Why these are not standard on Canadian Mk3s or Mk3s in general is beyond me.
To be fair, the Grand Prix never had heated mirrors (because 1992) but I don’t recall ever having issues with them in the winter months. Arabis however, has been a different story. For the second half of last winter I didn’t have much trouble with them (remember, I bought the car in January) but this time around the hatch’s mirrors were quick to show a habit of icing over which was not just inconvenient, but slightly dangerous in some cases.
I don’t know if the original owner optioned the car himself or if the dealership had, but the inexpensive Winter Package should have been checked off when ordering; however, as it turns out the lack of heated mirror glass could be (and now has been) remedied quite easily in this case, given the car was a lower-spec, IKT-equipped* example. Let’s delve into retrofitting the mirrors on these cars, shall we?
To begin with, we tossed a video up on the channel a couple of days ago outlining the procedure on Arabis (please watch it to see how to remove the doors’ trim and mirrors themselves) and as promised, today’s post will go into more detail on the wiring as well as offer some insight into swapping the mirrors on to Intelligent Access (IA) vehicles. Before we do though, a quick correction – not that it should really impact anyone’s following of the tutorial anyway.
Filming Bill kept referring to the classic keys as RKT, and Editing Bill didn’t catch the blunder either. Writing Bill is here to correct them both because the abbreviation for the keys is actually IKT (Integrated Keyhead Transmitter) – not sure why the letter R was on the mind. Whoops! In any case, the key types – IKT (physical key you stick in the ignition and turn) and IA (key fob you keep in your pocket for push-button ignition cars) – are crucial because they determine how this retrofit is carried out. TL;DR, it’s much easier and cheaper for IKT cars than IA cars.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into the more detailed guide, shall we? I’ve tried my best to split everything up into categories so I hope this all makes sense. I realize this will be quite dry and possibly a bit daunting for anyone who’s never messed with wiring before, but I’ll do my best to make it easy to follow. Based on what exact trim the car is and what exact mirrors are used, the procedure can vary so be sure to read through it all to find the information applicable to your exact scenario. Let’s go!
We might as well start with some notes on the wiring itself, as it is important for both IKT and IA cars. As shown in the video, the plug for each mirror is located behind the trim panel housing the tweeter. Pull it off, set it aside, and take a look at the harness.
The wire in Pin 5 is the one you need to look for, for the heating element. It’s brown with a green stripe, but note that there are two in each mirror; the other is in Pin 3 on the driver’s side mirror, and Pin 2 on the passenger side (the above diagram is for LHD vehicles). It has to be Pin 5; if that location is empty, the car is not wired for heated mirrors. The connectors have faint markings to help you identify which location is which, but here’s a diagram to better show it:
This is where we also need to note – as was shown in the video – that there are actually different connectors used in 2012-2014 and 2015-2018 cars. Fortunately however Ford kept the order the same, so Pin 5 for example is for the mirror heating element regardless of model year. Above is a diagram of the pre-facelift (’12-14) connector, which is a 10-pin. The facelift (’15-18) connector is a 12-pin, as it would seem Ford brought over the European connectors when they refreshed the cars. This does mean that Ground for instance – Pin 6 – would move from the top of the second column to the bottom of the first (when looking at the connector in this orientation), but it’s still Pin 6. This is important if you need to swap connectors as we did.
I had been waiting for a facelift car with heated mirrors to arrive at one of the local junkyards but none did; all of the new inventory was always a ’12, ’13, or ’14. Ultimately Brian and I decided to just grab some PFL mirrors and swap the connectors so that I could get heated mirrors sooner, and we could therefore show the procedure should anyone else find themselves needing to do the same. In the above photo the mirror on the left is the PFL with the 10-pin connector, and that on the right is my original (FL) with the 12-pin.
If you need to swap the connectors you can do them one wire at a time to easily keep the sequence the same, or alternatively if you have to start from scratch you can follow the list below with everything in order, which also includes the other possible mirror features; not all heated mirrors had puddle lamps, and only the passenger mirrors include a temperature sensor. The wire colours are noted in the parentheses, and in the case of two colour notations they’re for (driver mirror/passenger mirror) because of course Ford didn’t keep them the same side to side.
