How to Replace a Side Mirror on a Honda Civic

by Jody L. Campbell

You can find quality aftermarket parts precisely designed for your Civic on places like eBay for a fraction of the cost you'd pay for dealership parts. Aftermarket parts are identical to the Honda manufactured parts, and if those break in the future, you won't feel so bad because you didn't pay three times the amount for it. Another way to save some serious money on having to replace the mirror is to do it yourself. It's not that hard, and you most likely have the tools lying around the house somewhere.

Open the door and the window all the way on the door of the side view mirror you need to replace.

Turn the ignition key to off if you have power windows and mirrors, and remove the keys.

Locate the black plastic triangular molding on the interior door side opposite the side view mirror. This is a snap-in piece of molding that can be pried away from the door with the screwdriver. You may need to pry from different vantage points until you can get your fingers underneath the molding and pull it away. Be careful not to scratch the paint on the interior side of the window frame. Placing a rag or thick cloth under the screwdriver can be helpful.

Locate the wire harness from the larger center hole in the cavity of the door if you have powered windows. The wire harness will have a little bit of play, and you will be able to manipulate it to expose the mirror plug and unplug it. You may have to use the screwdriver to press in the plastic locking tab of the plug. For manual mirrors, remove the mirror direction handle and interior sleeve.

Remove any foam or insulating plugs underneath the molding to expose the three studs and screws that hold the mirror to the door. Remove the nuts using the ratchet, extension and socket. Hold the telescopic magnet alongside each nut as you loosen it with the ratchet. This will help not losing or dropping the nut down inside the door cavity.

Hold the mirror on the outside while removing the last nut. This will be somewhat challenging, since you need to hold a magnet while operating a ratchet, and now add holding a mirror to the mix. Chances are, the weather stripping and the foam rubber padded protection under the broken mirror are going to hold it in place just from being there and tight so long. However, you do not want the mirror to drop off and cause a large and expensive scratch in your door panel while you're trying to perform a repair to save money. Loosen the last nut and determine if the mirror is ready to come off. If not, extract the nut with the magnet and work quickly. You will most likely have to convince the mirror to break its hold from the door.

Install the new mirror and carefully thread on the nuts. Tighten them with the ratchet, extension and socket, but be careful not to over-tighten and snap the mirror studs. For manual mirrors, you will have to also line up the mirror direction handle. Remove the handle, install the mirror, insert the sleeve on the inside of the door, then reinstall the handle.

Plug the wire harness back into the mirror plug and tuck the harness back inside the door cavity. It might be wise to test the power to the mirror before you close everything up.

Replace the black, triangular molding. It may have a lip that needs to be inserted into the window cavity. Make sure not to allow the lip to interfere with the operation of the window. Snap the molding into place.

Items you will need

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.