You're on your way to work when an errant motorist sideswiped your driver's side mirror. The good news is that the mirror is still attached and the glass isn't damaged.thank goodness. The bad news is that the mirror cover is now full of unsightly scratches that can't be buffed out or polished off. Fortunately, fixing a scratched cover is easier and cheaper than replacing the entire side mirror housing since you can simply hide the scratches with a drill-free aftermarket mirror cover. Here's how:
- Microfiber cloth or clean rag
- Alcohol wipes (optional)
Step 1: Clean the housing surface.
Start by wiping a microfiber cloth or rag dipped in alcohol on the scratched surface. This is to make sure that all traces of dirt, grime, and wax are removed. Keep in mind that a stick-on cover won't adhere properly to a dirty surface. If the cover kit comes with alcohol wipes, use those wipes to clean the housing.
Step 2: Test fit the mirror cover.
Place the cover over the old housing and see if it fits to a T. By doing a test fitting, you'll be able to figure out the best way to stick the cover in place and see how it looks like once it's installed. Plus, imagine the hassle if you find out that the cover doesn't snugly fit over the old housing during the actual installation. So for a stress-free experience, check first if the cover you purchased is an exact match for your vehicle.
Step 3: Attach the new mirror cover.
Once you've seen that the cover is indeed a perfect match, peel off the adhesive backing. Then place the cover in position, applying even and constant pressure across the surface. Remove any air bubbles by pressing a microfiber towel against the cover, working your way from the center to the edges. After installing the cover, wipe off fingerprints with the microfiber cloth or rag.
You now have new covers that perfectly hide those hideous scratches. Since stick-on covers are designed to create a professionally installed look, practically no one will notice the difference. And because you just basically have to stick on the cover in place, installation will only take a few minutes.
Tips to remember:
- When planning to install drill-free or stick-on covers, it's best to schedule it on a warm day (60 F or 15 C outside). This is because cold temperatures tend to have an effect on an adhesive strip's tack or adhesion capabilities.
- If the aftermarket cover kit comes with an adhesion promoter, apply a generous amount once you've cleaned the housing's surface with alcohol. An adhesion promoter is meant to increase the cover's tack, ensuring a snug and secure fit.
- If you've installed a chrome mirror cover, keep it scratch-free and shiny by regularly buffing it with a chrome-friendly polish. Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools such as rough steel wool to prevent damaging your newly installed chrome covers. Make sure a freshly washed chrome cover is wiped dry to prevent water spots.