I recently retrofitted my 2017 A5 Coupé (B9) with folding mirrors. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures illustrating how to perform this upgrade, but I'd still like to share my experiences and hopefully inspire others to take the leap.
I started investigating this retrofit a couple years ago when I owned a 2012 A5 Coupé (B8, facelift). Back then I came across this excellent instruction from AudiEnthusiasts.com.
It's a very comprehensive description on how to perform the upgrade on an A4 (B8) and most of it applies the A5 as well. The main steps described are the same when performing the retrofit to the newer model. The main steps are (starting at the driver side)
- Transfer the mirror glass and the painted cover from the old mirror to the new one
- Remove the door panel
- Remove the old mirror
- Install the new mirror
- Install new control knob
- Re-install the door panel
- Repeat for the other side (except installing control knob)
- Perform coding to make the car aware of the folding mirrors
Before you perform this retrofit you must verify that your car is equipped with the appropriate door control units, and to do that you have to get the part numbers of the units. There are a couple ways to do this but the easiest is to have the part numbers read out by the diagnostics (through the OBD2 port). It's also possible visually read the part number on the control unit but that requires removing the door panel, which is a bit of a hassle.
The part number has the following format: XX0 959 ?9X + index letter such as A, B, C. If '?' is equal to '7' or '5' the unit is compatible. Otherwise, it's incompatible and must be replaced.
The tools required are
- Torx screwdrivers (T10, T20, T25, and T30)
- Small slot screwdriver
- 8 mm socket
I also highly recommend getting these tools.
- A suction cup, to safely remove the mirror glass and reduce the risk of cracking it
- A trim removal kit, to more easily remove the door panel without damaging it
It's also handy to have a flashlight, some tape, and a piece of soft string (about 1 meter or 3 feet in length).
Performing the upgrade is not very difficult and only requires average mechanical skills. There are some steps where a second pair of hands is quite useful, so even if it's not required I do recommend employing the help of second person.
The parts required for this retrofit are (European market, Left hand drive, as of November 2020)
|8W6857409BS||Exterior mirror mounting with electric adjusting unit D - 27.11.2017>>, left lhd, PR-6XE, 6XK + KA0, KA2 (Coupé and Cabriolet)|
|8W8857409E||Exterior mirror mounting with electric adjusting unit, left lhd, PR-6XE, 6XK + KA0, KA2 (Sportback)|
|8W6857410BK||Exterior mirror mounting with electric adjusting unit D - 27.11.2017>>, right lhd, PR-6XE, 6XF, 6XK, 6XL + KA0, KA2 (Coupé and Cabriolet)|
|8W8857410D||Exterior mirror mounting with electric adjusting unit, right lhd, PR-6XE, 6XF, 6XK, 6XL + KA0, KA2 (Sportback)|
|8W6867171C||Handle shell, upper part, left lhd, PR-6XE, 6XF, 6XK, 6XL (Coupé and Cabriolet)|
|8W1867171B||Handle shell, upper part, left lhd, PR-6XE, 6XF, 6XK, 6XL (Sportback)|
|4M0959565Q||Switch for exterior mirror adjustment, PR-6XE, 6XF, 6XK, 6XL|
After some research, I decided to buy the parts as a kit from Kufatec
, a German company specializing in providing OEM upgrades. This kit also includes a programming dongle, eliminating the need for the VCDS software and associated cable. The programming dongle is also available separately, should you decide to get the parts from somewhere else.
The cables for the new mirrors come with wires and electrical connectors for the indicator (naturally), the Side Assist indicator, and for the auto dimming/anti dazzle functionality. If your car is equipped with an interior auto dimming/anti dazzle mirror (PR-4L6) you might want to consider upgrading the exterior mirrors to get this functionality there as well. Please note that you must find out what kind of mirrors your car is fitted with. There are several variants (Flat, Convex, Aspherical, etc.) and the mirrors might differ from side to side. The most reliable way is probably to remove the mirror glass, get the part number from the backside of the mirror and then get the appropriate auto dimming/anti dazzle equivalent.
While searching for instructions on how to disassemble the mirror housing, I came across another upgrade (non-OEM) that I found quite interesting: dynamic (sweeping) turn indicators in the mirror housing. There are several available options on the market at a wide range of prices. I decided to get a pair from Osram called "LEDriving DMI for Audi A4, A5". Here is a clip of what they look like.
These are in the upper price range, but they are of high quality, are bright, and match the color of the existing indicators (some that chose other brands complained about a difference in color). These indicators are direct replacements of the OEM variants (8W0949101 and 8W0949102) and don't require any modification of the mirror housing, they just drop right in.
