How to Replace the Side View Mirror on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The side view mirrors on late model Vehicles cars are thick plastic plates with reflective paint coated on them. They sit inside a small ABS plastic cover called the "mirror assembly. " The cover protects the mirror from most minor incidents. If the mirror breaks, it will not shatter because it is made of plastic. Usually, the mirror cracks and looks like a spider web. This makes it all but impossible to view objects behind you through the mirror, and replacement is the only option.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Side View Mirror on a Ford Escape

Open the door and pull the plastic interior panel on the opposite side of the side mirror off the door with gentle pressure. It's held in place with clips, and pulling it will make the panel come off.

Unplug the wiring harness from the side mirror to the vehicle using your hands. Then unbolt the mirror from the door using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.

Place the replacement mirror in the stock location and support it with one hand while bolting it in place using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket in the other.

Plug the wiring harness from the side mirror into the door harness using your hands and push the interior panel back into the door to clip it in place.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set

  • Replacement side mirror

 How to Replace a Side View Mirror on a Rav4

Crank the Toyota Rav4's engine and turn the mirror all the way to one side with the control switch. This pushes one end of the mirror slightly out of its plastic cover.

Squeeze your fingers between the cover and the end of the mirror sticking out of the cover. Press your thumb against the front of the mirror and pull the mirror off the electric motor mount. The mirror has four large retaining tabs that squeeze around a small ball on the top of the mirror motor.

Adjust the mirror motor so the ball on top of the motor is in the center. If the mirror were still on, it would be flush with the surface of the mirror cover.

Place the new mirror into the cover and line up the tabs with the small ball on the motor. Push the mirror mounts around the ball by pressing on the mirror itself.

 How to Replace the Side View Mirror in a Mazda

Pull the broken mirror out of the mirror assembly. The mirror attaches to the assembly with four metal tabs. If the mirror is still intact, pull the whole thing out with your fingers. If the mirror cracked into pieces, a rare occurrence, pull all of the old mirror pieces out of the assembly.

Place the new mirror into the assembly with the reflective side facing outward. The metal tabs on the back of the mirror line up with a plastic ball located inside of the assembly. The mirror pivots on this ball. Push on the face of the mirror with the palm of your hand until you hear it snap into place.

Rotate the mirror in all directions. This allows you to ensure the mirror is free of any obstructions inside the assembly.

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