How to Place a Convex Mirror on a Side View Mirrorby Tony Breedlove
Convex mirrors are used by professional drivers to increase driving safety and avoid collisions. Truck drivers use them and most police car have them. The biggest advantage to having a convex or wide angle mirror is they eliminate the blind spot on the left side of the car perpendicular to the rear tire. This is why they are sometimes called blind-spot mirrors. Convex mirrors on trucks are clamped onto the mirror bracket; but there are convex mirrors made for automobiles which do not require clamps and will not alter the lines of the car. These can be purchased for under $10 at most local parts stores and department stores (as well as online).
Measure your driver side mirror.
Go to your local automobile parts store or department store and select a stick-on convex mirror which will fit onto your existing mirror. These mirrors are designed to be installed easily and removed if you so desire. Look through several mirrors and imagine the view you will have when one is installed on your car. If you go to a smaller parts store, the clerk may allow you to take several mirrors out to your car to test them. You may want to select the largest mirror you can fit on your existing mirror because they are easier to adjust to and they provide a better view of your blind spot.
Clean your side mirror thoroughly with window cleaner, making sure your remove all dust and any road film. Clean the mirror again with a clean paper towel and rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining residue. Many convex mirrors fall off because the mirror was not cleaned well before installation.
Remove the mirror from the package and install the double-sided tape onto the mirror (if required) but leave the backing paper on the tape.
Sit in the driver seat with the window rolled down. Adjust your side mirror so you can see correctly. Hold the convex mirror against your side mirror and move it around until you have achieved the optimal location; make a note of that location. You may need to adjust your mirror later so be sure the convex mirror does not touch the mirror housing and interfere with the movement of your side mirror.
Remove the backing from the double-sided tape on the convex mirror and place the mirror on your side view mirror. Press it firmly in place and hold it there for about 60 seconds to ensure a good bond.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the convex mirror. Do not install the mirror if it is raining or too cold or the mirror will not stick properly. Many people initially have a problem focusing on a convex mirror; however, once you get accustomed to using one you will install one on every car you own. It is much easier to see out of a larger convex mirror than it is a small mirror, so you may want to consider buying a larger mirror. Convex mirrors last for many years but the double-sided tape may last only a few months. By placing a bead of clear silicone caulk around the edge of the convex mirror before you install it your mirror will ensure that it will stay affixed for years.
Items you will need
- Windex-type window cleaner
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paper towels
- Jason Grzeskowiak/Demand Media