Installing a mirror with compass ~ 2005 Chevy Trailblazer
While on a recent trip to the Dallas – Fort Worth area my wife and I decided to visit the Boy Scout Museum in Irving, Texas. We dialed in the Garmin and away we went. Someone forgot to tell Garmin that all the roads in the area were being revised and the roads they told us to take did not exist.
So much for the new map I paid for and downloaded just prior to our trip. Now we had to resort to old fashioned map reading. My wife kept saying “Which way are we headed?” while she was trying to orient the map. Since it was around Noon the sun’s location was overhead and did not give a clue.
Decided to swap the standard rear-view mirror with a compass mirror
It was then that I decided we needed a compass in our 2005 Trailblazer. Our owner’s manual showed a compass as an option on the mirror, so I headed for the local auto salvage yards. With a little searching I found a 2003 Trailblazer with the proper mirror. The cost was $20 and it took all of 5 minutes to install. What a deal!
To be fair, I found the mirror with the compass on the second vehicle I looked at, but I then spent another 4 hours searching several yards for a mirror with a compass and the outside temperature. I had no luck as most of them had already been removed. It appears that mirrors from many GM products made after 2002 will work. I saw a Buick and a Saturn with the same basic mirror that was in my Trailblazer, but none with compass or outside temp.
To tell the difference between the mirrors in a salvage vehicle, the information display box is tall enough for two display lines on mirrors with both compass and outside temperature. Many of them also have the On-Star buttons. I did find a mirror with both temp and compass at a truck salvage yard, but they wanted 10 times as much as I paid for the mirror with the compass only. I found the mirror I wanted new for $325 on www.gmpartsclub.com.
Installing the compass mirror
Installing the mirror is very simple.
First gently squeeze the wire connector and pull it out of the back of the mirror. Then, using a torques screwdriver, loosen the screw on the windshield attachment, but do not remove it. With the screw loose, slide the mirror up and it will come off the attachment button. Slide the new mirror back on the button and tighten the screw. Reattach the wires and it is complete.
The Trailblazer owner’s manual has instructions for setting the compass in your area. The one I bought was set for area 9 (Eastern US), so I reset it to area 5 (Southwestern US). I also followed the manual and held the on/off button in for 9 seconds until it was ready to calibrate and then slowly drove in a circle. One more off and on and it works great.
Finding the mirror and sensor
The only hard part of this process was finding the proper mirror at the salvage yard at a reasonable price. The place that wanted too much had taken the mirror off and had it in their office. All the others had me go into the yard looking for it and all indicated a price of $20 to $25 if I found one and took it off myself. Be prepared to look through a lot of junk as most of these vehicles are filled with the parts of the vehicle that have been removed while getting to something that was valuable. Good walking shoes and gloves are nice to have.
Attachment 41255Attachment 41258
Since almost every vehicle has had the engine and radiator removed the sensor for the outside temp is normally gone (it is in front of the radiator). If I had found a mirror with the outside temp, I would have had to purchase the outside temp sensor and the connecting wire. They are available for about $20 on www.gmpartsclub.com. The sensor is GM part 15047946 and the connector is GM part 12101856. It will require a little work to connect to the existing wiring harness.
When I find the mirror I want and make the hookup, I will record what I had to do. Our travels this summer will take us through most of the western state. I plan on visiting several salvage yards to find a mirror with both the temp and compass.