DIY Auto Repair Side View Mirror on a Ford Taurus

by Jody L. Campbell

Replacing the side view mirror on the Ford Taurus requires removing the interior door trim panel. Since the Taurus has been around for many years, there are some generational design changes that may employ slightly different procedures. However, this is something that is not terribly complicated to do. You can purchase an inexpensive mirror designed for your Taurus without paying dealership prices, and then save even more money by installing it yourself.

Interior Door Trim Panel

You must first remove the door trim panel. Most repair manuals will instruct you to disconnect the negative battery terminal first; however, this is not necessary as long as no one is going to activate power to the window or mirror during the replacement procedure. Power the window in the down position and then remove the keys from the ignition to prevent power demand. Locate all the door trim panel retaining screws and remove them with a Phillips screwdriver. The screws are often hidden beneath plastic plugs that will be the same color as the interior panel. There is one located on the door handle assembly, one in the arm rest cup and, in some cases, one beneath the window control module. The module on some Taurus models needs to be pried off of the arm rest to reveal the retaining screw. Earlier models with manual windows will have to have the manual door crank removed. Look along the bottom of the door panel for any other visible covers or retaining screws. Look for any retaining screws on the surface of the speaker cover and remove them, if applicable. Locate the triangular cover over the interior door panel on the opposite side of the rear view mirror. Some models have retaining screws holding the cover, while other will simply pry off with a suitable pry tool. Begin to pry the door panel away from the door frame using the pry tool and start along the bottom, working your way up each side. The panels are connected to the frame by interior clips that needs to be unseated. Once the panel is disengaged from the door frame, you can disconnect the door handle rod and the wire harness connections in order to remove the door panel. Locate and disconnect the wire harness for the mirror as well.

Access to the Mirror

Using a ratchet and a socket, you can now remove the three retaining nuts holding the mirror to the door frame. The mirror will undoubtedly be somewhat affixed to the door from exposure and will need to be gently pried off. Be careful not to scratch the paint on the door. Remove the mirror and attached wire harness through the small access hole in the door frame. Reinstall the new mirror by reversing the procedure. The door panel retaining clips will snap back into place by pushing them inward with slight convincing.

Side-Impact Air Bags

Some newer Taurus models may feature side-impact air bags. If this is the case, read the owner's manual before attempting to remove the interior door panel to prevent accidental deployment. Most side-impact air bags can be turned off with a power switch or by removing the negative battery terminal and allowing a few minutes for the system to power down.

Mirror or Glass

Some people may opt to replace just the glass in the side view mirror if the assembly hasn't been compromised. While it may sound simpler, it isn't, and requires breaking the remaining mirror glass from the assembly and prying off the glued-on parts. You'd then need to remove as much of the old glue as possible. An application of new glue would be required with a slight amount of curing time in order for the glue to handle the weight of the new mirror glass. Finding the glass to fit the mirror on your Taurus may also present a challenge.

Painted Mirrors

Most side view mirrors are black. However, some upscale Taurus models may feature a mirror painted in the same color as the car. In this case, you can either replace both mirrors to be black, or you can purchase the same colored paint to color the mirror. Be sure to tape off the glass of the mirror before painting.

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.