Pin 1: Mirror X (GY-OG/BK-VT)
Pin 2: Mirror X/Y (BK-VT/BN-GN)
Pin 3: Mirror Y (BN-GN/VT-GN)
Pin 4: Not used
Pin 5: Mirror Heater (BN-GN)
Pin 6: Mirror Ground (BK)
Pin 7: Turn Signal (GY-OG/GN-OG)
Pin 8: Puddle Lamp (BN-YE)
Pin 9: Control Module, Ambient Temp (BK-YE)
Pin 10: Sensor, Ambient Temp (YE-GN)
What Mirrors to Use:
Okay, so with the wiring out of the way are there any special notes to make regarding which mirrors to use? Not really. Aside from looking for a specific model year if you wish to avoid having to swap connectors, you just need to find a pair of mirrors with heated glass – they’ll have the symbol on them.
Related Note – Puddle Lamps?
I am fairly certain that all heated mirrors had turn signals (but not all turn signal mirrors had heat, obviously) but mirrors with both signals and heat could either have puddle lamps, or not have them. The donor mirrors having puddle lamps or not is not really important unless having non-functioning lights underneath would bother you. I can’t verify if it’s the case for all Mk3s but based on what I’ve seen, IKT cars that don’t have puddle lamps from factory will not be prewired for them. IA cars however, should be.
In my case I used a pair of mirrors with heat and signals but no puddle lamps, as they are the exact configuration that would have been fitted to my car had it been optioned with heated mirrors from factory.
*As a final note, any IKT cars prewired for heated mirrors should also be prewired for turn signals, so if you have the base mirrors you can get two upgrades for the price of one.
IKT Heated Mirror Retrofit:
At last, now we need to touch on the two kinds of cars. In this case, we break down the entire production of Mk3s into two categories, based on what kind of key they use. First up are the IKT cars, with a more traditional key that you have to insert into the ignition and turn. This is the easy procedure.
Except for S (base model) sedans – which we haven’t been able to confirm but are 99.9% certain are excluded here – all IKT cars should be pre-wired for heated mirrors. Pull off the tweeter and trim as shown in the video and check the plug running into the mirror; if there is a wire in Pin 5 (brown with a green stripe), the car is good to go. Take your heated mirrors, swap connectors if you have to, and plug them in. You’re done.
The mirror heaters will run off of the rear window defroster circuit, so whenever you hit the switch to heat the rear glass, the mirrors will too.
IA Heated Mirror Retrofit:
And this, is the not-so-easy version for you push-button ignition Mk3 owners. It’s still possible, but it requires more than just the mirrors. The wiring should still be present on these cars if you check the harness running to the mirrors – and they should also be prewired for puddle lamps as mentioned – but just plugging the mirrors in won’t do anything as the door modules in the front doors need to be replaced as well.
Required door module part numbers: CP9Z-14B291-E and CP9Z-14B291-H.
With the modules changed out, the final step is to then use FORScan or FoCCCus to enable the heated mirrors in the BCM. The setting you’re looking for is listed as “Long Arm Heated Mirror”. These door modules should also accept the puddle lamps so you can activate them if the mirrors you used are equipped.
Unfortunately we haven’t been able to run through this version of the install ourselves as all the IA cars in our group came with heated mirrors, but multiple other owners on the forums have noted this being the process for the push-button cars. As with the IKT cars, the rear window defroster switch will also activate the mirrors.
Before we wrap up today I do want to quickly mention one other method that is possible: swapping just the glass and wiring. If you can get all of the pieces you could simply replace the non-heated glass with heated and run the wiring from the element through the mirror to the plug inside, instead of replacing the entire mirror assembly. Realistically though – given the nearly effortless install, ease of acquiring complete mirrors from junkyards, as well as the low cost to do so (I paid $60 Canadian for mine) – I assume most if not all owners will just pick up some used mirrors and swap them over as complete units. If you can find some glass and wiring for even less however, it is another option.
So, there you have it: retrofitting heated mirrors! It’s fortunate that Ford (in most cases) made these cars ready to accept the heated mirrors but that just further reinforces that they should have been standard issue, if you ask me. Regardless, Arabis has now been running a set for a little while and already the heaters have come in handy quite a bit! A few friends at this point are asking about a possible heated seat swap – given seats were the other main component of the Winter Package – but being cloth they honestly haven’t bothered me one bit, even in our -35C spells. Whether that happens or not, it’ll be a project for another time. For now I’m more than happy with the factory HIDs for our long winter nights and the heated mirrors for the snow and ice; these two updates have been worth every penny and have made this car considerably better for winter use.