Mirror Glass Buyer's Guide
- The mirror glass is the reflective component of a side view mirror assembly. These external rearview mirrors are on each end of the dashboard where they meet the vehicle door.
- A side mirror glass allows the driver to observe cars and objects behind and on the sides of the vehicle.
- There are two types of mirror glass used on side mirror assemblies—a flat mirror for the driver’s side and a convex mirror for the passenger side.
- Mirror glass features include blind spot mirrors, blue mirrors, heated mirrors, and built-in turn signal lights.
- The driver’s side mirror glass is typically flat because it is installed closer to the driver at an angle wherein distortion of the image is not necessary to improve visibility.
- A convex mirror compensates for the angle between the driver and the passenger-side mirror by distorting the reflected image to extend the driver’s field of vision.
- Blind-spot mirrors provide a wider view of the rear of the vehicle to prevent blind spots, especially for larger trucks or RVs that have to tow trailers.
- Auto-dimming side mirror glass is sandwiched between layers of electrochromic gel that automatically dims the reflection depending on the detected brightness in the surroundings.
- Heated mirrors come with built-in heating elements that keep their surface clear from moisture and ice while driving in colder climates.
- The cost of a side mirror glass will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific make and model. In general, OE replacement mirror glass will cost you somewhere between $1 for a basic mirror to $433 for something that comes with built-in heating and turn signal light capabilities.
- Whenever a side mirror glass is cracked or shattered, it cannot be repaired and must only be replaced.
What is a side mirror glass?
The mirror glass is the reflective component of a side view mirror assembly. These external rearview mirrors are on each end of the dashboard where they meet the vehicle door. They are made from tempered auto glass—a heated and rapidly cooled single-ply sheet of glass. This type of method is used in fabricating these mirrors to prevent them from shattering into sharp pieces upon impact.
What is a side mirror glass for?
A side mirror glass allows the driver to observe cars and objects behind and on the sides of the vehicle. There are two types of mirror glass used on side mirror assemblies—a flat mirror for the driver’s side and a convex mirror for the passenger side. Their differences will be discussed in the next section.
This exterior reflective component allows you to have a better view of the surroundings of your vehicle so that you can easily switch lanes, safely make turns, and park your car with no problems.
Types of side mirror glass
There are two main types of side mirror glass: flat and convex mirrors. These two types of replacement mirror glass may also come in combination with several mirror glass features such as blind-spot mirrors, blue mirrors, heated mirrors, and built-in turn signal lights.
Flat mirrors (driver side)
The driver’s side mirror glass is typically flat because it is installed closer to the driver, at an angle wherein distortion of the image is not necessary to improve visibility. This also means that this mirror glass reflects the actual size and location of the objects and vehicles on the road.
Convex mirrors (passenger side)
On the other side of the vehicle is a convex mirror that is installed in the passenger side-view mirror. These mirrors often come with the warning, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” Due to the distance between the driver and the passenger side mirror, using a flat mirror would provide a limited view of the right rear side of the vehicle. A convex mirror is able to compensate for this and extend the field of vision of the driver by distorting the reflected image.
These mirrors are either built into the convex mirror or installed as an added attachment. As its name suggests, these provide a wider view of the rear of the vehicle to prevent blind spots, especially for larger trucks or RVs that have to tow trailers.
Side mirrors are similar to one-way mirrors because they reduce the amount of glare or light reflected back to the driver, preventing a blinding effect. Auto-dimming side mirror glass is sandwiched between layers of electrochromic gel that automatically dims the reflection depending on the detected brightness in the surroundings.
This type of mirror glass comes with built-in heating elements that keep its surface clear from moisture and ice while driving in colder climates. To check if your mirror is heated, simply look for a pin-striped grid connected to a small wire at the back of the glass panel.
Mirrors with built-in turn signal lights
Built-in turn signal lights on the mirror itself increase your vehicle’s visibility while switching lanes or making a turn.
Can you replace just a side mirror glass?
