Broken side mirror: What are the repair options and cost?

You come out of the store and find the side mirror on your car is broken. This unfortunate situation is familiar to many. We need side mirrors for safe driving; what are the repair options and cost?

The first question is which part is broken? The side mirror consists of several parts:
Side mirror parts Side mirror parts.
the base (mirror assembly), mirror glass, cover and the turn signal (if equipped). For certain cars, the part might be available only as one complete piece. In some cases the cover is sold already painted, in others it comes black and might need to be painted separately.

The quickest way to get the repairs done is to visit your dealership. Of course, it's a good idea to order parts ahead of time because it's unlikely the dealer will have the side mirror in stock.

Many people simply visit the dealership, so the parts advisor can see the damage and order required parts, as well as set up the service appointment. In most cases, you will probably be able to get it done the next day.

The glass might need to be replaced even if it looks OK, because clips that hold the glass break easily. Replacing the complete side mirror at the dealership for an average car will cost 0.7-1.5 hours of labor plus parts.
Is the side mirror covered by the warranty? Yes, but the factory warranty only covers manufacturing defects and not accidental damage, scrapes or vandalism.

What are the less expensive repair options? Depending on your coverage and cause of damage, the side mirror might be covered by your insurance. Another option is to replace the mirror with an aftermarket or used part; both will be cheaper ($30-$150 for the complete side mirror).

Check prices online, or call a local auto recycling or salvage facility (junk yard).
Broken side mirror glass Broken side mirror glass can be replaced separately.
You can often find a used part on eBay. To find out if the part fits, you will need to know the model year of your car as well as the options, such as whether the mirror is self-dimming or heated. Is there a built-in turn signal light? Does the mirror have a blind spot monitoring system warning light?

Meanwhile, if your broken mirror is hanging by the wires, it's a good idea to secure it temporarily so it won't cause a safety hazard if separated or damage the wires or paint.

How easy is it to replace a side mirror? If the side mirror is attached to the small triangle in front of the glass by the A-pillar, it's usually easier to replace, see this photo. Often it's just three little bolts covered by a little plastic cover plus one electrical connector. Replacing the mirror that is attached to the side of the door takes more work, as the door cover and other parts will have to be removed.

Can I just replace the glass on my side view mirror? Yes, if all the other parts are not damaged, the side view mirror glass can be replaced separately. The price for the glass (part) ranges between $20 and $150.

It's important to order a glass using the VIN number, because the part number will be different for different model years and options such as Blind Spot Monitor, Self-dimming, etc.

The dealer may charge you from 0.5 to 1.0 hours of labor to replace just the glass. In most cars the glass just pops into the clips, but the plastic clips are very fragile and break easily, especially when cold. If you are planning to do it yourself, get the proper instructions and make sure the parts are at least at room temperature.

My mirror is intact, but the painted cover is missing. How can it be repaired? This is an easy fix; order the cover with matching color from the dealer and the new cover just pops in (it's held with a few clips).