How to Fix a Side-View Mirror

by Andie Francese

Repairing and changing a side-view mirror is a simple project that can be done in under an hour. The type of repair will depend entirely on the type of mirror you have on your car. Whether electronic or manual both can be repaired or replaced easily.

How to Fix a Side-View Mirror

First, you must figure out what is wrong with your mirror. A manual mirror with broken glass is easy to fix. You can find a piece of replacement glass at an auto-parts store. Once you have the glass, go back and pry off any old glass. Wear heavy gloves to make sure you do not cut yourself. Once you have the glass removed, take the new glass, peel the back and stick it into place. The job is done in just a few minutes. Electric mirrors, which most new cars have, will likely require an entire new assembly. A new assembly is available at most parts stores, dealerships or junk yards, depending on the car.

Once you have bought a new assembly, you will need to remove the old assembly. Open the door and inspect the side where the mirror is. There is likely an access panel. It will be shaped like a small triangular piece of plastic. Once you locate the access panel, look for screws. If there are screws, use your screwdriver to unscrew the panel and then remove it. If there are no screws, the piece will likely just pop off. Wedge your flathead screwdriver under the panel and pull toward you to pop it off.

Once the access panel is off, you will likely see a wiring harness. You can unclip the wiring harness. (Note: Do not cut any wires.) Once you have the harness apart, you will see a few bolts holding the mirror in place. Unscrew the bolts and place them into a safe container. While taking the bolts off, keep your hand on the mirror.

Carefully pull the mirror away from the car and set it aside. Take the new mirror and thread the wire through the hole. It helps to have a friend on hand holding the mirror as you do this. Once you have this done, connect the new wiring to the other side of the harness. Take the bolts you removed and put them back in place. The mirror is officially installed.

Before you put the access panel back on, test the mirror to make sure it works. Once you know the electronic controls are working you can pop the access panel back on and secure it into place either by pushing on it (if it is a pop-off version) or replacing the screws (if it is a screwed-on version). You are officially set.

Tip

  • check A great place to find cheap assemblies is eBay. The parts section is well stocked and you might be able to get the item at a fraction of what you would pay at a regular parts store. Keep all nuts, bolts and trim panels in a safe place. You will need them to put the assembly back together.

Items you will need

About the Author

Andrea "Andie" Francese. She worked as an entertainment editor, blogger and managing editor for the Mercy College "Impact" starting in 2006. Francese won 2 Quill Awards for her work on the "Impact" including Excellence in Journalism and Enterprise Journalism. She currently works for several blogging sites. Francese holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in media studies at Mercy College.