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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Everyone,

When I bought the car last year I asked the dealer for the Homelink mirror. Their quote was US$450+tax (parts & labor) WOW, no surprises there :wink

Initially I looked at the 3-button Homelink module that goes in the roof-liner. My wife would not let me cut the roof-liner.

Then "life happened' and the project went on hold.

Last week an friend of mine bought one for his Nissan Maxima and that got me started.

I looked at ebay and found many varieties and models. After few days of looking around this is what I concluded;

Auto Dimming mirrors are between $35-55
Auto Dimming mirrors with
and Homelink are between $55-75
Auto Dimming mirrors with Homelink and Compass are between $70-125

Prices varies based on the donor vehicle, target vehicle and overall condition of the mirror. For some reason Toyota mirrors are more expensive :confused:

Finally after "extensive research and contemplation" I purchased a used auto dimming rear view mirror with compass and Homelink from ebay last week. It is a Gentex 453, cost me $85 and came out of a Pruis 2009. In pictures it looked fine. When I got it I was really happy that it was in perfect condition. No scratched on the plastic shell or on the mirror. The 10 pin-4 wire harness was attached as well, although it was cut at the other end. So 9/10 score.

While I was looking online I found that Gentex 453 is common model sold by many OEMs. Because it is sold by many OEMs and there are many sub-models, there are way too many wiring diagrams, harnesses and configurations available online. Pretty confusing at first.

Once I had some idea about the wiring, I tested the wiring using the 110V AC to 12V DC converter to identify the wires. During the testing all functions worked fine. Wire coding is below;

  • Black - Ground (pretty obvious)
  • Red - Always on +12V (required for Homelink)
  • Brown - Switched/ACC +12V (required for auto dimming and compass)
  • Orange - To Reverse switch (to turn off Auto Dimming while reversing)

Some people have mentioned online that they connected the Homelink wire with switched 12v so it would only work when ignition is ON. I decide to connect Homelink wire to "always ON".

As for the installation, I looked at a lot of posts on this and other forums about the installation. After figuring out the wiring, everything else seems pretty straight forward so I started yesterday.

Removed the OEM mirror by twisting the windshield mount cover. Once the cover is gone, I saw a clip at the bottom of the mount, just pressed it and mirror slid up.

Put the Gentex 453 in the mount and it fit perfectly, no issues. Tighten the torx screw to secure it.

Wiring harness was not long enough so I soldered a 8" wire for Homelink pair and a 10' wire to run to the kick-panel fuse box. I used 18 gauge-two core wire, commonly used in car audio installation.

Map light has four clips at each corner. Slowly but firmly pull down from one side. After removing the map light I tapped into the map light connector for GND and Homelink +12v. At this time all three Homelink buttons were live but not programmed for the garage door.

My RAV 4 does not have sunroof so no switched 12v around the map light area. Still I ran the other two wires to the kick panel fuse box, through the roof liner and drivers side A-piller. I could not figure out the switched power connection so I just left the cable there for later. BTW, removing and putting back the A-Piller cover is royal P.I.A.

After verifying all the connections, functions, and putting back everything where it belongs, next step was to program the Homelink buttons. I watched this video from inspiration
This mirror model comes with rolling codes, so I had to press the learning button on the garage door motor. Programming is not complete without this step. Luckily the ladder was in the garage.


Note: The video is for the 3 button OEM Homelink module that goes in the roof liner. However procedure is the same for Gentex 453 mirror as well.

This morning, I started poking around with a 12v tester for the switched +12V. After about 15 minutes of poking I found a white wire at the bottom left corner of junction box 3D (I think that is what it is called, right most one behind the door mirror remote control panel). Tapped it with a wire tap and moved the key to ACC, viola - compass came up. Just to test I put flash light on the front sensor and the mirror went dark :) Everything is working as it should be.

My wife does not like the garage door opener on the sun visor so she keeps it in either the cup holder or glove box. She is happy that she does not have to look for it anymore.

I still have to verify if the buttons on the mirror are back-lit or not. Will check tonight after dark.

Also, I have not connected the Reverse wire. Since I have the backup camera in vehicle, I don't care much about. Wire is tucked behind the kick-panel, just in case.

Overall I am happy with the relatively simple install.

One observation after the install: Normal wireless garage door opener required a single-quick-press of a button to open the door. On the mirror I have to keep the button pressed for about 2-3 seconds.

All pictures are attached.

 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Nicely done! You have earned a sticky for that!
 

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Great write up! Here is a tip for the Homelink programming and the compass functions. Being as you know the exact make model and year of the donor car, locate an owners manual online for that vehicle. Toyota is pretty easy. Here is a link : Toyota Online Owners Manuals and Warranty You can view and search the pdf file and print out the specific pages you need. You should clear all the previously stored Homelink codes and also configure the compass for your geographic location.


I got an auto dimming rear view mirror with HomeLink4 and compass off EBay for $65 that was out of a 2011 - 2014 Sienna. Fits and works well in the RAV4.4.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Awesome :)
Next on the list "Rear parking sensors with distance on the OEM LCD" Stay tunes folks....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the link.
During my research for Gentex 453, I found a lot of Subaru links and pictures. Most of the online pictures had same wiring harness as the one I have, which made me doubt the source of the mirror. Also, I actually watched that video before the installation :smile


Great write up! Here is a tip for the Homelink programming and the compass functions. Being as you know the exact make model and year of the donor car, locate an owners manual online for that vehicle. Toyota is pretty easy. Here is a link : Toyota Online Owners Manuals and Warranty You can view and search the pdf file and print out the specific pages you need. You should clear all the previously stored Homelink codes and also configure the compass for your geographic location.


