Replacing a side mirror can be a tricky exercise especially if you have no previous experience carrying out such an exercise. This article tries to make this process relatively easy.
Before you contemplate changing your side mirror ensure you have purchased a replacement which is similar to the one you had before. 90% of cars have the same side mirror configuration, so the same procedure applies to most cars.
To replace your side mirror, remove the triangular piece opposite the side mirror though in some cars or trucks you will need to remove the entire door panel. In some instances a plastic cover may protect this triangular piece which has a built-in speaker. To replace the mirror ensure you remove this piece gently to avoid cutting the wires connected to the speaker. You can use a flat head screwdriver or any tool with a flat tip to pull this piece out allowing you access to its components.
On removing the plastic triangular panel, a plug going into the mirror becomes visible which when pushed down comes right out. If the plug has more than three wires typical in a standard side mirror, then the mirror is probably heated.
Typically, there are three bolts used to fasten the components of the mirror to the door of the car. To remove these bolts, find out the exact dimensions of the bolts and then with a standard ratchet and the corresponding socket remove the bolts. While removing the bolts take caution they don’t drop into the door panel because if that happens, you will need to remove the entire door panel to get the bolts thus making an otherwise easy procedure difficult.
On removing the bolts, lift the mirror from the bottom while holding it to prevent the mirror falling off and scratching the door. Then pull it right off the door. There is a rubber gasket on the part of the mirror connected to the door of the car. The gasket creates the impression the mirror is still attached to the door but with a good pull the mirror comes right off.
Before putting in the new mirror make sure it has the same number of pins, same shape, color and size as the previous one. Ensure the new mirror, and broken one is identical before you begin installing the new one; this is vital.
Put the new side mirror in its place at the side of the door and begin putting back the bolts. Put in all three bolts to a reasonable extent with your hands before you begin tightening them. This allows you to adjust the mirror, so it is lined up properly. Do not tighten the bolts excessively because the mirror can get broken when you do that.
After tightening the bolts put the plug, you removed initially back into its position. Place the plastic panel over the triangular piece while making sure the wires are in completely and gently push it into place, and that concludes the replacement process.
Replacing a broken side mirror is an easy exercise, all you need is time, the basic tools and your enthusiasm to get it done.