The heated mirror on school buses are no longer an option they are mandatory. So when any inspections are done on a school bus the heated mirror must work to pass. In this case the video shows the open circuit on the heating grid that has disabled the element completely. With motorized heated mirrors the cost goes up significantly.
The operator is able to adjust the mirror sideways including up and down from the driver’s seat. Strangely enough the dealer can not get just the mirror and the grid separately so you have to buy the complete unit. The cost to us is $140.00 so we found a way to repair them by carefully detaching the mirror from the body and running a jumper wire to the good side of the grid and the wiring connector. (See photo at the top of this post)
The plastic coating over top of the grid printed circuit has to be removed enough to get access to the metallic grid material so soldering can be performed attaching a light gauge jumper wire. These are failing on new 2013 buses only. We have repaired at least half a dozen of them to date. It takes about 1/2 and hour labour to fix them up so it’s well worth the time. I’ve calculated that we’ve saved around $800.00 so far with this simple procedure.
It’s such a waste to have to buy a complete assembly because of an unavailable part that should only cost around $20.00. Why it’s not available is a mystery and I’m going to send a photo of a repaired mirror to the dealer and show them they can be fixed. Maybe someone in another part of the country has done this already but I have not seen any reports or technical service bulletins regarding these mirrors.
Working with a fleet or any group of vehicles it’s normal to find easier methods to make a repair. Using experience it comes naturally. Once you complete a job sometimes a switch comes on and you think of a possible easy fix. It’s the mechanic mentality to always think of better ways to make repairs whether it’s saving labour or saving money on parts.