannot find where it may go. It was not on my wiring diagram, it only shows 7 wires to the clock/thermometer. Everything seems to work fine, so if anyone can shed some light on where it may go or what it does, please advise! OK, so now that you know which wire is going where, you can connect them up. By the way, the 12 pin connector will fit right on the new mirror, the mounting clip is the exact same.

The 12 Pin Connector (wire colors are what mine were, YMMV)
1 – Red wire Connects to (Circuit board) P1
3 – Brown with Yellow tracer Connects to P3
5 – Grey with Blue tracer Connects to 10 Pin #7 and P6
7 – Blue with Black tracer Connects to 10 Pin #2
9 – Red Connects to 10 Pin #10
11 – Brown Connects to 10 Pin #4

2 – Brown Connects to P2
4 – Empty Not used (yet)
6 – Black with White tracer Connects to 10 Pin #8 and P5
8 – Brown with White tracer Connects to 10 Pin #5
10 – Blue with White tracer Connects to 10 Pin #3
12 – Empty Not Used

OK, so if you made it through the above, you should be able to connect it to the car harness and have a working auto dim mirror, interior lights, clock and thermometer. However, remember the empty slot at Pin 4 on the 12 Pin connector? It is powered when the reverse lamps are on and, when connected, will turn off the auto dim mirror. It is a safety feature, so you can see out the mirror when backing up. I'm not going to say it's unnecessary, but it is something most will rarely need. You can accomplish the same thing by reaching up and turning off the mirror. But, it should be connected and it really is not a big deal to do so. Several options here. I carefully removed a pin from the discarded original mirror large connector. I say carefully because they break very easily (as I found out). If you can remove one without damaging it, you can then carefully pry open the 12 Pin Connector and install it into the (empty) Pin 4 slot. And hey presto, you now have a reverse wire you then connect to P4. If you don't want to go to the hassle of removing and installing a new pin, then I suggest this modification. The 12 Pin connector Pins 2 & 11 are both grounds. They are really interchangeable. So, you could just connect P2 and 10 Pin #4 to Pin 2. This would leave Pin 11 empty. So then you would cut the car harness and reroute Pin 4 wire to Pin 11, then connect Pin 11 to P4. Either way will work just fine, just depends on what you want to do. Or you could throw danger to the wind and leave the reverse dimming wire unconnected – but don't blame me if you back into a brick wall!

This is the new auto dim mirror. The buttons on each side are map lights, the switch in the middle is for the door light (Off-On with door open-On). The small dot on the mirror (upper right) is the sensor for the auto dim.

Another shot of the mirror. The light is brighter than the old mirror. There are actually two lights, left & right, which work with their respective map light buttons. Open the door and both come on – pretty slick! The small button is to turn off the auto dim mirror, there is a small green LED to let you know the mirror is on. Finally the two dots you see are red “ambiance” lights. They come on with the parking or headlights. To be honest, they don't really do a lot, they are supposed to light up the console area, but IMO are rather useless. Even though they are on at night, they are not distracting at all.

Red ambiance lights

I like the new display better than the old one.

The new mirror light is brighter than the old one!

Once you are done rewiring, you should have something like this.

I like the entire setup much better than the old mirror. The interior is brighter when you get in/out of the car and the auto dim mirror works exactly as it should. The display is easier to read. I recommend it highly!

1 Posts
That's a great job.

Mine is a 2002 GLX and it came with auto dimming. I tried replacing the two little bulbs with leds but trying to remove them I broke a harness of one of them and completely mauled it.

I can't figure out how to replace it and I'm about to pull my hairs away.

So Imma improvise with my dad and put in a single bulb like the old one.

By any chance do you know how to even remove those little bulbs?
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