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Towing Mirrors

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How to Install Towing Mirrors in Four Steps

If you are bringing a trailer along on your next trip, then installing a pair of towing mirrors will help your drive become a lot easier and safer. Unlike your regular side mirrors, these components extend out further from your vehicle, giving you a better view of what is behind you and your trailer. This is a huge help when you are in the middle of traffic or when you are backing up. To learn how to install these towing mirrors, follow the guide below.

Required skill level: Expert

Needed tools and materials

  • 10 mm nut

  • 10 mm open-ended wrench

  • Electric drill with a set of small drill bits

  • Chalk
  • Removing the trim piece and stuffer gasket

    To start, open the door-either the driver's or the passenger side, whichever you will be working on first-and roll the window down completely. Gently pull the top edge of the corner door trim piece away from the door. Once it is disengaged, pull the trim piece upward to remove it from the door trim panel. Then, gently take the gasket from the door pocket. Set these pieces aside for reinstallation later.

    Detaching the electrical connector

    If your side mirrors are manual or if you are installing manual towing mirrors, then move ahead to the next step. However, if they are electrically powered or you are installing electric towing mirrors, do this procedure first: pull the wiring harness out of the door to access the plug. Then, gently pry the locking tab on the side of the plug and pull the harness away. Do not let the harness and connector fall into the door cavity.

    Removing the side mirrors

    While your assistant holds the side mirror, use a 10 mm open-ended wrench to remove the three 10 mm nuts inside the door. Make sure not to drop them into the door cavity. Then, slowly remove the mirror from the door. If your car is equipped with an electrical harness, feed it through as the component is removed.

    Installing the towing mirrors

    Take out the mounting plates for the towing mirrors. These will mount on the doors of your vehicle, where you will attach the component. Place each mounting plate in position on each front door and, using a chalk, mark the areas where the screw holes will need to be drilled. Once these are marked, get your drill out and select a smaller sized drill bit than the metal screws that you will use to attach the plate. Drill the holes for the mounting plates and then screw them into the body of the vehicle. Mount the rest of the towing mirror assemblies to the plate. Finally, while sitting inside your vehicle, adjust the mirrors until you have a clear view behind your truck.

    Tip

    For successful installation of the towing mirrors, you must have someone assist you.

    Towing Mirrors Makes Bestsellers

    Towing Mirrors Articles

    • Dorman versus Kool Vue: The Towing Mirror Head-to-head Brawl 26 February 2013

      If you own a truck and are particularly fond of using it to haul your boat, trailer, or just about anything that can be towed, we don't need to tell you the importance of a towing mirror. Because the addition of a "tow" behind your already long-bodied truck makes rear clearance very difficult, these mirrors stuck to the ends of your side mirrors are all the more important safety features. But which one should you get? We took two of the very best brands and pit them against one another to figure out which is the better choice for you.


      Build quality

      Kool Vue has the advantage of having specialized in car and truck mirrors for the nearly three decades of it existence-and it shows in the quality of their towing mirrors. The glass is clear and perfectly engineered to give you a sightline adequate for safe driving while hauling, and the casing is lightweight plastics that feel solid and stable. Dorman, while not specializing in mirrors, has almost a hundred years of experience in the automotive industry to back it up. Truth be told, when set side by side, the mirrors from each respective company are impossible to tell apart.

      WINNER: Kool Vue and Dorman


      Price point

      Because the Dorman brand has been around-and has been successful-for nearly as long as automobiles have, it isn't surprising that they command a fairly high price for their products. When you shell out money for a Dorman, however, you know it is well worth it. On the other hand you have Kool Vue-existing only a tiny fraction of the time Dorman has, with comparable product quality-but sells towing mirrors for only 50% of what Dorman charges you.

      WINNER: Kool Vue


      After-sale support and warranty coverage

      Here's where Dorman bounces back, however. While you pay double the price, you get a much longer warranty coverage on your towing mirror. Exactly how long? "For its entire lifetime" is how long. That means it could break down 5 years or so down the line, and Dorman would still cover you. Kool Vue offers only a 2-year warranty at most. So, if you like to rough it more than the average driver, and you don't mind shelling out a bit more, Dorman might be the smarter investment.

      WINNER: Dorman


      Verdict

      It's really a matter of preference-both are guaranteed to be of the best quality. If you need to save a bit more, go for Kool Vue. If you expect, however, to be facing a lot of long, rough drives over the years, then Dorman is your brand.