Fix a rear view mirror on your car
Photo 1: Prep the broken mirror
Remove the loose pieces of glass and clean the remaining glass and the base with glass cleaner.
Photo 2: Apply sealant
Apply a bead of black rubber sealant 3/4 in. in from the edge of the plastic base and a few dollops in other locations. Then press the new mirror into place.
Photo 3: Finished result
The finished project looks just like the original.
You don’t have to replace the entire side view mirror assembly just because the glass is broken. Replacing the mirror glass is a do-it-yourself project that is usually inexpensive.
Several manufacturers offer precut glass mirrors to fit vehicles of all makes and models. One is Dorman Products Inc. Our local auto parts store didn’t carry the mirror for our Ford Expedition, so we ordered it from Dorman online. You’ll also need a tube of black rubber sealant (Permatex, for example), sold at any auto parts store.
Start the repair by picking away as many loose pieces of the broken mirror as you can. Wear leather gloves and eye protection while doing this. You can leave the old adhesive in place. Then clean the remaining glass and the plastic mirror base with glass cleaner.
The new glass comes with adhesive strips on the back, but don’t rely on those strips alone to keep the glass in place. Apply a thick bead of black rubber sealant 3/4 in. in from the perimeter of the plastic mirror retainer. Put a few large dollops of the sealant on the honeycomb portion of the plastic base and a few more on the old broken glass. Don’t apply the sealant in areas where the adhesive pads will contact the plastic base. The pads must make contact with the plastic base to hold the new glass in place while the sealant sets up. Apply the mirror to the base.
Use masking tape to hold the mirror in place until the sealant cures.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- Safety glasses
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- Black rubber sealant
- Precut glass mirror