On the plus side, the view I get with a cracked mirror is pretty funky.
September 29, 2009 4:42 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to fix my driver's side mirror?

Due to an unfortunate combination of my early morning stupor and the parking space from hell, my drivers' side mirror is smashed. The actual assembly is completely fine - most of the glass is still attached, even, it's just all cracked.

My first thought was to just replace the glass myself. However, I've already tried to purchase replacement glass for my car (a 2006 Honda Civic) from two places. In both cases, the order went through okay, and then I received a message a couple days later saying that the piece was out of stock.

So here I am, a week after the fact, and I still have this broken mirror to deal with. Does anyone know of a reliable place where I can get replacement glass? Or, do you think it would be better to find a mechanic/body shop/Honda dealer to replace it for me? (Keep in mind, I don't need the whole assembly replaced, just the glass itself.)

Bonus: If I get the new replacement glass myself, what would be the best way to get all the old glass off without doing myself an injury?
posted by pemberkins to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've had a lot of success on eBay. I've found both replacement glass and and entire mirror assembly (complete with electrics) that way.

The glass is usually set into some sort of plastic frame, which then attaches via a ball joint and some other clips to the internal mechanism. With most cars it's possible to replace glass+frame, but it's also possible to buy a self-adhesive replacement that just sticks on top.

To remove the glass, try some cheap gardening gloves - the kind that have leather palms/fingers.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:20 AM on September 29, 2009

Most glass is affixed to a plastic panel that simply clips to the electric adjusting armature in the mirror housing. Just get a screwdriver or prying tool behind the glass and pop it out. You'll then see the clips on the back of the panel (or just look at your new part) and you'll be able to see the clips or tangs that fasten the mirror to the housing. Just line it up and press it in until it clicks firmly in place.

It's weird that it'd be out of stock in two places. I've never had a problem getting glass or mirror housings in the past. I'm sorry I can't offer you advice on where to source one locally.

Good luck!
posted by Jon-o at 5:20 AM on September 29, 2009

Depending on the age and how common your car was, you might be able to get the entire assembly at a salvage yard cheaper than you could get the glass alone new.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:17 AM on September 29, 2009

Best answer: Whole mirror assemblies:


Either one is fairly easy to replace. The whole mirror assembly usually comes off by popping off the trim piece inside the car and removing one or three screws/bolts and the plug.
posted by paanta at 7:14 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

The whole mirror assembly usually comes off by popping off the trim piece inside the car and removing one or three screws/bolts and the plug.

This is true, but you may have to pry the upper portion of the door panel away from the door frame to fish out the wiring harness and unfasten the connector to the electric mirror functions (if equiped). The last time I replaced a Honda mirror (on an Accord, fwiw), the connector was located mercifully close to the top off the door trim and I didn't have to do any major surgery on the door panel to free up the connector and harness. The Civic may even contain the connector and pigtail directly behind the trim piece that covers the mirror mount.
posted by Jon-o at 7:25 AM on September 29, 2009

When my passenger side mirror (glass) was exploded off in a hailstorm, they ended up having to replace the entire assembly since it was power-controlled mirrors.

I would've done it myself (and planned to go to a junk yard to scrounge) but there was also the small matter of $2000 worth of hail damage (considering the storm, I got off with MINOR damage). Since they had to replace the whole mirror housing, it was covered under my normal deductible and not my glass deductible.

Definitely look into quality junk yards around you, and eBay. In the meantime, I've seen some people tape a hand mirror to their mirror housing (but don't recommend this option).
posted by bookdragoness at 8:58 AM on September 29, 2009

Seconding junk/salvage yard.

Civics are about as common as cars get. A quick stop at a shop to quote the job (make them show you what they would do) should be educational. After that, you can just go to a junkyard and pick up and install the part yourself.
posted by milqman at 11:15 AM on September 29, 2009

If you can't get a replacement mirror you might consider a hack. Trace the outline of the mirror glass on a piece of paper. Go to your local glass shop and ask them to cut you a new piece of mirror to that exact size and shape. It should be thin 3/32" glass. Glue the new mirror right over the cracked one using clear silicone adhesive.
posted by JackFlash at 1:48 PM on September 29, 2009

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