Replacing a side mirror on your vehicle can be surprisingly costly. Unfortunately, side mirrors are one of the first parts of your car to be damaged.
That’s true whether someone accidentally swiped your mirror, you backed into something, or were involved in a larger accident.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to price your mirror without knowing the make and model of your car.
In addition, installation costs are often the largest part of the cost.
However, that isn’t necessarily true. For example, if you buy a side mirror for a 2007 Ford F-150 series, you can expect to pay $1,016-$1,213 for a heated, powered, side mirror with turn signal.
If you get a generic replacement, that drops down to an average of $674.
If you choose a manual mirror instead, it costs an average of $527 for an OEM mirror or as little as $71.95 for a generic one.
So, the cost of replacing a side mirror can vary significantly. On average, you should expect to pay at least $350 for a non-powered mirror and at least $600 for a powered mirror. However, exact pricing varies based on whether you choose OEM or not as well. In addition, driver side mirrors are almost always more expensive than passenger side mirrors.
The table below shows a quick price comparison of side mirror replacement cost estimates from reputable suppliers:
Importantly, these prices reflect the cost of a full mirror. This includes the housing of the arm, the covers, and the glass.
Often, you can save money by choosing to replace only the broken part of your mirror.
For example, you can find replacement glass for most side mirrors for as little as $10-$30.
On the other hand, you’ll normally pay $50-$300 for replacement housing.
Therefore, replacing the housing instead of the full mirror might not save you that much money.
In every case, if you’re looking to get the best deal possible, you should research the cost of the specific broken part versus a full replacement mirror.
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How Much Does Side Mirror Replacement Cost?*
The largest factor in the cost of replacing a side mirror on your car will always be the make and model.
Of course, no matter the make and model, glass replacement is always a tiny fraction of the cost of replacing the full mirror.
In addition, you’ll usually see some small price variations between driver and passenger side mirrors.
|Vehicle||Side Mirror Cost|
|Ford F Series||$71-$1,213|
|Dodge Ram 1500||$135-$395|
*Note: Prices are estimates and were correct at the time of writing (January 2022). Cost estimates may have changed since, our figures should be used as a starting point for your own research.
Replacing Side Mirror Price Factors
Replacing a side mirror can cost anywhere from $30-$1500. That’s a considerable amount of price variation.
Fortunately, it’s more predictable once you narrow down which make and model of vehicle you’re looking for.
In addition, there are plenty of other factors that affect the total cost of your mirror.
Make and Model
Your vehicle’s brand, make, and model will have the largest impact on cost.
For example, Ford mirrors are usually very expensive compared to Dodge or Chevy mirrors.
However, you can always get a rough ballpark of estimated costs based on what your make and model is.
Often, pricing has to do with the shape and difficulty manufacturing for that vehicle. In addition, factors like whether the mirror fits numerous other vehicles will affect costs.
If a mirror has to be custom made for one model of vehicle, it will be expensive, even if you choose a generic replacement part.
OEM or Not
OEM parts are always more expensive than generic parts. In the case of replacement side mirrors, that price difference can sometimes be a factor of 10.
For example, you can get a generic Chevrolet Silverado mirror for just $39.95. If you want an OEM, heated mirror – you’re looking at $568. That’s a huge difference – although the generic mirror is not heated or powered.
It’s always a good idea to research whether you want OEM parts.
For example, if you want to turn your vehicle in for another vehicle, you might want to stick to OEM parts.
If your dealership notices generic parts, it might actually affect the value of the vehicle. However, that may not be the case and it may not be a concern.
Power and Electronics
Many modern mirrors contain a significant number of electronics, including turn signals, heating, power adjustments, and sometimes even foot traffic signals.
The more powered features the mirror has, the more expensive it will be.
While you don’t have to replace a powered mirror with a powered mirror, not doing so will decrease the value of the vehicle.
In addition, you might not be able to trade it in for another vehicle if that were your intent.
On the other hand, if your vehicle does not have a powered mirror in, you cannot install a powered mirror.
This means it’s important to check your vehicle’s manual to see the exact part number you should be buying.
If you purchase the full mirror, you will pay full costs. The assembly is always the most expensive part of the mirror.
If you can get away with replacing just the glass, you’ll likely save a considerable amount of money.
On the other hand, you can choose to install larger mirrors or towing mirrors when replacing your side mirror.
That can give you a better experience while driving than you had before. However, it likely means spending more money on your mirror replacement.
Changing Side Mirror Steps
In most cases, you can easily replace a side mirror on your own. This can save you a considerable amount of money instead of paying a mechanic.
In fact, mechanics will often charge $94 -$300 for a mirror installation.
Importantly, if you choose to install a mirror yourself, make sure that you can.
Some modern vehicles require you to take apart the outer door panels.
