Introduction: Fighting Fear of Phantom Fuzz

Picture of Fighting Fear of Phantom Fuzz

When you have a new toy, you have to try it out, right? Run it up through the gears, try a lane switch or two. When I do this, I try to keep on the right side of the law. but I do push the edge a little to enjoy those new tires.

When I got my new Camaro, I tried a little spirited driving and soon noticed the flashing red and blues in the mirror. Did I push it too far? Is it because I did not yet have permanent plates??? With my dejected frown, I pulled over. Then is when I realized I had been busted by the phantom police. What I saw was just a ‘feature’ of my new car. The Red and blue lights are LEDs embedded in the glass of the rearview mirror, and the flashing was the mirror rattling from the radio.

Who was the Rocket Surgeon of an engineer Who thought this would be a good idea?

Step 1: What Can Be Done?

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For my copy of this car, I tried asking that the satellite
spy thing not be turned on. That did not work for me, your mileage may vary (though probably not).

The dealer should be able to tighten up the loose mirror. Steady lights would be better than flashing lights.

The drastic solutions are obvious, but I leased this car and they expect it to be returned without improvements.

The last resort is to hide the spooky lights. TAPE. A simple piece of electrical tape will hide the lights. Yep, a patch isn't just for software anymore.

Of course it needs to look good, so it’s time to get cutting.

Step 2: Measure Carefully, and Mind the Curve

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A few quick measurements rendered a rectangle that would just cover the lights without hiding valuable mirror space. To match the curve on the bottom of the mirror I put a piece of paper over the mirror and ran a #2 pencil along the edge of it, then scanned the resulting image.

Step 3: Draw It Out on a Graphics Program

Draw the outline per your measurements. I used Corel Draw, then printed to .pdf. Use whatever you have available.
If you happen to have a 2015 Camaro (or probably most 2015 GM autos) feel free to use my copy.

Step 4: Stack the Tape

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I put my tape on a piece of waxed paper so I could peel it off for use later. A piece of scotch tape held the pattern in place while it was cut. Carefully cut out your new patch. This stack worked well for me and I recommend it.

Step 5: Apply the Patch

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All that is left is to apply the new patch and know if you see flashing red and blue lights in your mirror now, they are really there, and you are really in trouble.

Comments

seamster (author)2015-08-11

Nice little fix!

I love the story too. You got pulled over . . . by your own car! :)

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