When it comes to keeping the car body in its best shape, you have a lot of parts to consider. One that might not seem important is the car’s side mirror. While it is small, it has a big purpose, ensuring you can see clearly what’s going on behind the vehicle. How much does it cost to replace a side mirror?
On average, you might spend $125 to $500 to have the car side mirror replaced. This price is for the professional labor and part cost. If you purchase the mirror on your own and replace it at home, your price might be much lower, possibly just $25 to $200 instead.
In this article, we look closer at what variables affect this cost. We also show you how to do it yourself if you plan to tackle it in your home garage.
Factors Affecting Cost of Side Mirror Replacement
1. OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts
If you want genuine parts from the manufacturer, you can expect to pay more. However, these side mirrors will be the replica of what was on the car from the factory, so you know they will serve their purpose.
On the other hand, you can save a lot of money buying aftermarket parts. These aren’t made by the automaker, so you might not get the same level of quality. However, with side mirrors, you might not be as concerned with quality as you would an integral part of the mechanics.
2. Professional vs. DIY
If you choose to have the side mirrors professionally installed, you are going to spend more money. However, there are some variables with this option as well. Visiting a local mechanic will be cheaper than going to the dealership. Additionally, if you live in a city, you’ll likely pay more than those who live in a rural community.
On the other hand, if you have the right tools and expertise at home, you can save some money performing the installation yourself. If you aren’t sure of what you are doing, you might avoid this path because you could create more damage to the car’s body. In the end, you could spend more than if you had the mirror professionally installed.
3. Manual vs. Automatic
If you drive an older car, the side mirror is going to be cheaper than what is on a newer model. The manual mirrors don’t cost nearly as much as those with sophisticated technology included.
Even having automatic side mirrors can dramatically increase the price. Plus, if you plan to install it yourself, you need to know how to hook it up correctly.
For example, some advanced complete side mirrors on BMWs and other luxury brands with lane assist, and cameras can cost over $1500 each, and that’s why they are targeted by thieves also.
4. Insurance Coverage
In general, the side mirrors aren’t covered by car insurance for replacement. When the mirror wears out, you can file a claim to have it replaced.
On the other hand, if the mirror was damaged because of a covered accident, the insurance company might pay for the repairs. However, you’ll still have the deductible to consider. If you have a $500 deductible, filing a claim just for the side mirror might not be the best decision.
When Should a Side Mirror Be Replaced?
If you’ve been involved in an accident and the mirror has been damaged, it might be clear to you that it’s time for a replacement. However, not all situations are as cut and dry as this. When are some of the other times that you want to replace the side mirror?
Here are a few examples to consider.
- Can’t see out of the mirror anymore
- The mechanical function doesn’t work
- Condensation has built up, reducing visibility
If the mirror is still working but doesn’t look nice, you need to use your own judgment. If the condition doesn’t bother you, you may choose to wait on the replacement until you are prepared to sell the vehicle.
How to Install Side Mirror at Home
1. Gather Supplies
Before you get started, you want to make sure you have everything you need. It’s helpful to read a service manual showing you the steps before you begin the project.
If you aren’t sure, you may prefer to have a friend join you. After all, two heads are better than one when trying to figure these things out.
2. Remove Side Mirror
The directions for your particular mirror might vary, but here are some basic steps to removing it. In general, you must roll down the window first and disconnect any fuses or electrical wiring that might be attached to the mirror.
Once this is done, you can remove the mirror by taking out the screws holding it in. However, you might first need to remove the trim panel. Remember, you are working with auto glass, so use caution and protect your hands at all times.
3. Install New Mirror
Once the old mirror has been taken out, you are ready to install your new one. Thankfully, the disconnection of the old one revealed to you the proper way to attach your new mirror. Basically, you are going to work in the opposite order from the removal.
Put your mirror in the position you want it. Before you secure it, connect any wires and fuses that are part of the assembly. It’s important that all of these are in place before you put the car back together. Screw the mirror in place and secure the trim if you have to remove it. Test out the operation of the mirror to be sure everything is working. Roll the window back up and enjoy the ride.
Protect the Car’s Side Mirror
Once you have installed a new side mirror, you want to do everything you can to protect it. After all, you don’t want to replace it again. While side mirrors can be a target for vandalism, there are also other ways they can become damaged. Here are a few simple steps to protect it.
- Don’t park too close to other vehicles. The mirrors are easily damaged by people walking into the mirrors or opening car doors into it. That’s why you want to leave lots of space in the parking lot.
- Don’t part on the street. If the mirror is near the street, it can be easily hit by a passing car. Even bicyclists passing by can cause damage. Plus, the street is a prime spot for vandalism, so you should look for more secure parking.
- Fold the mirrors in. If your mirrors fold in, take a minute to do it in the parking lot. You should also do this when rolling through a car wash. Otherwise, they become easy targets for damage.
- Back out with care. As you pull out of a parking spot, you should do it slowly and cautiously. Too often, we become distracted by other things and fail to pay attention to what’s going on around us. This simple mistake can lead to costly damage.
- Don’t play with mirrors. Kids are notorious for playing with the controls inside the car, including those attached to the side mirrors. Avoid playing with the electronics if you want the mirror to last.
A little prevention can go a long way to ensuring your investment is secure. With these steps, you avoid having to pay for another mirror any time soon.