cleaning car side mirror

You’re backing out of a garage or returning to your parked car and see the side mirror dangling or completely gone. While the fixture may still be intact, the glass is cracked or broken to the point it compromises your visibility.

Side mirrors are essential for driving safely, from parking to changing lanes. Due to the safety issues, you risk being pulled over and fined if you’re driving with a broken or missing side mirror.

Understanding Side Mirrors and Potential Repairs

Due to the increasingly technical and computerized nature of today’s cars and trucks, not all side mirror designs are identical. Each fixture typically has a base or mirror assembly, glass and a cover; more modern options are further equipped with a turn signal. Considering this setup and potential damage, repairs may require the full fixture to be replaced or involve removing and replacing the glass.

Your car’s side mirror may simply be secured with bolts to the front of the glass, via the A-pillar. Other arrangements see the side mirror secured to the door. Fully replacing this part will entail removing a section of the door. Beyond the physical casing, electrical connections are taken into account, so any new mirror will operate as expected. For instance, adjusting the angle or displaying a turn signal.

The glass is another crucial component of your car’s mirror. Single-ply reflective tempered glass is used, treated to be shatter resistant. Your side mirrors feature two types of glass configurations:

  • Located on the driver’s side, a flat mirror offers a more authentic, distortion-free perspective compared to the passenger side mirror.
  • A convex mirror is added to the passenger side. This mirror curves inward, resulting in distortion and displaying a message that objects are closer than they appear. For the driver, this allows for clearer, more accurate viewing from their position.

Getting the Side Mirrors Repaired

Several states consider driving without side mirrors to be illegal, including Connecticut. In turn, it’s essential to get a damaged side mirror repaired as soon as possible.

During repairs:

  • The old mirror will be removed and any wiring or cables disconnected. This process may further involve taking apart the door.
  • After the new mirror is installed and all connections established, the exterior will be painted to match the rest of your car or corresponding side mirror.
  • If only the glass is damaged and the housing is intact, the cracked glass will be taken out and a new sheet put in place.

Delaying repairs can worsen the problem. You risk having a cracked side mirror break apart or fall out. Not only does this suddenly decrease your visibility on the road, but you have glass shards to worry about. Depending on how the mirror is angled, these small sharp pieces can end up on the road – posing a hazard to other drivers – or inside your vehicle, potentially injuring your passengers.

In the meantime, if part of your mirror remains, secure it temporarily to the side of the vehicle to avoid additional damage to the connecting wires and any adjacent paint.

If your car’s side mirror is damaged or was taken off completely in a side swipe, make an appointment for repairs with DaSilva’s Auto Body. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact our Naugatuck shop today.