While automotive side mirrors have been used in many vehicles since the early part of the 20th century, it was only in the .50s when these components became standard on automobiles. The side mirrors are essential safety features as they inform you of what's going on behind your car. Through the mirror glass, you can see if it's safe for you to change lanes and adjust your course of driving.
But since the side mirrors stick out of the vehicle, they are among the components that are susceptible to damage. If one day, you just find the glass broken, have it replaced immediately to avoid the hassles and danger of having to turn your head from time to time while driving just to see the lanes next to you and behind you.
It's a good thing that replacing mirror glasses is easy and can be done even by drivers without any DIY experience. Here are the steps on how to properly replace the glass of your side mirrors:
What you'll need:
- Soft cloth
- Hair dryer
- Utility knife
- Masking tape
- Flathead screwdriver
- Replacement mirror glass
Step 1: Wear gloves.
You'll be working on broken pieces of glass, so it's wise to protect your hands from getting cut by wearing good-quality gloves before starting with the task.
Step 2: Remove the remaining pieces of broken glass and glue residue.
Take out broken pieces of glass left on the mirror head by prying them out with a flathead screwdriver. Do it carefully so as not to scratch or mar the mirror frame. If there's glue or adhesive residue left, you can use a hair dryer to heat it up and make it easier to remove. Wipe the area clean using a soft cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: Clean the new mirror glass.
You can make the replacement mirror spic and span by cleaning it with soft cloth soaked in warm water. Avoid using chemical cleaners as they can leave residue on the glass that could affect the adhesive's ability to stick well. Allow the glass to air dry.
Step 4: Apply silicone to the mirror frame.
Get the silicone tube and, using a utility knife, cut 3/8 inches from its end to create a hole for the silicone to pass through. Apply two generous drops of clear silicone adhesive to the mirror frame, making sure they are not too close to the edges. This is to ensure that the excess silicone won't stick out from the mirror's edges.
Step 5: Install the replacement mirror glass.
Depress the new glass into the mirror frame. Adjust when necessary to achieve correct mirror position. Make sure to have the glass installed before the silicone sets up. Use a masking tape to keep the mirror from moving out of place until the silicone becomes dry. Check the label at the back of the silicone tube or the directions that come along with your new mirror for recommended curing times. Depending on the outside temperature, curing time may range from 5 to 24 hours.
Step 6: Remove the masking tape.
Once you're sure that the silicone has fully cured, you can now remove the masking tape and enjoy your new mirror glass.