Photo of a side view mirror.
Changing a side view mirror is easier than it looks. CC by J Rawls/Wikimedia Commons

Your side view mirror is broken, and now you need to replace it. First things first, avoid the roads as much as possible. Driving around with a ruined side mirror can be very dangerous because it is mainly used to prevent accidents. It helps with safe driving by allowing you to see blind spots and detect other moving vehicles before switching lanes. So it is very important that you replace your side view mirrors as soon as possible.

How to replace side view mirrors

If you need to replace side view mirrors, the best way to save money is to buy the parts and do the labor yourself. Replacing side view mirrors is simple, and you can do it quickly and easily with these steps instead of paying outrageous labor costs at the auto repair shop. Here is what you need to do, courtesy of eHow:

Things you’ll need:

- Owner’s manual

- Replacement mirror

- Pry tool

- Screwdriver and/or torx driver

- Nut driver and/or socket wrench

- Small, shallow plastic bowl, cup or container

Step 1: Make sure you have the replacement mirror. Be sure the replacement mirror matches the vehicle’s make, model and year. If you can’t find a new side mirror at your dealership or auto parts stores, try looking at salvage yards or online. You also can save a ton of money that way.

Step 2: Roll your window down and turn off the vehicle.

Step 3: Remove the negative cable of the battery. This is an important step, as there is electrocution risk involved when cables are still attached.

Step 4: Take out the trim pieces of the interior door panel using your pry tool. Then, pull out your screwdriver and begin taking out the screws that are holding the panel in position. In some cases, a corner trim piece may need to be removed first before you can lift the door panel off.

Step 5: Move on to the next step of you have manual roll-down windows. If you have power-controlled mirrors, however, the wiring harness needs to be unplugged.

Step 6: Using a nut driver or a socket wrench, take out the mirror bolts so that you are able to remove the entire mirror assembly from the car.

Step 7: Pull apart the actual mirror from the mirror assembly. You can use a torx driver to take out the screws and then gently pry the plastic tabs on the backing until the two pieces fall apart.

Step 8: Attach the new mirror to the assembly by snapping it onto the backing with the tabs.

Step 9: Once the new mirror is attached to the backing, place it into the mirror assembly.

Step 10: Reverse each step to reinstall the entire mirror assembly back on the car.

Safely replace side view mirrors

Once you have done the last step to replace your side view mirrors, there is one more vital thing to keep in mind. The last thing you need to remember is to make sure everything is back in place before reconnecting the battery.

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