Exterior Auto Dim Mirrors with Approach Lighting – 2014-2015 Subaru Forester

NUMBER: 15-173-14
DATE: 05/16/14


APPLICABILITY: 2014-15 Forester Models
SUBJECT: Exterior Auto Dim Mirrors with Approach Lighting



There have been a limited number of cases where the appearance of the exterior Auto Dim mirror glass has changed to having a permanent dark blue or yellowish tint (sometimes also with a pattern) as shown in the example photos below.

exterior Auto Dim mirror glass


The source of this condition has been traced to a short to ground in the interior Auto Dim mirror harness as a result of improper routing during installation.  The interior Auto Dim mirror controls the dimming function of the 2 exterior mirrors.  This short to ground may result in excessive voltage (more than 1.6v) being applied to the Auto Dim mirror circuit.  The result is damage to both exterior mirrors as described above.





Remove the upper console / map light assembly by removing the 2 screws above the sunglass holder and CAREFULLY releasing the 2 rear retaining clips using a plastic trim tool as shown below.

upper console / map light assembly


Once the upper console / map light assembly is removed, CAREFULLY disconnect the map light (and if equipped, sunroof switch) harness connectors as shown below then set it aside in a safe place.

Map Light Harness Connector


Figure 1 below shows a damaged (pinched) wiring harness. Figure 2 shows how the Auto Dim mirror harness should NOT be routed.

damaged (pinched) wiring harness


If after removing the upper console / map light assembly, harness damage is confirmed, replace the interior Auto Dim Mirror w/Compass wiring harness.  Repairing this harness is not recommended.  REMINDER:  Always confirm any part numbers being ordered are the most up-to-date.  Install the new replacement wiring harness.  It must be routed as to not interfere with either of the 2 map light assembly mounting screw boss areas or any other potential harness pinch area (e.g. clips, metal brackets, etc…) then tucked above the headliner as shown in Figures 3A and 3B on the next page.

NOTE:  Do not reinstall the upper console at this point as additional circuit testing is required.

harness properly installed


After installation of the new mirror harness, remove both damaged exterior Auto Dim mirror glass assemblies following the procedure shown in the Accessory Installation Guide accessible on STIS.

J201SSG000 – 2014 Forester Exterior auto dimming mirror with approach lighting



NOTE:  It is recommended to download and print the .pdf of this procedure then read through it in its entirety before proceeding further as there are 18 steps to complete the mirror glass assembly replacement.

After removal of both exterior Auto Dim mirror glass assemblies, both exterior mirror circuits will need to be tested to ensure that no other concerns are present which could affect the operation of the new replacement parts.

Activate the interior Auto Dim mirror by covering the forward-facing sensor while the key is in the ON or RUN position as shown in the illustrations below.

Forward-Looking Sensor


Perform the following voltage tests on BOTH exterior mirror harness connectors before installing the new Auto Dim mirror glass assemblies.  With the interior Auto Dim mirror in the dimmed state, connect a DVOM set to read DC voltage.  Confirm the voltage at BOTH of the Auto Dim circuit exterior mirror 2-pin harness connectors does not exceed 1.6v as shown in the photo below.  If the required voltage is not present or if another electrical concern is found to exist, diagnose and repair it before proceeding.

Auto-dimming circuit male connector


Once the Auto Dim circuit voltage is verified as acceptable, replace both exterior Auto Dim mirror glass assemblies following the procedure in the Accessory Installation Guide referenced above.

Reinstall the upper console / map light assembly in reverse order of removal paying close attention to the following precautions:

  • Refer to figures 3A and 3B above and do a final check for proper positioning of the new Auto Dim mirror harness.
  • Reconnect the wire harness connector for the map lights and, if equipped with a sunroof, confirm the 6-wire harness connector is properly fitted onto its (blue) retainer as shown below.

(blue) retainer


  • Make sure the upper console / map light assembly’s retaining claws engage above the support properly to retain the front edge before reattaching the 2 rear edge retaining clips and the 2 mounting screws as shown below.

Claws must “engage” above these edges to properly secure the assembly


  • Confirm proper operation of all 3 Auto Dim mirrors to complete procedure.



For vehicles within the Basic New Car Limited Warranty period, this repair may be claimed using the following information:




Download (PDF, 2.81MB)



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