Side Mirror Replacement Instructions

by Will Chandler

There are several reasons to replace a side-view mirror on your vehicle: first, you might need a tow mirror for hauling a boat or trailer; secondly, you may have decided to upgrade your mirrors to power mirrors with defrost. Changing the mirrors will incorporate electrical components, body work and basic hand tool skills.

Removing the Old Mirror

Removing the old mirror is the first step in the replacement process. The make and model of the vehicle will determine the exact procedure for removing the side mirror. Open the door that the mirror is attached to and remove any door trim in the area of the mirror. Most of the trim will be removed by locating and removing star head screws. These screws may also be Phillips head screws. There will be screws exposed that go through the door and into the mirror. Again the make and model of the vehicle will affect the type and amount of screws that hold the mirror in place. If the mirrors are electronic, you need to disconnect the plugs before removing the mirror.Pull the mirror and the plug away from the body of the vehicle. Some mirrors may have a plastic or rubber gasket that seals the gap between the mirror and the body of the car. Use a rag or cloth and wipe off the gasket.

Attaching the Mirror

The new mirror may need to have electrical wires installed if the previous mirrors were not power mirrors. Power mirrors have small motors to adjust the viewpoint and also have defrost abilities. If you are installing power mirrors, route the electrical wires through the door opening and into the dash compartment. A common place to splice into wires on the dash is the power wire for the gauges. There are many other places that a power wire can be spliced, so choose the wire that is appropriate fro your vehicle. Make sure that the gasket is still in good condition before installing the mirror. Attach the mirror to the side of the car and insert the screws through the door and into the mirror. Tighten down the screws and make sure all the electrical connections are secure. Check the mirrors functions for power. If everything is operating properly, replace the door trim and tighten down the star head screws that hold the trim in place.

About the Author

Will Chandler is a corrective exercise trainer in Wilmington, NC. He has a Business degree from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Chandler has trained everyone from athletes to seniors since 2004. Chandler is an off road enthusiasts who practices welding and 4x4 fabrication.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera side view mirror image by Martin Shipps from