This can be difficult to do without scratching or damaging the fiberglass if you don’t have the right tools.
Therefore, it might be smarter to take your vehicle to a mechanic to be sure.
On the other hand, many car doors feature a simple access panel on the inside.
If you can pop that off using a flat screwdriver or by taking screws out, you can access the full assembly for the side mirror.
- Assemble tools. You’ll need safety glasses, a flat screwdriver, and a wrench and socket set. Most vehicles use 7mm, 10mm, or both. However, there is no standard.
- Look for the access panel on the inside of the vehicle. It should be a compartment right against the top left of the door, right behind the mirror. Check for screws. Check for small access points under the paneling. You may have to depress a clip with a flat screwdriver. Pop the cover off.
- Roll the window down.
- Use a ratchet and socket set to take the mirror off. You may want to ask someone to hold the mirror up from the outside.
- Install the new mirror in the same place.
On the other hand, you might want to replace only the mirror glass. Here, you still have to take the mirror out.
However, you can often reduce costs down to $30 or less by replacing just the glass.
If the housing is in good shape, this is the best way to go.
- Remove the mirror following the steps above unless your mirror has a housing that allows you to replace the glass without taking it apart.
- Then, remove the outer casing from the mirror by unscrewing it from the arm or by taking the housing apart
- You can tell from the glass you have if you have an adhesive or a screw-in mirror. Follow the instructions on your replacement mirror.
- If you have a glue-on mirror, use a heat gun or hair dryer if you have one. Additionally, you should make sure you’re wearing safety glasses. Then, you can use a scraper to peel the glass up.
- Use adhesive to re-apply the new mirror.
- On the other hand, if you have a screw and clamp system, follow the instructions that come with your new mirror.
US Side Mirror Laws and Regulations
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 111 mandates that all vehicles have two rear view mirrors, with one center and one side mirror.
The standard further states that the driver must have a significant field of vision, with clear view of at least 20 degrees, extending at least 61mm to the rear of the vehicle.
U.S. Federal law mandates that you have at least a side mirror on the driver’s side and a rearview center mirror.
However, some states conflict with this. For example, North Dakota, Idaho, Vermont, and Texas only require that you have a rearview mirror.
It is not necessary to have a side mirror unless the center mirror is blocked.
However, it is important to note that if you choose to skip a driver’s side mirror, you cannot drive on federal roads.
You may be fined for driving on interstates if you do not have a driver’s side rearview mirror in place.
On the other hand, you can drive in all four of those states without a driver’s side mirror without a problem.
It is legal, in every state, to drive without a passenger side mirror. This mirror is fully optional.
2 Signs You Need a New Mirror
If you’re considering replacing your side mirror but aren’t sure, these two signs are a good reason to replace your mirror.
1. It’s No Longer Stable
If your mirror is no longer stable, it’s no longer safe.
For example, if someone sideswiped the mirror and partially broke the attachment point.
Your mirror might swing around. It might also fall loose.
Or, it might sag against the car. In either case, this renders your mirror useless.
In addition, it could be a hazard if you try to use it. If the mirror’s angle isn’t fixed, you can’t rely on it.
2. You Can’t See Out of It Clearly
If your mirror glass is cracked, chipped, or broken to the point where you can’t see out of it clearly, it’s time to replace it.
Luckily, it’s both easy and affordable to replace mirror glass.
In fact, most auto parts shops sell generic replacement mirror glass starting from about $5.
While you will have to put in some effort to remove the old glass, it should be relatively easy.
Car side mirrors can be expensive. Chances are, you have questions about whether you really have to replace yours.
Is it legal to drive without a side mirror?
That depends on which mirror is missing and which state you live in.
For example, you can always legally drive without a passenger side mirror.
On the other hand, it’s illegal to drive on any federal road without a driver’s side mirror.
In addition, all but four states require a driver’s side mirror.
Can I replace a side mirror myself?
Yes. In fact, most side mirrors don’t require any special tools to replace.
Instead, in most cases, you can simply pop off a cover panel on the inside of the door and then unbolt the mirror.
However, very new and very high-end vehicles may not allow you to replace the mirror.
Here, you might also have to take off the door and remove the side panel on the outside of the vehicle to access the mirror mount.
That may be difficult to do on your own.
How long does it take to replace a side mirror?
In most cases, you can have a side mirror replaced for you in about an hour.
If you choose to do the work yourself, that depends on your own confidence and speed.
In most cases, you should expect to spend at least an hour on the job.
Side mirror replacement costs vary significantly by vehicle make and model.
Therefore, you can expect to spend anywhere from $39 to upwards of $1500 on a new side mirror.
Here, costs depend on your vehicle, whether you’re buying a powered mirror, and how new the vehicle is.
Hopefully, this guide helps you decide if you’re ready to replace your side mirror and how you intend to do it.
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