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Drivers Side Outside Mirror Repair Question

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I have an '06 RX330. The driver's side outside mirror works fine (except that it doesn't tilt down for some reason when in "reverse"). The problem is the plastic pieces that hold the mounting nuts are broken (2 of them). The mirror is basically attached to the car with 1 bolt. It appears that the previous owner tried to over tighten the bolts and broke the plastic holding the nuts.

My question is, can I buy just the black piece with the mounting nuts or do I have to buy the entire mirror assembly?

If I buy the entire mirror (I have found many on eBay for around $90), can I disassemble the old mirror and retain the painted cover (so I don't have to get the new mirror painted to match the car)?

Lastly, are all RX330 mirrors the same or are there some with more features than others? (In other words, are all the mirrors heated and tilt-able, as well as remotely controlled?)

Thanks in advance for your help with this.

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For the mirror tilting down in reverse, only the side selected with the power mirror switch will tilt down in reverse (L or R). With the switch in the neutral position, the mirrors will not tilt in reverse.

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I don't know if your RX has reverse gear mirror tilt-down on the driver side. On some older models, only the passenger side mirror tilted down. For example, the 1998 LS didn't have driver side tilt-down but it was added for the 1999 model year.

There does not appear to be multiple versions of the exterior mirrors for the 2006 RX330 based on the information on www.toyodiy.com If there were multiple versions, they would be in the parts list.

I don't think you will find an "exploded parts diagram" for the mirrors because replacement parts are available only for the mirror glass and maybe the motor assemblies. These mirrors are very simple inside and are less complex than those on newer Lexus vehicles with mirror turn signals, puddle lights, etc. I don't know if the mirror housing is bolted or riveted to the body-colored part that attaches to the door but you might be able to see after you pop out the mirror glass.

And I don't have specific instructions for removing the mirror glass on your RX but you can probably fake your way through it. The repair manual for my last LS said to use a small shop towel to pop out the glass. I used a very thin screwdriver to depress the four prongs that held the mirror glasses in place on our 2012 Prius and the glasses popped out easily. After releasing each prong, I ran the mirror glass to a different angle so that I could release the next prong, etc. I suggest that you tilt the mirror glass all the way down and look behind it to see if you can see any of the (probably four) prongs that hold it in place. I think I used my borescope to look behind the mirror glasses of our Prius - one of the coolest tools I have.

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Dude you are everywhere.

Thanks for the reply.

Both mirrors have the tilt-down feature.

I did some looking around (on YouTube and other places) and it seems that the painted part of the mirror comes apart in two pieces. once the glass is out, there are 3-4 screws that are accessible that hold the pieces together. I looked a little while ago and the seam is very small. I think I'm going to go ahead and buy the aftermarket replacement mirror off of eBay and try to repair it. The other option is to remove the one from the car and try to use something like JB Weld to re-attach the broken plastic pieces that hold the nuts.

There are several videos on YouTube that show putting a towel behind the bottom portion of the mirror and pulling it loose from the mount. I may try to use your method first since tugging on a piece of glass looks like it may be risky.

Worst case, I found a site called scratchwizard.net that sells paint kits that are supposed to be exact matches for factory. I could paint the replacement mirror. (Check out their YouTube video. They show replacing and painting an entire rear bumper cover using handheld spray paint. Looked good.)

Thanks again for all of your help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I ordered a replacement mirror assembly from AM Autoparts on eBay. It turns out that it is a replacement for the original mirror, but is not assembled in the same manner and does not have the same internal parts. Ends up, the mirror that was on the car was also a replacement and was the exact same brand, so I was able to use the painted shell from the old mirror and install on the new mirror and replace the entire unit. The mirror now tilts as it is supposed to.

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