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Replacement Side View Mirrors
Over the last century, automotive mirrors have been mounted to the fenders, doors, A-pillars, and yes even on the fender mounted spare tires! As crazy as it sounds, during that whole time there have really only been 3 different styles of side view mirrors.
1. Manual Mirrors
A manual car mirror is the oldest and simplest design of all. It's typically bolted onto the body or door of the car, and if it isn't aimed right, you need to physically stick your hand out the window and push on it to adjust it. A manual mirror won't have any fancy wires or joysticks, and it is almost always the most inexpensive and easiest side mirror to replace.
2. Manual Remote Mirrors
This style was sort of the first step in the mirror evolution, and became hot stuff in the early 1960's. In the simplest words, a manual remote mirror can be adjusted from inside the car with your windows up. It's not done with magic, and it isn't electricity either. These mirrors have a mechanical connection sticking through the body of the vehicle for you to adjust it with. The mechanical connection is usually in the form of a fun little joystick, just like your favorite video game system in the 1980's. Replacing one of these side view mirrors on your car is often just as easy as a manual mirror, but you will have to snake the joystick through a hole in the door. Again, no electricity required.
3. Power Mirrors
This is where things start getting wild and crazy folks. By the mid 1970's power mirrors were beginning to pop up in all of the automotive production lines. A power mirror is adjusted with - you guessed it - electricity! If you have a basic power mirror, without any other options, it most likely has just 3 wires coming out of it. Inside your vehicle you will find a power mirror switch that controls its every move. It's really a thing of beauty to be able to sit in the climate controlled car or truck and dance your passenger side mirror around like you are the puppet master of automotive mirrors. Replacing a power mirror is one step more complicated than the process of a manual remote mirror, but still extremely doable by the average do-it-yourselfer. The only additional challenge will be plugging the mirror wiring connectors together, and that's a piece of cake!
Under the "power mirror" umbrella, you will also find a delightful selection of fun options. Let's talk about them.
Towing Mirror Upgrades:
If you have a truck, you likely already know how useful and rugged looking tow mirrors can be. Some trucks come with them already installed from the factory, and some do not. For the trucks that actually do tow large trailers, they are an absolute necessity. For trucks that don't tow things, but want to look awesome, they are a terrific upgrade. They can have almost any variety of options as well, like:
The options are nearly endless on towing mirrors, so making sure that you select the proper option package for your specific truck is paramount. We've created a buying guide on towing mirrors to help you do just that, so be sure to check it out as it goes over all of the different options available in great detail. 1A Auto also has a massive selection of towing mirrors in stock for those of you that do or don't have the factory tow packages. Between having increased rear vision, and making the truck look extremely burly, you can't really do wrong when it comes to towing mirrors.
Telescoping / Telescopic Mirrors:
While we are on the topic of towing mirrors, we absolutely must discuss telescoping mirrors, because they go hand in hand. Telescoping (also known as "telescopic") mirrors are a type of mirror that can extend out from the sides of the vehicle to increase rearward vision. By far, they are most commonly found on towing applications, because they aren't really necessary otherwise. This style of side view mirror can be power telescoping, or manual telescoping. The powered ones are obviously extremely cool because you can sit in the comforts of your truck while pushing a button to make the mirrors extend. Manual telescoping mirrors require a person to physically slide the mirror outward, which is slightly more effort, but they are far more reasonably priced as well.
Telescopic mirrors can be a terrific upgrade if a truck already has towing mirrors, but needs just a little more vision for whatever it is towing. They also make a truck appear much bigger and badder, which is always nice.
Additional Mirror Information & Facts:
Sometimes the car mirror industry uses lingo that normal people aren't familiar with. This quick reference guide should help out if you see some unfamiliar terminology.
Need a Side Mirror Replacement?
At 1A Auto, we're here to help you get the right side view mirror replacement for your car, truck, SUV or van. You can browse our large selection of side view mirrors and shop right here on 1AAuto.com or, if you have any questions about the product, warranty, compatibility, or simply prefer to order via phone, you can call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393.
Written By: Jeremy Nutt