Side View Mirror Repair: How Replace the Glass Only in a Side View Mirror

Lead Image
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-75
What You'll Need
Glass mirror replacement
Flat head screwdriver
Phillips screwdriver or Allen wrenches
Putty knife or flat blade
Construction silicon adhesive (non-latex)
Leather gloves
Rubbing alcohol or thinner
Hair Dryer

You may one day clip the mailbox, or the side of your garage with your vehicle, necessitating a side view mirror repair. Most people in this situation go to a dealership, or a parts store to buy the entire side mirror unit, when in many cases, you can fix the problem by simply replacing the glass. You can order the specific glass you need for your vehicle through various local outlets in your area, or Internet mirror replacement companies to have them mailed right to your door.

Step 1 - Remove the Mirror from the Vehicle

Use your flat screwdriver or other flat tool to release the mirror from the vehicle if it is held on with a pin or clip. On most vehicles there is a series of screws which can be Phillips head, or flat, and in extremely rare cases an Allen bolt. Simply remove these screws and separate the unit from the side of your vehicle to begin the side view mirror repair.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Glass

The next thing to do in this process, is to remove the old broken glass from the unit frame, allowing you to replace it. To do this part of the side view mirror repair, you will want to use a hairdryer and apply heat to the broken mirrors surface. This will loosen the adhesive that is holding the mirror in place on the mirror frame. Take your putty knife or flat blade and scrape away the broken glass wearing your gloves to avoid getting cut.

Step 3 - Clean the Glass Frame Mount

You will now clean the surface of the frame the mirror sits on using your thinner or rubbing alcohol. The adhesive is plastic based and reacts to acidic chemicals, and should come off quite easily. You want to obey all warnings on the chemical labels that you use during this side view mirror repair.

Step 4 - Apply the Adhesive

You now will apply the adhesive to four corners of the mirror frame. Some are stick on labels, that you can simply stick on, and peel off the other side once they are in place. There are many options of side view mirror repair adhesives, you just want to ensure they don't contain latex as it does not hold up well during temperature changes in the environment, causing your mirror to simply fall out of the frame over time.

Step 5 - Remount the Mirror to the Vehicle

Once the adhesive is in place, carefully line up the new mirrored glass and press it firmly into place, being sure to clamp down all the corners and the center with equal pressure. Complete the side view mirror repair by reattaching the mirror unit and frame back onto your vehicle. Some adhesives take longer to dry than others, be sure you allow it to dry the recommended time before remounting it, to avoid it from just falling out.