Your car side mirrors are one of the most important parts of your car, and many drivers only realise how much they rely on them when one breaks. Losing the use of one of these mirrors can affect how well you can see cars to the rear side of you, and are essential tools when merging onto a motorway or busy road.
So how do you fix a car side mirror? We’ve penned this guide to help you repair your broken mirror, so you can be on the road again as soon as possible.
How much of the mirror actually needs to be replaced depends on the severity of the damage. In many cases, if it’s only the glass that’s been smashed or damaged, this is only part that needs to be replaced. However, in more severe cases, the whole unit may need replacing – but don’t panic, you can still do this yourself, without a trip to your mechanic.
Replacing the glass part of your side mirror is an easy repair that can be done in minutes. Before you start the repair, put on some thick leather work gloves, this will help protect your hands against any sharp edges where the glass has broken.
First of all, you need to remove any pieces of broken glass that are loose. Do not try and loosen any part of the mirror that is still attached as this may damage the mechanism of the mirror. Once you’ve collected all the loose pieces, clean the remaining glass with glass cleaner to get rid of any dirt that may have worked its way into the mirror, and allow this to dry.
Your new mirror glass will come with a two-sided adhesive, which will be stuck to the back of it. Remove the paper that’s covering it and carefully place the new glass over the old one. It should completely cover the old glass, and be completely even, whilst still allowing the mirror to move freely. Once you have it in the right place, press the new glass down so that it sticks firmly to your mirror.
Once stuck down, use a paper towel to rub across the surface of your mirror, to check that it is on properly, and that there are no parts of the old glass sticking out. Then adjust your mirror into the optimum visibility position and you’re done.
Replacing your entire mirror is more complicated than just replacing the glass, so it’s important to allow yourself a good amount of time to do this.
If your mirror does not have a remote adjustment, you do not need to remove the door panel. You only need to remove the mirror mount, which will be held in place by a screw under a cap.
To remove the old mirror, you’ll need to go inside your vehicle and find the inner door panel for the mirror. This will be held in place with a combination of clips and screws, and some of these can be difficult to find. Exactly where they are will depend on your vehicle, so check your manual for details on this.
Once the screws have been removed, you’ll need to unclip the clips that are around the edge of the door panel. This can be done using a long, thin, flat-bladed screwdriver. You’ll now be able to lift the door panel off of the door.
After you’ve separated the door panel from the door, you need to disconnect the power connector that controls the mirror adjustment. This will come out of the mirror mount bracket and go under the inner door panel. The last thing you need to do is remove the three screws that are connecting the glass to the rest of the mirror.
Your new mirror should sit exactly where the old one did, so to attach your new mirror simply reverse the entire removal procedure. Connect your new mirror to the car’s wiring, and adjust the mechanism to make sure it works. If it doesn’t work, make sure that the power connector has been added correctly.
When you get to re-clipping the the door panel clips, hit them with a rubber mallet if possible. This will ensure they stay in place.