How to Repair a Rear View Mirror

by S. A. Holt

So, you head out to the car for a quick trip to the store only to discover that your rear view mirror has fallen off the windshield and now resides in a heap on the floor. Not having paid much attention to your rear view mirror before, aside from adjusting it from time to time, it's startling to discover that a little glue is all that is holding it in place. It's pretty heavy, and clearly a little hot glue from a craft gun isn't going to do the job. The old glue is still clinging to the windshield like a second skin, so that's a problem too.Modern technology and a 15 minute cleanup is all you need to reattach your windshield for another few years. Super adhesive glue that works well on glass, a little scraping and some curing time should do the trick. The best part is that it's all available in a tidy little kit you can pick up in the automotive department of your nearest variety store.

Clean and Prepare the Mirror

Locate the button piece on the rear view mirror. Mirrors are usually made up of two parts: the mirror itself, and a button or small arm. The button is glued to the windshield, and the mirror mounts and swivels on the button.

Remove the button section from the rear view mirror.

Inspect the flat portion of the button for adhesive residue.

Remove any adhesive with a razor scraper.

Clean the button with the solvent that comes in the rear view mirror reattachment kit.

Clean and Prepare the Windshield

Mark the area where the rear view mirror was originally mounted. There should be enough adhesive left on the windshield for you to get a good idea of where it was installed. Use a marking pen that will be easy to see. The mark is going to be your guide for reinstalling the mirror.

Scrape the windshield with the razor scraper to remove the leftover adhesive.

Be careful not to remove the guide marks you've just made.

Use the cleaning solvent in the reattachment kit to completely remove any remaining adhesive residue. Don't skip this step. Unsuccessful rearview mirror repairs are usually the result of trying to apply new adhesive to surfaces that aren't completely clean. The cleaner the button and windshield are, the tighter the seal will be.

Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area. Roll down the car's windows and make sure you have good air flow.

Wait for the cleaning solvent to dry completely. The recommended wait time is included with the instructions that came with the kit. It usually takes under 10 minutes.

Apply the Adhesive

Check to make sure you can identify your guide marks.

Orient the rearview mirror button so that you don't accidentally glue it on upside down.

Prepare the adhesive. Squeezing the tube is usually all you have to do. A glass ampoule in the tube breaks and mixes the two compounds inside.

Squeeze some adhesive on the button. The directions will specify how much adhesive you should use.

Affix the button to the windshield using your guide marks to position it properly.

Allow the adhesive to cure completely. This will usually take at least 15 minutes.

Attach the rear view mirror to the button once the adhesive has had time to cure.

Adjust the mirror and drive safely.


  • close Retract the blade on the razor scraper when you aren't using it.
  • close Do not exceed the recommended amount of adhesive. Using too much adhesive may keep the button from bonding with the windshield.
  • close Always work in a well ventilated area.

Items you will need

About the Author

S. A. Holt is a freelance writer with over four years of experience creating clean, accurate copy for print and Internet clients. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and enjoys spending her time reading and writing. Her clients include the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader book franchise and others.

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