Mirror - Side View

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Mirror - Side View at 1A Auto

What is a side view mirror?

A side view mirror, sometimes referred to as a door mirror, wing mirror, or fender mirror, is the exterior mirror located on each side of a vehicle, which is an important safety feature because, when angled correctly, it allows the driver to see what is in the blind spot of their peripheral vision. 

On most vehicles today, side view mirrors are mounted to the front driver and passenger side doors, but on a few models they are mounted to the fenders. Your vehicle's side-view mirror plays a major role in the appearance and safety of your car or truck.

What are the different types of side view mirrors?

There are two basic types of side-view mirrors: power mirrors and manual mirrors, but many other options exist under each classification. These include but are not limited to: direct bolt-on manual mirrors, remote operated manual mirrors, folding mirrors, heated mirrors, turn signal mirrors, power mirrors with memory, and much more. If you have a truck, towing mirrors-either as a replacement if they came with them already installed or as an upgrade-are also available with various options as well. Telescoping mirrors are also an option for trucks with towing mirrors to provide extra vision when towing.

For an in-depth explanation of the different styles of side view mirrors that are available, upgrade options, and other facts, check out our side mirror replacement guide for cars and trucks. [http://www.1aauto.com/content/articles/replacement-mirrors.html]

How do I know if my side rear-view mirror needs to be replaced?

Reasons you may need to replace your mirror include: damage to the mirror housing, cracked or scratched mirror glass, or failure of any mirror functions like power folding or defrost.  Some causes of mirror damage include hail, road debris, minor accidents and close calls with mailboxes. Mirror features like motors for adjustment, glass heating elements, and lighting can wear out from use and exposure to the elements.

If you have a damaged or malfunctioning mirror, then you will need a replacement immediately. Plain and simple, operating a car or truck with a broken side view mirror is a danger not only to yourself, but it puts the safety of those around you at risk as well. In addition, a broken or damaged mirror will not only fail most state safety inspections, but it is also an eye sore and will lower the resale value of your vehicle.

Is it illegal to drive without side view mirrors? 

In many states it is illegal to drive without side view mirrors. 

You are required to have at least one working mirror in:

  • Alabama,
  • Arkansas,
  • Colorado,
  • Connecticut,
  • Delaware,
  • Florida,
  • Georgia,
  • Hawaii,
  • Idaho,
  • Illinois,
  • Iowa,
  • Massachusetts,
  • Montana,
  • Nevada,
  • New Mexico,
  • North Dakota,
  • Ohio,
  • Oregon,
  • Pennsylvania,
  • South Dakota,
  • Texas,
  • Wisconsin, and
  • Washington DC.

In Idaho, you are required to have both outside mirrors if your view to the rear is obstructed by cargo or a trailer. 

You are required to have one side mirror if your view to the rear is obstructed by cargo or a trailer in Iowa.  

You are required to have your left exterior mirror in:

  • Maryland,
  • Michigan, and
  • Rhode Island.

You are also required to have one additional mirror if your rear view is obstructed in Maryland

You must always have the left mirror, plus one other, either the interior rear view mirror or the exterior right mirror in

  • Alaska,
  • California,
  • Kansas,
  • Kentucky,
  • Louisiana,
  • Oklahoma,
  • Utah,
  • Washington, and
  • Wyoming.

You are required to have the left mirror and the interior mirror in:

  • New York, and
  • New Jersey.

You have to have the interior mirror and one exterior mirror in

  • North Carolina, and
  • Virginia.

In some states mirrors are only required if you rear view is obstructed by cargo or a trailer. 

You are required to have one mirror if your rear view is obstructed in:

  • Indiana,
  • Maine,
  • Mississippi,
  • Missouri,
  • New Hampshire,
  • South Carolina,
  • West Virginia, and
  • Vermont.

You are required to have two mirrors if your rear view is obstructed in Arizona. 

You are required to have both the left and right outside mirrors if your rear view is obstructed in Nebraska. 

Trucks (but only trucks) are required to have one mirror if the rear view is obstructed, in Tennessee.    

Is it illegal to drive with broken side view mirrors? 

In many states it is illegal to drive with broken side view mirrors.  The law specifies that those mirrors which are required must provide a view of at least 200 feet behind the vehicle, except in:

  • Connecticut,
  • Delaware,
  • Kansas,
  • Kentucky,
  • Massachusetts,
  • Missouri,
  • New Jersey,
  • New York,
  • Ohio,
  • Oklahoma,
  • Pennsylvania,
  • Tennessee,
  • Utah,
  • Vermont, and
  • Alaska.

A cracked mirror likely will not fulfill this requirement.  The states named above specify that the required mirrors must provide a view behind the vehicle, so if the mirror is too cracked to see out of, it is it does not fulfill the mirror requirement.  Essentially, a cracked mirror is as good as a missing mirror as far as the law is concerned.  To see which mirrors are required to be working in your state, please read the above section. 

Can I replace the side rear-view mirror myself?

Replacing the side rear-view mirror is a doable job for any novice do-it-yourselfer. The repair typically requires a ratchet and socket and may involve removing the door panel or a triangular trim piece found at the base of the mirror. Removing the mirror usually involves removing a few bolts that hold the mirror to the door and disconnecting the mirror wiring harness. To install the new mirror just reverse the removal steps.  It's a good idea to obtain a copy of the dealer service manual procedure or view an online guide, or instructional video.

Can I replace the side view mirror glass only? 

Yes.  If only your glass is broken, you can often keep your original mirror housing and replace the glass.  To do this, you'll usually have to pry out the old mirror glass, which is attached to a backing plate, and clip on your new mirror glass and backing plate.  Some mirror glass kits will require you to remove the broken glass from the backing plate and stick the new glass to the original backing plate with an adhesive.  Be sure to wear gloves when working with broken glass.  

How much does it cost to replace a side view mirror?

The cost to replace a side view mirror can typically range from about $130 to $350, including parts and labor.  A mirror itself can typically cost from $75 to $200, with labor costing between $40 and $100.  This cost can vary depending on the model of your car and whether you have the work done at a dealership or an independent shop.  For some luxury models, the mirror price might rise to $600 and labor may cost $100, if you buy the part from, and have the work done at the dealership.    

Need a side view mirror replacement?

At 1A Auto, we know what a hassle and danger a broken car or truck side mirror is. If you need an aftermarket side-view mirror replacement for either the passenger or driver side, or both, then you have come to the right place. Our selection of manual and power mirror assemblies are the best new aftermarket replacements on the market, typically lasting 2-3 times longer on average than OEM mirrors.

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