Advice on Changing a Side View Mirror on a Dodge Minivan

by Jody L. Campbell

Unlike many vehicles, the Dodge minivan series employs exterior retaining bolts instead of interior ones that secure the side-view mirror to the door frame. Because of this, the interior door panel does not have to be removed in order to change the mirror. However, there are other components that need to be removed.

Mirror Removal

The Dodge Caravan and the Dodge Grand Caravan employ slightly different procedures to remove the side-view mirror. While both are retained to the door frame from the exterior and both require unsnapping the molding cover to reveal the retaining screws, the Caravan screws are often located beneath a lower cover under the mirror. The Grand Caravan requires removal of a complete exterior cover and may also require the use of a Torx head screwdriver to remove the retaining screws. Both covers are secured to the side-view mirror housing with snap-in retaining clips. Be gentle when prying them off in the event you need to reuse them. A cold day will compromise the exposed plastic and compromise the durability of the plastic covers. Once the covers are removed, manipulate the position of the mirror by hand to access the screws. When the screws are removed, allow the mirror to rest on the door frame, but be careful not to scratch the paint on the door. Next, you'll need to relocate to the interior of the Dodge minivan. The molding covering the A-pillar requires removal to access the wire harness connected to the mirror. This piece, much like the exterior trim, is connected to the A-pillar frame employing snap-in retaining clips. Pry it gently from the side of the interior of the windshield to expose the wire harness plug. On Grand Caravans, unsnapping the speaker cover is required to access the harness plug. Reaching under the speaker cover or accessing the harness connection under the A-frame pillar molding is all you have left to remove the mirror from the minivan and then feed the wire through the access hole.

Re-installation

To replace the mirror, be sure to inspect it first for the rubber sealing gasket mounted to the mating surface of the mirror to the door frame. If the replacement mirror is not supplied with one, remove the old one from the original mirror and install it onto the new one before replacing it. Feed the wire harness through the hole opening of the door frame and then reverse the removal procedure to reinstall the mirror. Before affixing the A-pillar molding and once the mirror is plugged back into the wire harness outlet, it's a good idea to test the mirror for power demand by turning on the ignition key to the auxiliary mode and making sure it's working properly before sealing the A-pillar molding.

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.