Step-by-step instructions on how to replace side view mirrors

Posted by

shattered side view mirror

(Photo: Adam Jarmon Brown/Flickr/CC BY-SA)

You shattered your side view mirror and now you need a replacement. First, stay off the roads until you’ve made the repair. Driving around town with a broken side mirror can be dangerous, as it is primarily used to prevent accidents. It allows you to see blind spots and detect other moving vehicles before changing lanes. So it’s important that you replace your side view mirrors as quickly as possible.

Replace side view mirrors

If you need to replace side view mirrors, skip the extra cost by buying the parts and doing the labor yourself. It’s easy to replace side view mirrors, and you can do it using these easy steps instead of paying a mechanic for outrageous labor costs. Courtesy of eHow, here is what you need to do, step-by-step:

Things you’ll need:
– Owner’s manual
– Replacement mirror
– Pry tool
– Screwdriver and/or torx driver
– Nut driver and/or socket wrench
– Small, shallow plastic bowl, cup or containe

Step 1: Purchase the replacement mirror. Make sure it is an exact match to the one you’re replacing. This includes the vehicle’s model, make and year. If for any reason you are unable to get one through your dealership or an auto parts store, the best places to look for replacements are savage yards or online. You can also save money that way.

Step 2: Roll your window all the way down and turn off the vehicle.

Step 3: Detach the battery’s negative cable. This is a very important step, as there are risks of electrocution involved if the cable is still attached.

Step 4: Using your pry tool, remove the trim pieces of the interior door panel. Once that’s done, pull out the screwdriver and begin removing the screws that are holding the panel in place. Sometimes, there may be a corner trim piece that must be removed first before the door panel can be lifted off.

Step 5: Skip this step if you have manual roll-down windows. However, if you have power-controlled mirrors, unplug the wiring harness.

Step 6: With a socket wrench or a nut driver, remove the mirror bolts so you can take out the entire mirror assembly from the vehicle.

Step 7: Pull the actual mirror apart from the mirror assembly. You can do this using a torx driver to remove the screws and then steadily pry the plastic tabs on the backing until the two pieces come apart.

Step 8: Take the new mirror and attach it to the assembly by snapping it onto the backing with the tabs.

Step 9: Once you have attached the new mirror to the backing, place it into the mirror assembly.

Step 10: Now it’s time to reverse the steps to reinstall the entire mirror assembly back onto the vehicle.

Replace side view mirrors safely

Once you’ve completed the last step to replace your side view mirrors, don’t go driving off just yet. Last but not least, remember never to connect the battery until you are absolutely certain everything is back in place. For your safety, make sure to double- or triple-check the wires and connections before connecting the battery.


  1. Terry on

    i need to know how to put springs back on door mirror for 2001 olds. alero