Side-view door mirrors are vulnerable to a wide variety of damaging events, such as side-swiping other vehicles, hitting a mailbox, even accidentally catching the side of the garage door frame as you’re backing out. Whatever the problem with your mirror, luckily this is an affordable and simple problem to remedy.
Door mirrors come in many different styles and functions, so you want to look for one that will fit your vehicle properly and be durable and functional, for a price that doesn’t break the bank. It’s imperative that this part is optimally designed and of good quality construction, because it’s a vital element of your car’s safety systems. Side door mirrors allow you to see behind and to the side of your car which is especially important when changing lanes. You don’t want an inferior part when it comes to your and your family’s safety.
When selecting a new mirror, here are a few tips to make sure you’re getting a good quality door mirror:
Decide between OEM and aftermarket: There are quite a few acceptable aftermarket mirrors available but do your research and verify that you’re buying from a reputable company with a proven history of parts that fit correctly and hold up to the test of time.
Determine exactly which features your car can support: Some mirrors are powered, and have extra functions like folding, heat, memory, or dimming. You may be able to replace your door mirror with one that has more features but you’ll have to research your vehicle to be sure it has the right connections inside the door panel to make these features work.
Be sure you’re getting the correct side: The left and right side mirrors are different and cannot be swapped. The left side typically has flat glass, while the right mirror has convex glass in order to maximize the width of the view.
Shop around for the best warranty: The last thing you want is to put the money out for a new door mirror only to have it fall apart or malfunction. If you have the mirror installed by a pro, the shop may also offer a warranty on the parts and/or work.
Pick it up and feel it: This may seem elementary but the old-fashioned feel test can still be the most reliable. If it feels cheap and flimsy rather than durable and strong, it probably is.
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This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Door Mirror and was authored by Valerie Johnston.