Installing your Own Rear View Mirror

by : Mike Rosania

Automotive manufacturers pump out thousands of cars a week. This process can lower prices but may result in loss of quality. Take the rear view mirror for example. It is held on by a strong adhesive but heat, humidity, and varying temperatures can weaken the bond.

Luckily, companies take these flaws into account and already have replacements available. Here's a quick guide to replacing your own rear view mirror. Don't worry, you won't need a mechanic.

Pre-Installation Tips:

Gather the following tools and materials.
1. Rubbing alcohol.

2. Paper towels or a soft cloth

3. Scissors

4. Flat-head screwdriver

5. Flat-bladed scraper

6. A pencil

7. Pliers

8. Your new replacement kit

Installation Steps:

Tip- Humidity can affect the adhesive. Try to install on a particularly dry day.

1. Using the scraper, remove all the gunk where the mirror was formerly attached. Using a sharp blade is important to remove all adhesive.

2. Clean the area. Pour some alcohol onto a paper towel or cloth and wipe down the area where you will be mounting the new mirror. This will remove any last grease, oil, or residue. Wait a few minutes after cleaning for the area to dry.

3. Examine your new mirror. At the attachment point there should be a small u-shaped button. You MUST remove this button. It may be secured with a small screw or snapped into place. You can either use the pliers to press down the metal flange holding it, or use the screwdriver to pry it out.

4. After removing the button, very carefully use the scraper to remove all traces of adhesive from its face. Repeat the cleaning process with the button.

5. Once the button is dry, place it on the windshield where you would like the mirror to attach. Make sure that is it exactly where you want it because it will not be easy to remove.

6. Make sure that curved end of the button is facing UPWARD. Then, using the pencil, trace the button. This way, you can remove the button, and see where the mirror will be installed. Set the button aside for now.

7. Open your replacement kit and read the instructions carefully. You should find a small tube of adhesive, a vial of adhesive activator, and maybe a spare button.

8. Remove the activator. Squeeze the vial to break the glass, allowing fluid to soak the swab.

9. Liberally cover the market area on the windshield with the activator. You can also coat the inner face of the button, if you like. Wait five minutes for both surfaces to dry.

10. Remove the adhesive tube from the kit and cut off the tip with the scissors. Squeeze a large drop onto the center of the inner face of the button. Don't put more than one large drop.

11. Place the glue side of the button onto the marked are of your windshield, curved end up. Press and hold it against the glass for over a minute.

12. When you release pressure, the button should be secured to the windshield. Once the button is on the glass, wait at least an hour before continuing.

13. Now attach your new mirror. Carefully slide the attachment onto the button and push down until you hear a click. You may need to fasten the button with a small screw.

Finito! You're done. You can discreetly check out the chick behind you while stopped at a red light.