I got an auto dimming rear view mirror with HomeLink4 and compass off EBay for $65 that was out of a 2011 - 2014 Sienna. Fits and works well in the RAV4.4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Forgot a picture of the map light connector.
Left wire is ground, middle is unknown at this point, right one is +12V.
 

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I'm just getting started with this project on a 2016 Anyone know how to remove that thingie up there...the map light, sunroof switch, sunglass holder thingie?
 

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I'm just getting started with this project on a 2016 Anyone know how to remove that thingie up there...the map light, sunroof switch, sunglass holder thingie?
Yes, I got the same question exactly, how did you remove the dome light box? I tried to remove mine to see what is inside, and decided not to break the car. Can not find any youtube video to show what exactly to do
 

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too bad Toyota didn't have the harness used on the Limited in the other models.

The Limited has the homelink mirror factory installed. Would be nice to just find a LKQ mirror with the correct plug and put it in.
 

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Well my mirror showed up today, $55.00 delivered off EBAY a Gentex GNTX536..... no compass, no thermometer, self dimming, and the garage door opener capability.

It had some sort of a home made harness on it, no big deal as there was going to be spicing involved.... it is not "plug and play", but it wasn't sold as or represented to be PNP.

After seeing other threads on how to remove the light cluster / sunroof controls and sun glass holder, I used a nylon trim tool to get an edge down then gave it a good tug to get the 4 nylon clips to pull from the mounting points. I used just enough persuasion with the trim tool to get it pulled down enough to get a grip on it.... force it and you are going to crush the headliner.

Next out came the Torx20 and the OEM mirror was removed, followed by the new mirror harness being fed into the cavity where the light module sits, and finally the new mirror was slid onto the mount and the screw tightened. I did not need the wire cover that came with the kit as the wire was obscured by the mirror, the glass had a black out mask, and I don't think it was going to fit anyway. The wires were wrapped in black mesh so they were invisible for all intents and purposes.

I cut the wires from the kit back as I was not going down the "A" pillar to find power.

I used one of the 2 6mm bolts (10mm heads) that were up in the space and a ring lug to establish the ground, I located switched power on the sunroof harness and tapped that for the dimming feature of the mirror, and then I went to the map light harness and found a white wire with a blue tracer that was switched power, and used that for the homelink power.


Damn they are making the connectors smaller and smaller, and the wires thinner and thinner. I had to use a sewing needle in the alligator clip of my meter to probe the connectors, the connectors are that small!

All in all it took 20 minutes to get this done, and 10 of that was ringing out the harness to find the power supply points.

I got one of my openers programmed, the second has a rolling code and needs additional steps to program, and that would have required me to slide my fat arse into my wifes Boxster to move it out of the way...... I can wait til she takes it to work some day to finish the programming no big deal.

It will be a while before I can report on the dimming feature as the car has not been registered yet, my 20 day tag has expired, and I am heading down to Florida for few days.... I will register the car when I get back, maybe, assuming we don't go from winter right into bike season.... NH weather is funny like that.
 

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My RAV came with just a plain mirror, no auto dimming or anything. Even though I think the brochure said for 2016 that the SE had a compass mirror, it does not. Is there a way to add the upgraded mirror without changing wiring? Is the car pre-wired for the mirror? I don't want to hack up wiring in a brand new car haha. Is this something the dealer could install?


Thanks,
Dave
 

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Actually very easy. Only hack is to connect 3 wires from sunroof controller to the homelink wires from mirror. I ordered and got my homelink mirror (from dave mentioned in these forums) and planning to do this later today
 

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I talked to the dealership this week, the auto dim/homelink/compass mirror only came on the tech pack car I guess. The mirror has a camera in it for Toyota Safety Sense, with a MSRP of something like $1024 haha. They found a Highlander mirror that would work, but since it is not a RAV4 part, the work wouldn't be warrantied, and whatever wiring they tapped into would be warranty void. I decided to forgo the mod for now, can't be messing with warranty on a 2 week old car haha.


Actually very easy. Only hack is to connect 3 wires from sunroof controller to the homelink wires from mirror. I ordered and got my homelink mirror (from dave mentioned in these forums) and planning to do this later today
 

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They found a Highlander mirror that would work, but since it is not a RAV4 part, the work wouldn't be warrantied, and whatever wiring they tapped into would be warranty void.
My 2015 XLE came with a standard mirror and I added one with homelink, compass and self dimming by tapping into the wires for the sun roof. Everything worked great and I don't think I did anything to cause future problems. If there is a problem, Toyota needs to prove that my work caused the problem before they can say that it is not under warranty. I think it is well worth the risk.
 

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I will end up doing it, just not right now. Never had a car with a full warranty, don't want to lose it haha. My wife's Escape that we traded in was a problematic POS, right now I revel in the fact that if something breaks, I don't have to worry lol.


My 2015 XLE came with a standard mirror and I added one with homelink, compass and self dimming by tapping into the wires for the sun roof. Everything worked great and I don't think I did anything to cause future problems. If there is a problem, Toyota needs to prove that my work caused the problem before they can say that it is not under warranty. I think it is well worth the risk.
 

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too bad Toyota didn't have the harness used on the Limited in the other models.

The Limited has the homelink mirror factory installed. Would be nice to just find a LKQ mirror with the correct plug and put it in.
Are you sure the Limited has a Homelink? I test drove one last weekend and it didn't. I asked 2 different dealers and they said all RAV4s don't have it even the Limited.
 

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Thanks for the write up! Just ordered a gentex auto-dim mirror on ebay for $40 shipped - no need for the compass or homelink. Hopefully i'll be able to install this weekend on my 2014 XLE.
 

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Gentex Auto Dimming mirror

Which is the mirror your purchased on Ebay. Do share your link. Also make sure it comes with the harness and cables.
 
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