Car Repair and Maintenance

How to Reattach a Side View Mirror on a Car

This article reveals how to reattach a side view mirror at home that is cracked or broken. You do not have to contact the auto shop to fix your pairs. If you use a side mirror that is heated with electrical components, you can use pliers to remove and replace the side view mirror.

how to reattach a side view mirror

Side mirror replacement is even easier than you think, and it takes having the right toolkit to get it done. You would want to be careful not to break the mirror or scratch the car paint.

How to Reattach a Side View Mirror

In this section, you will discover the various steps to change your side view mirror. Side swipe is one of the most common auto accidents, and your side mirror is exposed to damages when your vehicle is parked in the open or even while driving. Therefore, knowing how to fix your mirror without a professional can get you can on the road ASAP. You don’t want to drive without your side mirror.

Below are the steps to reattach a side view mirror:

  1. Get Suitable Glass Cut for Your Vehicle and Apply Sealant

You can find glass cuts online via specialty websites or use a local hardware store to purchase a side view mirror suitable for your vehicle make and model. Glass cuts suitable for popular car models may not be readily available in stores, so you can find it online.

When cutting the glass, ensure to line it up with the frame so it fits in securely. The next thing you do is to apply your rubber sealant around the frame edge. The sealant should not go in the center because that’s where you will apply the adhesive backing of the mirror. Also, the sealant application should go in a relatively thick layer, so you keep the sealant about 0.75 inches away from the frame edges.

Make the sealant smooth around the edges of the plastic backing of the mirror using a knife, scoop or spoon. Note that the sealant only helps to secure the glass in place. Typically, new glass cuts come with adhesives.

  1. Prepare to Install the Side View Camera

First, you want to get safety equipment to protect your eyes and hands because if you would be working with broken glass, shards can cut your skin or fly into your eyes.

The next thing you want to do is to use a flat tool and get shattered glass pieces away. If the glue is still firm, you can apply force. Try to get rid of the glass shards so that it will be easier to replace the side view mirror. You can do with your ice scraper or the flat end of your screwdriver. You want to be careful not to drop the glass pieces on the floor to prevent injury. Ensure to clean the plastic surface of the mirror to give your car a finer look.

Now, add about 3 adhesive circles on the back of the new glass. You will then remove the protective backing paper from the adhesives. Arrange the backing paper evenly on the back of the mirror following the product instructions to know how to place them properly.

When all pads are in place, you can remove the other layers of the tape or backing paper. Try to cover the central part of the mirror backing and not the edges.

  1. Add the Mirror in Frame

When done with the steps above, including applying the sealant, insert the mirror in the plastic frame immediately. You must apply a little bit of pressure on the mirror. Hold the mirror firmly on the plastic frame for the adhesives to stick while the mirror glues to the sealant. You can have a look at the opposite side view mirror to guide you on how you can place the mirror properly.

  1. Hold Down the Mirror

After sticking your side view mirror, get a masking tape to hold it in place until the sealant dries off. A duct tape will not in holding the mirror properly. Arrange the masking tape across the edge of the mirror and around the mirror to hold down the glass firmly for it to dry. You may cut off longer strips of masking tape, but that may not be necessary so that you do not shift the glued mirror from its position.

  1. Remove the Tape

The final step is to remove the tape you use for the mirror to the backing. The product label should reveal how long it will take for the sealant to dry. If you can’t find the recommended time, contact the product manufacturer. Otherwise, leave it to dry for about 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can remove the tape. Hit the replaced side view mirror gently so see whether it is glued firmly. Your car is ready for a ride.

How to Replace a Side View Mirror with Electrical Components

In the section above, you learned how you learned the general installation process for a car sideview mirror. However, some mirrors use electrical components, and the procedure is slightly different. Below are the steps to replace a side view mirror with electrical components:

  1. Buy a Suitable Mirror for Your Car

If the local shops do not have a suitable replacement side view mirror for your car, you can get it online from a specialty online store. Note that the replacement mirror must suit the make and model of your vehicle. Before you commence the side mirror replacement, do a rough estimation to see whether the new glass fits well like the old glass. If the glass mismatches, request a new glass measuring a more suitable dimension of the frame.

If your vehicle uses heated side mirrors, get a piece of plastic and metal-backed glass suitable for your vehicle model.

  1. Prepare to Replace the Mirror

You need some form of safety tools, including protective gloves, to avoid getting cut by shattered glass. Next, pry off the glass using a flat-edged tool like a screwdriver. Use the flat-edged tool to pull out the old glass.

A heated mirror is pre-attached to a heavy backing and does not need adhesives to stick. Remove the mirror gently with a little pressure to avoid damaging any electrical component.

  1. Remove the Electrical Connectors

You can remove electrical connectors using pliers. Attach it to the edge of the component of the mirror and be careful with the areas you find the electrical connectors. You want to apply light pressure, squeeze and pull the pliers to disconnect the wires from the mirror.

  1. Replace the New Side View Mirror

After taking out the old mirror, replace the new mirror and attach the electrical connectors to it. Use your pliers to grip and place the electrical connectors in the same position as the old mirror. Use the glass product instructions to determine where to put the electrical connectors.

Electrical connectors are typically thin, metallic blocks. Apply a bit of pressure to secure these blocks properly. Firmly press the mirror into place, and then you will hear a click. Add a bit of pressure on the sides of the mirror.

Also Read: Can you wash your car using dish soap?

How to put a New Side View Mirror Case

  1. Remove the Mirror

First, turn off the car. Use the flat edge of your screwdriver to pry the mirror out of the casing. Concentrate on disconnecting the clips across the edge keeping the mirror to its casing. You may have to pry the mirror a little forcefully to get it out of the casing. If the mirror will not come out, push the bottom of the mirror inwards for the upper area to pop out.

  1. Disconnect the Wires

Use pliers or your fingers to disconnect the wires and retrieve any electrical component. You can apply a bit of force to remove the connectors attached to the back of the mirror if your vehicle uses heated mirrors.

Find the clips holding the mirror to the casing and lift them up with your pliers to release the mirror casing.

  1. Loosen the Mirror Casing

Using both hands, pull the cover off the side mirror. You might find about two more clips. Pull the old casing gently with a bit of pressure to disconnect it from the remaining clips.

  1. Replace the Mirror Case

Replace the new case on the back of the mirror and confirm that it fits properly. Otherwise, you might need another case that fits well. While replacing the new case, listen for e click sound. You may have to apply a little bit of pressure for the mirror to click and fit in securely.

Final Thoughts

With this guide, reattaching a side view mirror should be complete within a short time. When dealing with heated side view mirrors and that with electrical components, be careful not to break the cables. If your mirror performs any electrical function, put on the engine and see if the features are still functional.

Meanwhile, follow these steps to backflush your radiator.

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Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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