Quick Tips When Buying a New Mirror Head
So, some careless motorist hit and broke one of your side mirrors, eh? That's a major hassle, of course. After all, you can't drive with a broken side mirror. You'll probably figure into an accident or get yourself in trouble with the law if you insist on driving with only one functional side mirror. There's no need to risk your life and limb or getting fined though as you can easily replace your broken side mirror with a new mirror head.
There are numerous variants of mirror heads available on the market. There are literally hundreds of styles to choose from. While replacing a broken side mirror can be a chore, just think of this as an opportunity to stylize your vehicle.
First Things First: Make Sure It Fits
As said above, replacement mirror heads come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. But before you pick something that tickles your fancy, make sure that the mirror head of your choice will fit your car. That should be your primary consideration for very obvious reasons. Aside from that, you can choose whatever mirror head you want. We've got some extra pointers for you though.
- Get a mirror head with a shape that you're comfortable with.
- You might want a mirror head that's made of stainless steel since it's more durable than its plastic or chrome counterparts.
Get an OEM Mirror Head
An OEM mirror head will perfectly fit your vehicle, therefore posing no problems upon installation. It's also of higher quality compared to a run of the mill mirror head replacement as an OEM mirror head is composed of superior materials.
OEM mirror heads are available for as low as approximately $20. That's definitely cheap considering their quality. The more stylish variants are priced higher though, with some reaching the range of $60. It's up to you if you want to be practical or to spend a little bit extra for aesthetic purposes.
How to Install a Mirror Head
You simply can't drive without a side mirror. First of all, it's unsafe. Second of all, doing so is against the law. So if your old one broke off from your vehicle because it got hit hard or something, don't delay in getting a brand-new mirror head. A new mirror head doesn't cost a lot (just make sure that it'll fit your car), so there no need to worry. But if you want to save even more, you may want to install the replacement mirror head by yourself. You can accomplish that without much difficulty even if you're not a seasoned DIYer. We'll guide you in every step of the way on how to do it.
Difficulty level: EasyTools:
- Socket Wrench
- Pry tool or the specialized trim panel removal tool (you can find one in an auto parts store)
Note: If you want to paint your new mirror head, do so before installing it. To do that, you'll need a can or two of aerosol touch-up paint and primer. Painting the mirror head is very easy; simply follow the instructions written on the spray cans.
Step 1: Park your car on a level surface. To be safe and to prevent any accidental electrocution, disengage the negative cable of the battery. Roll down the window (the one near the mirror head that you're going to replace, of course) afterwards.
Step 2: Take your pry tool or the specialized trim panel removal tool (if you have it) and start removing the trim panels that cover the mirror assembly.
Step 3: Grab a screwdriver and remove any screws that may be holding the trim panels in place. Make sure that you keep these screws since you'll still need them later. If the side mirror that you're replacing is a power mirror, disconnect its wiring first before moving on.
Step 4: Take your socket wrench and start unbolting the mirror head to separate it from your vehicle. Keep the bolts that you're going to remove as you still have to use them later. Depending on the make and model of your car, there may be additional screws and plastic tabs that you'd have to remove as well.
Step 5: Install the new mirror head once the old one has been detached. Secure it with the bolts and screws that you removed earlier.
Step 6: Put the trim panels back to the way they were.