Designed to provide the driver of a car, truck, van, or SUV with a view down the sides and rear of the vehicle whilst driving, the side view mirror is often one of the first pieces needing replacement due to its outward projection. Car doors in parking lots, encounters with wild animals, and careless passersby all contribute to the breakage or misalignment of these mirrors, often necessitating repairs or complete replacement. Available from local automotive parts shops and online at eBay, these tools and replacement parts coupled with a bit of research into the proper repair process allows even novice vehicle owners to make their own repairs to save time and money whilst restoring the side view mirror to working order.
Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, the side view mirror either attaches to the inside of the door or the outside with a series of bolts. Determining the exact placement of these bolts is essential before owners can start the repair, as it dictates the exact tools necessary for the job.
Before removing any components, take a moment to spread out a drop cloth or vehicle protection mat to reduce the risk of damaging the surrounding paint. It also proves helpful to remove all tools and compounds from their packaging and arrange items on a nearby surface to facilitate quick removal and repair so owners can get back on the road quickly.
To make a clean and efficient repair, gather the tools and materials needed to repair or replace a side view mirror.
Tools and Materials
Takes the place of the broken mirror
Allows owners to match the new part to the vehicle
Ensures damage-free access to inner panels
Loosens some types of mirror fasteners
Loosens fasteners that do not use screws
Armed with the side view mirror tools, owners can move on to the safe replacement and reattachment of the part.
If the replacement mirror is not already primed and painted to match the car's colour scheme, use a primer and then a vial of touch-up paint to cover the entire outer surface in a light, even coat. Repeat the process once more and finish with a coat of clear protectant spray. Allow the part to dry for a minimum of 24 hours to ensure a clean finish before installing it on the vehicle.
Depending on the type of mirror mounting, the process for unbolting the mirror varies. To remove an outer mounted mirror assembly, pry the plastic housing off the door with a flat screwdriver, taking care not to scratch the door or window. This exposes the three to five mounting bolts that either unscrew using a standard or cordless screwdriver or unbolt with the use of a torque wrench. After removing these bolts, the mirror easily slips out of its spot.
The process for removing an interior-mounted side view mirror begins with opening the car door and locating the attachment points of the door panel fasteners on the top, bottom, and side of the panel. Using the panel removal tool, gently pry the door panel off using a light, outward motion and continue around the door until the piece releases. Keeping one hand on the mirror, use a screwdriver to loosen the retaining fasteners, remove the mirror, and set it aside for later disposal.
For outer-mounted mirrors, reattachment follows the same process as the old mirror's removal, only in reverse. For the interior-mounted mirror, place the mirror in its proper position and attach the bolts from the inside, taking care to tighten them to a secure hold. To finish up, replace the interior panel by lining it up with the fastener receptacles and gently pressing the piece until it clicks back into place.
Whether you need a completely new mirror assembly or individual pieces to make a repair, you can find all the items necessary to fix your side mirror on eBay. Use targeted keyword phrases like "side view mirror" when using the Search bar found on any page of the eBay site. You can also search in the Daily Deals for more options.
Replacing and repairing a damaged side view mirror is important for the safety of everyone in the vehicle. Doing so also can improve the aesthetics of the vehicle as well as its value and owners can find the parts to complete the repair on eBay.