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The Complete Guide to Buying Side Mirrors

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The Complete Guide to Buying Side Mirrors
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Side Mirror Buying Guide

Vehicle side mirrors are an essential safety aspect while driving, providing the driver with a better view of his or her blind spot. However, the protruding nature of a vehicle’s side mirrors (sometimes called wing mirrors) make them a prime target for accidents and for damage to occur. Purchasing new side mirrors is therefore often necessary, but some basic considerations need to be taken into account in order for a buyer to select the most suitable option.
 

Reasons to Replace Side Mirrors

Accidents and damage are not the only reason a vehicle owner may need to replace their side mirrors, and the different reasons can help determine which type of mirrors are the most suitable.

Side Mirrors as an Upgrade

Buying side mirrors to upgrade a vehicle may be purely a case of aesthetics. On eBay, buyers are able to find mirrors of a particular colour or pattern in order to personalise their vehicle or make it stand out. Alternatively, side mirrors can be upgraded for performance reasons. New side mirrors may contain built-in turn signals, defrosters, or tinting that reduces the glare created by headlamps reflected in the mirrors at night.

Broken Side Mirrors

As previously mentioned, the main reason people replace their vehicle’s side mirrors is as a result of damage, either due to wear and tear or an accident. There are three major parts of a side mirror that are commonly damaged: its housing, the mirror itself, and the electronics that control the mirror. Depending on which of these parts are broken, buyers can determine whether to replace the entire side mirror or to just buy certain parts, such as wires or a new mirror surface.
 

OEM vs. Aftermarket Side Mirrors

When replacing or upgrading side mirrors, drivers can choose between OEM and aftermarket side mirrors.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) mirrors are those that are made to the exact specifications according to the vehicle’s manufacturer. OEM mirrors may be made by the manufacturer itself or by a separate company contracted to do so. They match the vehicle’s original side mirrors exactly.

Aftermarket Side Mirrors

The other option is to purchase aftermarket side mirrors. Though not to the exact specifications of the original mirrors, aftermarket mirrors can be made to closely resemble the original, often at a lower price. Buyers looking to upgrade their side mirrors will likely wish to go with an aftermarket option, which can include different colours and designs not made by the OEM.
 

Types of Side Mirrors

There are three distinct types of side mirrors, each providing different benefits to the driver. The descriptions in the table below will help buyers to decide which type of mirror is most suitable for themselves and their vehicle.
 

Type of Mirror

Description

Major Benefit

Convex

Mirror bulges outwards in a spherical shape

Provides a wider angle and field of vision compared to concave or planar mirrors

Aspheric

Non-spherical surface

Eliminates ‘spherical aberration’, or a distortion of light common in other mirror shapes

Planar (Plane Mirror)

Flat-surfaced mirror, much like most common household mirrors

Provides an exact virtual representation of objects

 
When considering the different types of side mirrors, buyers need to choose between the larger field of view that convex and aspheric mirrors offer, and the more precise image of the planar mirror. While planar mirrors lack the sense of warning that comes by making objects appear closer than they are, they may show fewer of those objects, therefore increasing the size of the blind spot.
 

How to Buy Side Mirrors on eBay

eBay offers a wide range of different types of side mirrors and searching for them is simple. Because there are so many different types of side mirrors, the most effective way to search for these items on eBay is to use the search bar function, located at the top of every page. Identifying which type of side mirrors are needed first, and then using an exact search term, such as "Toyota Corolla side mirrors," is the most effective way for the buyer to find what they’re looking for.
 

Conclusion

Buyers have the option of buying side mirrors of varying types, such as convex, aspheric, or planar, as well as choosing from mirrors manufactured by the original maker, or those produced by others. A wide selection of side mirrors are offered on eBay, where discounts and deals can often be found.

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