Yes. If the mirror gets cracked or shatters but the side mirror housing is still in good shape, you may opt to only have the mirror glass replaced for a new one. Replacing a damaged side mirror glass is an easy fix that can be DIY-ed or done with the help of a professional.
When is a side mirror glass replacement needed?
Whenever a side mirror glass is cracked or shattered, it cannot be repaired and must only be replaced. Taping up or gluing together shattered glass is not recommended because they reduce the ability of your mirrors to provide an accurate reflection of the road.
While different states have varying laws concerning the legality of driving with one or both side mirrors broken, it is in your best interest to have it replaced as soon as possible to protect your safety and those of other vehicles and pedestrians on the road.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Replacement Mirror Glass
Mirror, mirror in your ride, driving safety is what they provide. Okay, that was a lousy rhyme, but that's way better than having lousy safety when you're on the road. Being the competent driver that you are, you're likely to be aware of how mirrors help you maneuver through traffic with utmost safety. You probably also know that your vehicle's mirror will eventually break or wear out.
Now, instead of replacing the entire mirror fixture when this happens, you may want to save a buck or two by simply replacing the mirror glass. The process of getting your mirrors back in fighting form isn't tricky business, but here are some things you might want to consider before buying replacement mirror glass.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that you can't get a replacement side view mirror glass to fit into a rearview mirror housing. So make sure that you get the correct type of mirror glass and one that conforms to the shape and size of your mirror housing.
We'd recommend USA-made mirrors or foreign-made mirrors that meet US standards. We'd also suggest that you get mirrors that have 2.2mm 1st surface mirror properties. Such mirrors are translucent and absorb the light from trailing vehicles, helping them to prevent glare.
Look for mirror glass that's easy to install and doesn't require drilling. Also, we don't recommend that you use regular bathroom silicone adhesive to install your mirror glass into its housing. Instead, you should opt for construction silicone that isn't latex based.
How much does it cost to replace a side mirror glass?
The cost of a side mirror glass will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific make and model. In general, OE replacement mirror glass will cost you somewhere between $1 for a basic mirror to $433 for something that comes with built-in heating and turn signal light capabilities. These parts are available for sale individually or in sets of two.
Finding the right fit
If you’re on the search for a passenger or driver side mirror replacement, you may use our website’s built-in vehicle selector to narrow down our selection to all compatible parts. Simply plug in your vehicle’s correct year, make, and model to get started.
How to Replace Your Mirror Glass
Paying rent, getting up each day to go to work, trying to lose that gut: these things are difficult to do. Luckily, changing your busted mirror glass is sure to be a piece of cake. Now, if you aren't the most seasoned DIYer, then be not afraid because pretty much anybody can successfully do this job. All you need are a few basic items and some enthusiasm and you'll get the job done in less than thirty minutes.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Hair Dryer (optional)
- Scraping Tool: blunt knife, screwdriver, etc.
- Soft Cloth
- Warm Water
- Silicone Adhesive
- Replacement Mirror
Step 1: Before getting started, put on some working gloves to help keep your hands safe from scratches. Broken or chipped glass can be rather harmful so it's better to be safe than sorry.
Step 2:Take off the busted mirror glass-or what remains of it-from the mirror housing. And be sure to remove any traces of old glue or adhesive using your scraping tool. If the residue from the adhesive is difficult to remove, use a hairdryer to make it more pliable.
Step 3: Clean your new mirror glass with some warm water and a soft cloth. Do not use chemical cleaners on your replacement mirror glass as they will leave residue on it and impede the effectiveness of your adhesive. Air dry your mirror before proceeding.
Step 4: Cut your silicon adhesive into 3/8 inches. Place these adhesive pieces behind your mirror glass, but not too close to its edges. This ensures that no silicone will seep out once you've pressed the glass in place.
Step 5: Position your replacement glass into the housing then press it firmly into place.
Step 6: Give the adhesive some time to dry (anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour) and you're all done installing your new mirror glass.