How To Replace a Broken Side-View Mirror

Tools necessary for install:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Pair of pliers
  • Panel removal lever
  • Gloves
  • Washcloth

Materials required

A side view mirror is placed outside your vehicle and helps drivers see areas behind their vehicle without fully removing your attention from oncoming obstacles. Almost all vehicles manufactured today mount the side view mirrors on the vehicle doors, usually at the A-pillar. This gives the driver a wider field of view of the vehicle's rear end.

Since the side view mirrors protrude outside the vehicle, the chances of it getting damaged are generally higher. you'll often find that residents of major metropolitan cities can attest to this rather unfortunate trend. If damaged, a broken side-view mirror can create problems for the driver to see vehicles coming from behind, effectively putting the safety of you and any drivers around you in great jeopardy. 

Fixing a side-view mirror can be either be easy or sometimes slightly complicated, depending on the type of damage. Here, we will cover the two most common repairs – replacing broken mirror glass and replacing the entire side view mirror assembly. Both of these can be easily done at home using just a few specialized tools.

Before proceeding with replacing the side view mirrors, ensure the following:

  • Follow all required safety precautions and guidelines.
  • Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for any specific safety instructions.
  • Put on a pair of work gloves, preferably leather or some thick material.
  • Wear safety glasses to cover the eyes since there will be broken glass around.
  • Switch off the vehicle’s engine and ensure the vehicle is on a flat surface before starting work.
  • Buy a good-quality side view mirror that fits your vehicle’s make and model. Refer to the vehicle’s manual or reach out to one of our customer service representatives via our live chat feature if you are unable to find the right fit.

As mentioned earlier, you can just replace a broken mirror glass or replace the entire side view mirror assembly. Let us first look at how you can replace the broken glass of the mirror assembly.

How to Replace a Broken Mirror

1. Remove any pieces of broken glass

Using a flathead screwdriver or any other flat tool, pull away any remaining pieces of broken glass from the mirror.

2. Clean the plastic backing

Take a cleaner and coat it on the plastic backing and frame. Rub the cleaner with a dry washcloth or a sheet of paper towel. Ensure to remove any spots of dirt or dust visible on the window. Cleaning the plastic surface is optional but doing so gives the vehicle a cleaner look.

3. Apply sealant around the new glass

Take the replacement glass or mirror and line it with the frame to ensure it fits securely. Apply sealant around the edges of the glass’ plastic backing. While the new glass cut should normally come with adhesives, this sealant helps secure the glass into place.

4. Insert adhesive circles

Remove the protective backing paper from the adhesives and place them at the back of the glass. Once you place the pads in place, remove any other layers of backing paper or tape. Then, press the glass slightly till the glass sticks to the sealant.

5. Place masking tape 

Cut small strips of masking tape and arrange them around the edge of the glass to hold up the glass till the sealant dries. Once the sealant dries completely, remove the masking tape from the glass, and your side view mirror is ready to use.

How to Replace a Mirror Assembly

In some instances, the entire mirror assembly could be damaged and may need to be replaced. Since this process involves working with wires, ensure that the vehicle’s engine is switched off before you touch the car’s wiring.

1. Remove the mirror from the casing


Place a flathead screwdriver behind the mirror and pull it forward. You must disconnect the clips along the edge that are used to attach the mirror to its housing. Continue this till the mirror can be removed. If you find it difficult in inserting the screwdriver behind the mirror, try to push the bottom half of the mirror inwards.

2. Disconnect wires from the mirror

Using your fingers, pinch and remove any electrical components from the mirror. If possible, try applying a little extra force to pull and remove the connectors from the back of the mirror.

3. Remove the clips securing the mirror case

Along the vertical edges of the side view mirror, you will notice four clips that help secure the side mirror case to the frame. Lift up these clips that will loosen the mirror case. You can either use your fingers or a pair of pliers to do this.

4. Remove the cover

With both your hands, grip the loosened mirror casing and remove it from the mirror frame. Along the back hinge of the case, you will notice two more clips. Remove the cover so that the old casing disconnects from these clips.

5. Fit the new mirror assembly

Take the new mirror assembly and arrange it along the backside of the mirror frame. In addition, check that the assembly fits the rest of the mirror correctly.

6. Push the cover into place

Once you are done fitting the assembly, gently push the cover into place till you hear a popping sound. After you have arranged the mirror to fit the back of the casing, push it in with your hand. Continue to apply pressure till you hear a popping or clicking sound that indicates the new mirror assembly has been securely attached. If the assembly does not attach correctly, then it may be the wrong size for your vehicle.

Once you are done, check if the side view mirror has been installed securely. If you feel something is wrong, immediately get in touch with a certified mechanic to get it rectified.

Side view mirrors are an important component of your vehicle. They are crucial in that they help a driver get a wider field of view of vehicles and drive accordingly. If you notice your side view mirror is damaged, get them replaced immediately.

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