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2003 Nissan Murano SE AWD
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Discussion Starter #1
Unfortunately, I thought I had successfully recorded what was happening with the mirror as it was happening, but I didn't. And it's only happened three or four times over the last few years, (that I noticed, anyway) and then it goes away.

A few years ago while driving in the mountains, I kept catching something randomly blinking from the rearview mirror. At the time, I didn't really pay much attention to it, and I turned the compass off and then on, and it was fine for some minutes, then it started doing it again, so I just turned it off. The next day, I turned it back on and it was fine. Months later, it did it again, so I turned it off. Turned it back on at some point (duration unknown) and it was fine until recently.

Two days ago it did it again, driving home from the mountains along a routine route. This time, I paid closer attention and noticed there were very tiny characters displaying in place of the compass's big chracters. Initially at a quick glance, the blinking (or more accurately, the constant switching between compass direction to tiny "error" characters) reminded me of the alien characters on the Predator's wristpad during the countdown. :) When I looked closer, I noticed they're actually letters/numbers that are at least 75% smaller than the compass letters. At one point, the tiny letters seemed to show "ac on" along with some random characters/numbers. Since I had my Handycam, I tried recording what was happening for a minute. I then turned off the compass, turned it back on and everything's been fine since.

I've checked the forum and found no mention of this phenomenon. I thought it was really strange to see those tiny characters displaying something. Anyone ever see that happen, or know why it's doing what it's doing? If it happens again, I'll make sure I hit the REC button. :)
 

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Aliens trying to communicate. Just go with it.

Seriously, sounds like a moisture/corrosion issue. Unplug the connector on the back of the mirror and plug it back in. Corrosion can build up there and cause random issues.

Good luck.

Have a good day.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Funny that you'd mention it being a moisture issue, since it was cold, rainy, icy and very foggy all at once that day when the glitch happened, and I had just started passing by a large lake with my windows slightly opened. Additionally (I'd have to check a different post to be sure) I think I may have cleaned the inside windshield a few days before. While I don't actually spray anything on the glass (I just use a damp towel that was soaked in hot water) it's possible some water splattered onto the connection, and the combination of everything contributed to moisture getting into that connection and causing the glitches.

Or, maybe someone up there was trying to beam me up and couldn't get the blasted transportor to work. :)

EDIT: I just remembered that the last time the glitch happened, I was about 50 miles away from where I was the other day, and I was passing by a large lake. I don't think it was raining or foggy, though. Maybe there are UFOs in the lakes that are messing with my compass to try to get me lost. :)
 

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Lake gremlins. Very sneaky! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After washing my car last week, the FM transmitter MP3 player started crackling over the radio, and I discovered that the antenna was looser than normal. It had been ever-so-slightly loose for a few years, but I didn't bother checking it because water never seemed to leak into the car. Since that time, it's loosened more, and when I pulled the map light assembly and slid the metal framing to the side, I started playing with the retaining nut and I noticed the compass did that glitchy thing. I'm guessing it's somehow tied to that fastening array. After securing the nut about 1/2 turn, the radio stopped crackling, and I'm guessing I won't see those Predator characters anymore.

Strange how the repair manaul indicates you have to actually remove the headliner to access the antenna wire and nut. That's not accurate at all. Once the lights and plastic housing are removed (takes ten seconds) and you remove the two (12mm, I think) bolts that hold on the metal framing, you can pull down on the headliner a bit to allow room to slide the metal framing to the left and out of the way to expose the retaining nut and wiring, and all without causing any buckling/crimping to the headliner.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Still happening. The only similarities between this time and the last are fogginess around the lake/mountains and my windows being slightly opened...and cold air. The glitch started happening about 20 minutes before it started to snow, and I hadn't recently washed MO, so it doesn't seem to be related to water infiltration. The compass blinks/resets about every 23 seconds. I wonder if that grid-like sensor mesh that's adhered to the windshield behind the rearview mirror is linked to the rearview mirror's electronic functions. Perhaps fog can sometimes interfere with the sensor's ability to work properly.

 

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I still believe that it's a moisture issue.

Remove the mirror and disassemble it to the board. Bet you'll find green corrosion somewhere on it or and on a internal connector.

Pay close attention to the connection where it attaches to the mirror to drive the LCDs. If it's a electrical foam bar connection to the glass, it's applied with a special electrically conductive glue. If that connector is the issue, you have to replace the mirror.

Good luck.

Have a good day.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Pay close attention to the connection where it attaches to the mirror to drive the LCDs. If it's a electrical foam bar connection to the glass, it's applied with a special electrically conductive glue. If that connector is the issue, you have to replace the mirror.
Or I could just keep the compass turned off and wander around aimlessly. :D

Thanks for the head's up. But, yeah, I wouldn't spend money on a mirror because of a silly, malfunctioning compass... While the compass was continually resetting, I kept tapping the connector and all over the mirror's housing and it had no effect. I realize that doesn't mean much, but you'd think if there was some corrosion going on that fidgeting with the connector and shocking the components would generate some kind of change, either good or worse. Might be a good job for voctech students...
 

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I wonder if that grid-like sensor mesh that's adhered to the windshield behind the rearview mirror is linked to the rearview mirror's electronic functions. Perhaps fog can sometimes interfere with the sensor's ability to work properly.
The black dot area on your upper windshield is called frit, and is passive. It acts as a sun block...
 
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Discussion Starter #10
The black dot area on your upper windshield is called frit, and is passive. It acts as a sun block...
I kept using the wrong search words to find out what it was. I had no idea it was simply a sun-blocking feature. I figured it was some kind of reception device that may also provide sensory/directonal "data" for the compass. I don't recall seeing the word "frit" in the repair manuals about the windshield. I guess it's not really something that's servicable. Thanks for the info. In looking at it now, I see the dots aren't connected. I had never looked closely at them before, and assumed all were linked to create a sensory web. :)
 

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I learned its name when I was looking for tips on mounting my dashcam. Strange name...

Here's some more info on it:

 
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