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How Much Is a Side Mirror Replacement for a Car?

How Much Is a Side Mirror Replacement for a Car?

Just as you thought you had a handle on all your car-related expenses, your side mirror gets knocked off in a parking lot. It's a common scenario, isn't it? You're now faced with the unexpected cost of replacing that side mirror. But how much is it going to set you back? Well, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. 

The cost can vary significantly, depending on a myriad of factors. In the following, we'll explore these factors in-depth, giving you a comprehensive understanding of what to expect when you're faced with this unfortunate situation. 

So, buckle up and let's navigate this road together.

Key Takeaways:

  • Side mirrors are important for visibility and traffic awareness, and driving with a damaged mirror can lead to accidents and tickets.
  • The cost of replacing a broken side mirror can range from $299 to $328, depending on the car's make, year, and advanced technologies.
  • Replacing the mirror at home requires consulting the car's manual, using the necessary tools, and following proper removal and installation steps.
  • Signs that indicate the need for side mirror replacement include poor visibility, faulty mechanical functions, condensation buildup, cracked or broken glass, and damaged housing.

What Is the Cost of Replacing Your Car's Side Mirror?

Understanding the cost of replacing your car's side mirror can help you budget for this unexpected expense. The mirror replacement cost varies depending on your vehicle's make, model, and the type of mirror. 

However, you can generally expect to spend anywhere between $200 to $500 on a side mirror replacement for a car.

Keep in mind, this cost isn't just for the mirror itself. It also includes labor charges which can run from $50 to $200, based on the complexity of the installation. If your car has advanced features like heated or auto-dimming mirrors, the cost of replacing your car's side mirror could be on the higher end.

Doing the replacement yourself could lower the cost significantly, but it requires some technical know-how. You'll need the right tools, and there's always a risk of causing further damage if you're not careful.

The side mirror of the black car was broken and fix with adhesive tape

Signs That You Need to Replace Your Side Mirror

If you're noticing issues with your side mirror, it's important to know the signs that indicate a replacement is needed. One prominent sign is a broken side mirror. 

If you see cracks or your side view mirror glass is shattered, it's time for an immediate replacement. Driving with a broken mirror can be dangerous as it hampers your visibility and compromises road safety.

Another sign is the consistent buildup of condensation. If your mirror is foggy and doesn't clear up, it can affect your view. It might be a signal that water has entered the assembly and is damaging the internal components.

Observe the mechanical functions of your mirror. Does it move freely and smoothly? If it's stuck or moves jerkily, the mechanism might be failing.

Also, if the housing of the mirror is loose, cracked, or damaged, it's a clear sign that you need to replace your side mirror. Not only does it look unappealing, but it can also lead to the mirror glass falling out or getting more damaged.

Don't ignore these signs. Timeous replacement ensures safety and maintains the value of your car.

How to Replace the Side Mirror at Home?

You don't have to be a car expert to replace a side mirror at home. With some basic tools and a bit of patience, you can remove the old mirror and install a new one by yourself. Let's explore how you can do this safely and effectively.

Removing the Old Mirror

Before diving into the process of replacing your car's side mirror, it's crucial to properly remove the old one. 

Start by rolling down the window and disconnecting any electrical connections linked to the old mirror. Using a screwdriver or a ratchet, depending on your car's design, carefully begin removing the old mirror from the mirror assembly. 

It's important to wear safety glasses and gloves as broken glass may be involved. After you've detached the old mirror, pull it gently to remove it completely. Remember, the key to a successful replacement is properly removing the old mirror. 

So, take your time, follow these steps, and ensure that you're ready to install the new mirror without any hitches.

Installing a New One

Once the old mirror has been correctly removed, you're ready to embark on the installation of the new side mirror. First, align the new mirror with the mount on your car door. 

Ensure it fits properly, then proceed with the following steps:

  • Connect the wires of the new mirror to your car's wiring system. Remember to follow the car manual for proper guidance.
  • Secure the new mirror with screws or bolts, ensuring it's tightly fitted.
  • Check the alignment of the car side mirror. Make adjustments if necessary.
  • Finally, test your side mirrors. They should adjust smoothly and provide a clear view.

With patience and care, you'll successfully install your new mirror, enhancing your car's safety and aesthetic appeal.

Car with a broken side mirror in a car service. Cracks in the car mirror. Insurance car body repair.

Can I Drive Without Side Mirrors?

Driving without side mirrors isn't just risky—it's also potentially illegal, depending on your state's laws. These mirrors are essential safety features, providing a clear view of the road behind and beside you. Operating a vehicle without them could result in accidental damage, not just to your car but also to others on the road.

Suppose you find yourself with a broken mirror. In that case, it's crucial to determine whether it occurred due to a manufacturing defect or an accident. If your car is still under its factory warranty, the replacement might be covered. However, warranties often don't cover damage resulting from accidents or normal wear and tear.

If you're considering driving without your side mirrors until you can afford to replace them or get around to fixing them, think again. Not only is it dangerous, but it could also land you with a hefty fine. Besides, driving with a broken mirror communicates a lack of responsibility to other drivers and law enforcement.

Therefore, it's always best to promptly replace a broken mirror, even if it seems like an inconvenient expense. Your safety, and the safety of others, should always be your top priority.

How to Protect the Car's Side Mirrors?

While promptly replacing a broken mirror is crucial, it's equally important to take proactive steps to protect your car's side mirrors from potential damage. 

Here are a few preventative measures you can take:

  • Always fold in your mirrors when parking: This simple habit can prevent accidental bumps from pedestrians, cyclists, or other drivers opening their doors.
  • Use mirror covers: These handy accessories can help protect your mirrors from harsh weather conditions, bird droppings, and even minor scrapes and dents.
  • Be mindful of where you park: Try to avoid parking in tight spots or next to large vehicles that might accidentally knock into your mirrors.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your mirrors: Dirt and grime can scratch the surface over time, leading to visibility issues.


In a nutshell, replacing a side mirror can be a bit of a financial speed bump. But remember, it's all about keeping you safe on the road. So, whether you're DIY-savvy or prefer professional help, don't let a broken mirror throw a spanner in your journey. 

Take prompt action, protect your mirrors, and ensure your car is always in tip-top shape. After all, a stitch in time saves nine. Safe driving!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Can I Replace the Side Mirror Myself or Should I Hire a Professional?

  • You can replace the side mirror yourself if you're handy. It requires some tools and attention to detail. However, if you're unsure, it's better to hire a professional to ensure it's done correctly.
  • Is It Possible to Replace Only the Glass of the Side Mirror, and How Much Would That Cost?

  • Yes, you can replace just the glass of the side mirror. The cost varies, typically ranging from $20 to $150, depending on your car's make and model, and whether you opt for an OEM or aftermarket part.
  • What Are Some Reasons Why My Side Mirror Might Be Malfunctioning?

  • Your side mirror may malfunction due to a faulty mechanical function, buildup of condensation, cracked or broken glass, or loose or damaged mirror housing. It's crucial to fix it promptly to ensure safe driving.

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