Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading Smoked Mirror Turn Signals Review for the 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner
Turn signals are funny things.
Everyone complains about no one else using their turn signals properly, while never considering whether or not they themselves are using their turn signals properly. But the same lights that indicate (or fail to indicate) your intent to turn are also used as hazard lights when you’re trying to make your vehicle as visible as possible. This is what lead me to the Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading Smoked Mirror Turn Signals.
By upgrading from the stock mirror turn signals, I was able to achieve two desirable improvements:
- Brighter turn signal lights
- Increased the angle of visibility for said lights
See, as much as I love Toyota’s Super White, I live in snowy upstate New York which means much of the year my 4Runner just kind of blends into the background. So I’m game for anything that increases my visibility when stopped on the side of the road.
Find it online:
- 2014-2022 4Runner Smoke Turn Signals (Pair): Check Price
- 2014-2022 4Runner Blacked Out Turn Signals (Pair): Check Price
Tools & Materials
Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading included these two tools in their Smoked Mirror Turn Signals kit. One of them is useful.
- Auto Trim Tool (included)
- #1 Phillips Screwdriver (not included)
- Cleaning supplies to get your fingerprints off the mirror
If you’re done any work on the exterior of your 4Runner, or any vehicle for that matter, you probably already have an auto trim tool.
Possibly a whole kit of them. But unlike the tools you already have, the one included with the Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading Smoked Mirror Turn Signals kit is sized for a specific purpose. It’s just narrow enough to fit into the mirror housing when you’re popping off the body-color mirror cover.
Less helpful, though not particularly unwelcome, is the screwdriver. Unlike the trim tool, it doesn’t fit perfectly. Not on the screws under the mirror cover, or on any other screw used by Toyota that I’m aware of. A curious inclusion, though whatever normal #1 Phillips screwdriver you already have will do the job perfectly well.
Step 1. Remove Mirror
This is easily the scariest part of the process.
From inside the vehicle, angle the mirror all the way in two directions. So all the way up and all the way out, or all the way up and all the way in, etc. This should give your fingers just enough room to slip between the mirror housing and the mirror itself.
Now, carefully (but with more force than you’re expecting to need) pull the mirror away from the housing. It is held onto the white mounting plate shown above with just four spring clips, and with relatively little trouble it should pop off. Folding the whole mirror housing forward (so the mirror is facing away from the 4Runner) may help with this step, and many other steps for that matter.
One thing to be mindful of is the wiring harness that provides power for your heated mirrors. Extra care should be taken when removing the upper inner corner of the mirror in order to avoid damaging it.
Be careful not to damage the wiring for your heated mirrors.
Store the mirror somewhere it won’t get scratched, like inside the 4Runner, while you keep working.
Step 2. Remove Body-Color Mirror Cover
Once you have the mirror off, grab the included trim tool and look for the tabs holding the body-color panel onto the housing.
My Super White paint makes some of the tabs (to the right of the mirror mounting plate for example) easy to see, but even if you don’t have that high-contrast advantage, some patience and careful poking with the trim tool will inevitably lead you to the tabs.
The best practice is to start on one side of the mirror housing and work your way across, removing tabs as you go.
Step 3. Remove Black Mirror Cover (Optional)
Now we’re getting into the real meat of installing this Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading Smoked Mirror Turn Signal.
With the body-color mirror cover removed, you should now be able to see two screws holding a black piece of plastic onto the mirror housing. Strictly speaking, these screws, and this panel, do not need to be removed in order to install the new mirror turn signals.
But personally, I found it much easier to do so, and since I was also upgrading my puddle lights to LEDs at the same time (an inexpensive and simple upgrade to do while you’re already working on your mirrors) it was well worth the effort.
Step 4. Remove & Replace Stock Mirror Turn Signal
With the cover(s) off, simply remove the stock mirror turn signal, taking care to disconnect the wiring harness.
Installing the new one is as simple as connecting the wiring harness and nestling it back into place. Note that the harness can fit either the left or right turn signal, so make sure you are installing it on the correct side of the vehicle.
Step 5. Re-Install Mirror Covers
The sequential effect of the Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading Smoked Mirror Turn Signals not only looks cool, but it makes the whole vehicle more visible by introducing a motion to the lighting.
Put everything back in the reverse order of how you took it off. You’ll need to use a little force to pop some of the tabs back on for the mirror covers, so don’t be afraid of a few strong taps with the heel of your hand. And when re-installing the mirror, make sure you re-connect the heated mirror wiring first.
Step 6. Repeat On Other Side
The same steps, in the same order, on the other side.
More than anything, installing the Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading Smoked Mirror Turn Signals was easy.
It took me just over an hour to replace both, including the time I spent stopping what I was doing to shoot the pictures in this article. And as discussed, half of the tools needed were included in the kit.
But those tools lead me to some interesting investigations. See, if you search on YouTube for “5th Gen 4Runner Mirror Turn Signal Installation” you’ll find a bunch of videos with people using what appears to be identical trim tools to install apparently identical mirror turn signals.
Except these videos make no reference to Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading, and in fact were often uploaded years before Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading came into existence in the middle of 2020. Muddying the waters further still is the fact that apparently-identical turn signals are available on eBay. For less money, shipped directly from Guangzhou, China.
Reselling Isn’t a Bad Word
So it appears that Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading is sourcing these already-existing turn signals from a factory in China (CarTrimHome.com – or take your pick from Alibaba), then selling them as their own. Which, really, isn’t a problem. Granted, you could save some scratch and buy straight from the source on eBay. But if you’ve ever ordered something from a semi-anonymous overseas seller, you know that can be a perilous decision.
If you’re lucky enough to receive what you ordered, you may receive it weeks or even months later than you would have expected from a “real” retailer. And if you have any questions, or worse, problems with the product, good luck finding someone willing to answer your questions.
Meanwhile, Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading shipped my Smoked Mirror Turn Signals a few days after I ordered them, and they were delivered a few days after that. When I emailed them with a question, I got a response within twenty-four hours. So yes, I could have got them cheaper on eBay, but I got them much faster and with much better service by buying them from Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading. Plus, not to mention, the added benefit of supporting other people who are passionate about off-roading.
But more important than any questions about sourcing and retail reality, how do the Mid-Atlantic Off-Roading Smoked Mirror Turn Signals work? Simply put, they’re an obvious upgrade over my stock ones.
The light is larger, brighter, and thanks to the sequential illumination, more visually noticeable than stock, which in turn makes my 4Runner more noticeable … when I remember to use my turn signals.