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Q: My compass in the mirror is not working again.

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I bought the car new in October 2008 though it is a 2009 Forester. At that time, I had installed a Compass mirror. It stopped working within 2 years. Luckily , it was still under warranty and it was replaced by Subaru in 2011. It stopped working again in 2015. There is a green light on the left that goes on. But there is no reading at all where the compass readout is. Why does it stop working for no apparent reason? Does this part has a shelf life of a certain time period? Subaru tells me that I have to pay to have the entire mirror replaced to keep the compass. Is that true? What other options are there to get the compass working again?

My car has 66000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello, thanks for writing in. If the compas...

Hello, thanks for writing in. If the compass in the rear view mirror has ceased to function then the mirror will likely have to be replaced. You may be able to take apart the rear view mirror and attempt to repair the compass component, but it may be difficult to source parts for the repair. I would recommend consulting your dealership to see if the component is repairable, and if parts are available.

If not, then the only way to restore functionality to the compass will be by replacing the entire mirror assembly. While there is not really a set shelf life for the rear view mirror, my research indicates that it is a commonly failed part amongst these vehicles.

If you do not wish to take your vehicle to the dealership, I would recommend having a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to replace the mirror as necessary. Best of luck.

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