Now that I've covered the preparations, let me share my experiences of the actual installation. I highly recommend watching this video as it shows all the steps to the point where the mirror is removed.
I employed the help of a friend and we started on the driver side by removing the mirror glass and the painted cover while the mirror was still attached to the door. A good instruction on how to perform this procedure can be found here.
The instructions for the Osram dynamic indicators indicated that you shall take note of the polarity of the connectors for the mirror heating. I don't know if that's necessary, but we did note the polarity and connected the connectors the same way when we re-installed the mirror glass.
After that we proceeded by removing the door panel. Here is a good instruction on how that's performed on the A4.
The only main difference I found between this instruction and performing it on the A5 Coupé is that in step 5 a metal clip is mentioned. This clip doesn't exist on the A5 Coupé. Here is another instruction showing how to remove the door panel on an S5.
I highly recommend using some tape to protect the painted parts of the door at the places where the trim removal tool is applied. I'd also like to mention that it requires quite a bit of force unsnapping the door panel from the ball sockets.
Once the door panel is removed you can proceed by disconnecting the cable for the mirror from the door control unit and detach the cable from the door itself. Here I found the tools in the trim removal kit handy as some of the cable holders were somewhat difficult to remove.
The next step is to remove the bass speaker in order to get access to the interior of the door. Disconnect the wires to the speaker and remove the four screws holding the speaker in place. Then the speaker comes out easily.
At the fore part of the door the cable disappears into the door through a big, oval shaped grommet. This is clearly visible in the picture at step 4 in the description above. Directly above that grommet, three circular rubber covers are also visible. Pry the grommet and the covers out. Also separate the outer part of the grommet from the part attached to the cable. Behind the covers, at a slight upwards angle are three bolts that hold the mirror to the door. Removing the bottom two bolts was no problem but when we were to remove the upper one, we hit a snag. As you probably know, the A5 doesn't have a frame around its side windows. When you open the door, the window drops about 1 centimeter (about half an inch) and by doing so the bottom part of the window obstructs access to the upper bolt. There is no way to get access to the bolt with the window in this position. Maneuvering the window to its full down position might have given access to the bolt, but since the door panel was removed there was no easy way to maneuver the window. What we did instead was to latch the door locking mechanism into its locked position using a screwdriver. This way we tricked the car into believing that the door was closed. The window was raised, providing access to the upper bolt. Please note that if you use this method, you must remember that the door is "closed" and that the window is in its full up position, so that you don't accidently close the door and risk damaging or shattering the window. Once the new mirror is attached you can "open" the door from the outside to lower the window again.
Once the upper bolt is removed the mirror is loose and here it's helpful to have the second pair of hands to prevent the mirror from falling onto the side of the door.
The cable is attached at two places inside the door and the cable must be detached from these points before the mirror can be removed. Further, the cable is also routed around the guide rail for the window. In order to easily guide the new cable around the guide rail, we attached a piece of soft string to the end of the old cable (at the connector) before we pulled it out. We then attached the string to the new cable and pulled it back in the same way around the window guide rail. The mirror was then attached with the three bolts. It was then just a matter of attaching the cable to the door (don't forget to re-attach it to the two attachment points inside the door), re-inserting three the rubber covers and the grommet, and plugging the connector into the door control unit. The bass speaker was re-installed. Finally, the painted mirror cover and the mirror glass were re-installed.
We then proceeded with installing the new mirror control knob. The first step is to disconnect the electrical connectors for the mirror control knob and the window switches. Remove the 16(!) screws that hold the door puller/armrest to the door panel. The handle shell can then be separated from the rest of the door puller by simultaneously releasing the clips (by using a small slot screwdriver) and pulling on the handle shell. To get the window switches out, use a small slot screwdriver between the trim and the switch housing to release the catches and simultaneously apply some light pressure on the window switches. Transfer the window switches to the new handle shell and snap the housing in place. Also snap the new control knob in place. Re-install the new handle shell and the other parts in reverse order.
The door panel can now be re-installed and that's performed in reverse order to removing it. One thing to think about is the Bowden cable that connects the interior door handle with the door locking mechanism. This cable is held in place by a hook at the upper part of the door panel, so verify that the cable is routed correctly.
When the driver side was done, we proceeded with repeating the same steps on the passenger side, except for replacing the control knob.
The final step was the coding and since the kit I purchased included a coding dongle it was just a matter of plugging the dongle into the OBD2 port and let the dongle perform its tasks. The instruction from AudiEnthusiasts.com does describe how to perform the coding using the VCDS software. I don't know if the instructions still apply to the A5/S5 (B9) and perhaps there is someone that can verify if this is the case or not.
The whole operation took about 4 h to complete.
I hope this will inspire others to perform this retrofit.