Repair 101: Replacing Side View Mirrors

Bam! Someone sideswipes your vehicle. The victim is the only one. Now you have a broken mirror. If it’s semi-detached, you’ll need to pull over immediately to secure it in place or remove it until you get a new one. You’ll be happy to know that replacing side view mirrors in an automotive maintenance job is easy.

Replacing Side View Mirrors

Side view mirror replacement is a straightforward job on most cars & trucks. If your mirror is dangling from an electric cable, don’t cut the cable. To secure your mirror, you can use duct tape until you have a replacement. You can often buff off any residual gum left by the tape after it has been removed. Duct tape is better than mirrors hitting your car repeatedly, scratching or denting.

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Next, purchase a mirror. If necessary, paint it to match your colors.

If your mirror is a manual, you will need to remove the mirror trim with a door panel removal tool. Once the insulation has been removed, the retainer screws or clips that hold it in place can be unfastened. You’ll then swap out the broken mirror assembly for the new one, put the insulation back in place and refasten the retainer clips.

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For a power mirror, you’ll need to go beyond the steps outlined for the manual mirror and also remove the door panel to access the electrical connector. You will need to locate the fasteners that hold your panel in place. These are usually found behind door handles or on the door arm rest.

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For removing ornamentation, a pick equipped with a 90-degree hook can be used. Lower the window, remove the fasteners and screws, and then detach the door panel.

Next, disconnect the electrical connection, attach the mirror, and then reconnect it. Continue following the steps to assemble the door. Don’t forget to install the fasteners and screws, before snapping the ornamentation and other parts into position. Clean up the mirror, and then recycle it.

Broken Glass ConsiderationsBroken side view mirror

If the damage to your side view mirror is minimal, such as cracked glass, then you’re dealing with a much simpler repair. Here, you’ll want to wear work gloves and protect your eyes before removing the loose pieces of glass. After removing the broken glass, wipe off any remaining pieces using glass cleaner and a clean rag.

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Order a replacement for the broken glass and be sure to specify whether it’s for the left or the right mirror, as well as the make, model and year of the vehicle. The replacement glass will come in a kit that includes either double-sided adhesive tape or a backing piece. Follow the included instructions to make sure the glass is properly in place.

Finish the Job

With a replacement mirror in place, you’ve resolved the problem. As for damaged paint that won’t buff out, invest in a chip and a scratch-repair kit.

Check out all the Body & Accessory products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. Talk to a NAPA AUTO PARTS expert for more information about replacing side-view mirrors.

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