Your vehicle comes equipped with all kinds of safety features meant to make life safer and easier for you, as well as those others on the road. One of those safety features is your door mirror. By using this mirror you'll be able to see to the sides and behind your vehicle. There is a door mirror located on the driver's and passenger's side.
It used to be that these mirrors were just optional, but now in the United States they are required by law. Both of the mirrors can be adjusted by the driver so that they are in the exact right position for each person. These door mirrors may just be a simple mirror, or they can be heated, power-adjusted, they can fold in out of the way when parking, and some even feature a turn signal repeater.
While there is no reason these mirrors can’t last the entire lifespan of your vehicle, the fact of the matter is that they are prone to damage. If they have electrical components in them, they are even more susceptible to wear and tear. Think about the many things that can go wrong with these mirrors: they can break off in a parking mishap or an accident, they can chip since they are glass, and as mentioned the electrical components can stop working such as the power-adjustable option. Unfortunately when these mirrors take damage, it’s a replacement that is needed. Repair isn’t an option.
Here are some ways to tell if your door mirror has reached its lifespan:
The door mirror has been ripped or broken off of the vehicle.
There is a visible crack in the mirror. This may also cause some of the glass to break off completely.
The mirror has become badly scratched or chipped making images appear distorted.
You are unable to move and adjust the mirror, so you can’t use it as it is meant to be used – as a safety feature.
When it comes to a door mirror that has reached the end of its lifespan, you’ll need to get it replaced immediately. Driving without a working door mirror is a safety risk, and is also illegal. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your door mirror is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book a door mirror replacement service with a professional mechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Door Mirror Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.