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Side power mirror inop


E500E Newbie
Recently my driver's side mirror stopped responding to lateral adjustment via the center console switch. It still goes up and down, and can be adjusted side to side by hand. When adjusting by hand it feels loose, and moves smoothly with no ratcheting sounds, but will stay where I leave it. The switch is good - recently replaced. It feels like the glass somehow became disconnected from whatever mechanism in the housing moves it from side to side. Anybody ever had one of these apart?


500E Terminus Illuminatus
Attached are the "behind the scenes" pictures of the typical mirror. A motor is located inside the framework of the mirror housing. The mirror glass press-fits into 3 corresponding locations on the motor housing.

  • The center location is a multi-axis swivel
  • A ball & socket on top center controls up & down movement
  • A ball & socket on the outer-side controls left to right movement.
The balls are a white polymer material. The ratcheting sound is the ball moving in or out of the motor housing. The corresponding socket pieces that the swivel & balls press/snap into are black plastic. The plastic gets brittle over time exposure & use.

Assuming the switch & motor are functioning correctly, It is likely the ball has separated from its socket; more likely the socket has broken & can no longer contain the ball.



Prime, did you mean the passenger's side mirror, or has driver's side mirror been converted to automatic as well?


Active member
Both side mirrors became electric in the 93 model year. Only us old schoolers must actually move the drivers side mirror.



Btw, do both mirrors have a manual folding feature, or are they fixed? I have never tried to fold them.


Site Honcho
Staff member
Yes all W124 mirrors do fold manually but spring & lock in a detent back into place -- they do not stay folded like more modern cars do. In fact they are sprung so that they "bend" in both directions, forward and reverse. Often the springs are quite dried out so the folding action is quite ... well ... NOISY.

Also .. radically bending the mirrors one way or the other can have some resistance not only because of the springs, but also because of the fossilized rubber leading-edge boots. In fact bending the mirrors can actually crack and majorly damage pre-fossilized boots, necessitating the need for new boots (which about 80% of all E500Es already need, anyway). It's a major BOHICA ($$$) fix for what it is, but it is something that should be done.



E500E Newbie
Ha - thanks for the responses, but my OP was from 2 years ago! As suggested, it was the ball and socket interface that had broken. My mechanic happened to have a "like-new" mirror sitting around his shop, so he replaced the broken one for cheap.


E500E Newbie
Sorry to revive this thread if there is another that provides the information.

Recently I went out to my car to discover that a cyclist had ridden by my car, scraped the door and knocked the mirror glass out, but kindly (yes, that's sarcasm) put the now broken glass piece on the windshield under my wiper. So I'd see it.

The problem I'm having is trying to figure out how, when I find a new glass piece, to put it back in place. What I'm looking for is a couple of good photos of both the backing for the glass itself, and the housing, because it feels to me like other pieces might have gone missing in the collision, pieces which are necessary to successfully reattach it.

As an alternative, here are a couple of pictures of what I have. Perhaps someone can tell me if any parts are missing?





E500E explorer
The mirror shown in post #2 in this thread is the right side mirror, the left side has a different interface for the glass.

As far as I can see is nothing missing, the glass has just popped out. Clean and lubricate the three ball type fix points, and the two small tabs on each side of the center ball on the glass. Next you press it in place, you should hear a clear "click". (don't forget to reattach the heater cable)


E500E Newbie
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I know the post was for passenger side. Its just that this was the closest thread I could find to get the information.

I won't be putting the existing mirror back in, because the glass broke, probably when the bike handlebar hit it, or when it hit the pavement. I'm looking for a replacement on Ebay.

Good to know that the pieces appear to be there. What I might do is clean and lube the ball type fix points, and see if I can hear the click. That will tell me if it will work.