DIY Auto Repair Tips » September 20, 2015

Daily Archives: September 20, 2015

How to Replace a Side Mirror

You could simply be leaving to go to work when suddenly-you misjudge the distance between the wall and your car, or more specifically, your side mirror. This most likely leads to an infuriating moment where you curse the car, the mirror, the garage door, and possibly your job for putting you in this predicament in the first place.

Leave that unpleasant disposition at home, because replacing a side mirror isn’t too difficult and there are a few benefits of replacing the side mirror yourself. For example, you can choose the brand you want yourself, you don’t have to pay for the repairs, and because the repairs would most likely be below your insurance deductible anyways, asking them to replace a side mirror would be futile or, worse, hurtful. In other words, replacing the side mirror yourself will save you money and help you get back to focusing on more important things.

How do you replace a side mirror? Here’s a few steps to follow to help guide you in the replacement process.

• Step one involves getting the tools necessary to replace a side mirror and prepping the door for the new mirror.  You will need screwdrivers, sockets, and a door panel removal tool. It will be used for removing the door panel and all the retainer clips. If it is a manual window, that has a crank handle, then you especially need the door handle removal tool. It is used to slip between the window crank handle and door panel, which opens up the spring clip that holds the crank, allowing the crank to be pulled off of the spline. If you want the tool to work correctly, you must insert it from the side of the handle knob. In a pinch, you can use a long, thin screwdriver, but it is much easier with the door panel removal tool.

• Step two in replacing a side mirror involves retrieving the mirror and prepping it as well. You can often get aftermarket mirrors far less expensively than going for the on-brand type, which will help keep your expenses on this project down. The mirror will most likely come in black, which means it will need to be painted, at least if you want it to match the rest of the car. If not, black is always “in” and matches everything, anyway. You want to do this before installation to make it easier to mask and lowers overspray issues. You’ll find the paint color code from the manufactures information label normally located on the driver’s door. Once you have the paint, mask the mirror and any other glass found on the mirror. When you are painting, try not putting on too heavy of a coat for it could run. Do multiple coats for it to come out best, as well as painting rapidly so the paint does not dry after each pass.

• Step three involves removing the old mirror or what is left of it. To remove the old one, you will find many screws in hidden areas that are not plain to see. Some may be covered by small plastic caps, which can be removed with a screwdriver. There will most likely be a separate triangular trim piece where the mirror is mounted. You remove the panel by taking out the screws and clips holding it on, and then prying on it to loosen it up. The different wiring you see does not need to be messed with as long as the mirror’s wiring is accessible. Remove the mounting screws and disconnect the electric connection to pull the mirror off. Make sure the connector and wiring don’t fall inside the door as this will cause unnecessary trouble for you in the next step.

• Step four, the last step, is the one you have been waiting for, installing your new mirror. You basically are going to retrace your steps from when you removed the old one, starting with connecting your wiring. Put the mirror in the correct position, aligning it with the window trim. Make sure to figure out whether your car’s mirror mounts with the base flange under the rubber window seal or not. If it does, it is an important step to keep in mind as it ensures your window seals. Keep following your bread crumbs by tightening your screws, checking the wiring, finding all your clips and making sure they are undamaged. Finally, line up your door panel and tap liberally at the different clips’ locations and reinstall the screws, caps, and the mirror trim cover.

Having your side mirror set up and ready to be used is a responsible necessity. Following these simple steps to replace a side mirror will help you always be safe for both yourself and the many drivers following at your six.

Published by: