If your side view mirror is broken or the mirror glass is cracked and breaking, you can replace it yourself or have a professional fix it. This post and guide covers topics like how much a side view mirror replacement will cost, how to install one yourself correctly, and common mistakes to avoid when replacing the side view mirror and the mirror glass.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Side View Mirror?
A side view mirror replacement can cost from under $20 to over $200 for the mirror alone. The price will be lower or higher depending on how old the model and mirror is, and whether the mirror has extra functions like power heating or puddle lights. Towing mirrors can also be expensive, with some costing over $1,000 for a new set.
With the added cost of professional installation over $100, a side view mirror or mirror glass replacement can commonly cost over $100, and up to $200 or more. Purchasing and installing your own side view mirror or mirror glass can save you a lot of money.
Side View Mirror Installation Tips: What to Be Aware of When Installing a New Mirror
Side View Mirror Wiring Tips
Remove the Door Panel
If you’re not just replacing the mirror glass but installing an entire mirror assembly that comes with a wiring harness, you’ll have to remove the door panel to do this repair. You might be able to remove the sail panel directly behind the mirror, but we don’t recommend cutting the wires and trying to splice new wires on if you can’t access the wiring harness and need to remove the door panel.
Make Sure the Old and New Electrical Connectors Match
Before taking the mirror apart, check the connectors and make sure the ones on the new mirror are designed the same as the connectors on the damaged mirror. Don’t bother removing and replacing the mirror if the wiring harnesses don’t match.
Remember the Placing of Fasteners and Reinstall the Wiring in the Same Position
Before removing the wiring harness, look for fasteners that secure it to the door and remember their location. You’ll want to reinstall the mirror wiring in the same spot they’ve been fastened. Put the harness in the original position and don’t put it near moving components like the window regular so the mirror’s wire doesn’t pinch and break.
If the new mirror doesn’t have fasteners but you need some, wire ties are a good substitute.
Also, remember to connect the wires at the right location on the window switch.
Pull the Wiring Fully Out of the Mirror Before Installing
When installing the new mirror, send the wiring harness through the same way it was originally placed in and make sure it’s pulled all the way out and that there is no slack or part of the wire still inside the mirror. When installing the new mirror, make sure the wires are not wrapped around a stud so when the mirror is tightened the wire isn’t pinched.
Side View Mirror Seal Tips
Use the Old Mirror Gasket If Necessary
Most mirrors have a gasket. The new mirror might not come with one, so make sure to remove it from the old mirror if it has one. Otherwise water can leak into the cabin.
Reinstall Any Insulation
Also, reinstall any insulation that goes with the mirror. Without it, you’ll might hear a wind noise and/or feel a draft when it’s cold outside.
Side View Mirror Fastener Tips
Support the Mirror By Hand When Removing
Support the mirror by hand when removing the last fastener. The old mirror can fall and break, and the mirror glass can shatter. Some mirrors have a retainer that will hold the mirror so it doesn’t fall during removal.
Make Sure the Mirror Is Fastened with the Original Bolts, and Don’t Overtighten Them
Make sure to replace the bolts and nuts once the mirror is installed, otherwise you’ll notice it rattle and loosen over bumps while driving. This might not only be annoying, but it will also make it difficult to see and use the side view mirror.
Also, don’t overtighten the bolts. Overtightening can strip the studs and break the mirror.
Mirror Glass Removal Tips
Wear Safety Glasses
Since the mirror glass can break and shatter, wear safety glasses to protect yourself.
Tape the Glass
If the mirror glass is damaged, you can save money by replacing only the glass. If you decide to remove the mirror glass, coat all of the glass with masking tape. This will keep it from breaking further and harming you.
Look at the New Mirror Glass to Find Out How to Remove It
The mirror glass will be secured differently depending on the mirror. You might have to pry off the glass with screwdriver, or it might slide up. The back of the new mirror can tell you how to remove it, like where to pry to loosen the clips.
Be Mindful of the Terminals and Remember Their Positioning
When the glass is removed, be careful with the connectors on the mirror glass to not ruin the terminal. Lightly pry them up from the glass and remember how they’re placed.
Tape the Glass During Reinstallation and Push on the Center to Lock It
To prevent the glass from breaking during the install, coat the mirror glass with masking tape. If the mirror has clips, push on the glass where the clips are to secure it. Push on the center of the glass to lock it and don’t push from the side.
Don’t Fold Power Mirrors or Mirrors with Motors Manually
If you have power folding mirrors, don’t fold them in manually. It’s best to cycle them through. It’s not a big deal if you manually fold them a few times by accident, but you don’t want to do this too much to prevent damage. Also, if the mirror has a motor, you don’t want to move the glass by hand too much to mitigate any damage.
Don’t Secure the Mirror with Glue, Sheet Metal, or Duct Tape
Not attaching the mirror properly and securing it with items like glue, sheet metal, or duct tape may not fully secure it and can cause future problems that might not be as easy to fix.
How to Install a Side View Mirror
The process for removing and installing a side view mirror can vary depending on the vehicle, but here’s steps for a typical repair
General steps to install a side view mirror
- Remove the Door Panel
Find the fasteners and remove them from the door panel. Fasteners can be located around the perimeter of the panel, in the door pull, and behind trap doors on parts like the door handle. Then pry the door panel from its clips with a door panel removal tool, pull the door panel up and off, and peel down the water shield if necessary
- Disconnect the Electrical Connector
If the side view mirror has power functions, disconnect the electrical connector from the side view mirror
- Loosen the Bolts and Remove the Mirror
Loosen and remove the bolts or fasteners that hold the mirror to the door. With the mirror loose, remove it
- Put the Mirror into Place and Tighten the Bolts
Place any gaskets or insulation into place and put the side view mirror to the door. Fasten the bolts to the mirror
- Connect the Electrical Connector
Connect the electrical connector in the same position that it was, and secure it to the door with wire ties if necessary
- Test the Mirror
With the mirror installed, connect the power window switch and test any electrical functions before reinstalling the door panel
- Replace the Door Panel
Lift door panel into place, press and clip it onto the door, and reinstall any fasteners
How-to Videos for More DIY Repairs
Installing your own mirror can save you hundreds. Learn how to do this common repair on many different vehicles with 1A Auto’s how-to videos. We have many videos to help you diagnose and install tons of parts.
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