Can I Just Replace My Side Mirror Glass?

When faced with busted side mirror glass, many car owners ask themselves if they can just replace the side mirror glass instead of replacing the entire side mirror assembly. The answer is often yes. If the glass is the only part of the side mirror assembly that’s broken, then it’s a smart move to replace only the glass rather than the entire assembly.

Replace mirror

The biggest reason you should consider replacing only the side mirror glass is because it’s the far cheaper option. A full side mirror assembly for a 2017 Ford Escape can cost over $450 (or $340 at Blue Springs Ford Parts) while the side mirror glass only costs about $70 (or $54 at Blue Springs Ford Parts).

Replacing only the glass takes less time, too, which translates to either lower labor costs (if you hire someone to do it for you) or less time spent on the project (if you do it yourself). Speaking of doing it yourself, replacing the side mirror glass is pretty easy.

Mirror assembly glass

Is Your Side Mirror Assembly in Working Order?

Before deciding to replace only the glass, you want to make sure that your side mirror assembly still works:

  1. Visually inspect the side mirror for damage, like cracks in the housing near where the mirror pivots. Usually you will see these on the underside of the mirror housing.
  2. Use your hands to gently rock the entire mirror housing left, right, up, and down. If it feels loose, it’s possible that the side mirror is in working order but it has come slightly loose where it attaches to the body. In this case, tighten the bolts that attach the assembly to the body of the vehicle.
  3. If you have power mirrors, play around with the controls inside the vehicle to make sure they still work. Move the mirror fully side to side and up and down. If the mirror doesn’t respond appropriately to a button, it likely either has an electrical issues, or the mirror control mechanism is damaged. You can remove the mirror and look for mechanical damage or wiring issues before replacing the assembly. (See below for a basic instructions on removing the glass.)

If everything seems to be in working order, you should be able to replace only the glass.

How to Replace Your Side Mirror Glass

NOTE: This tutorial is based on the Ford F-150, but the steps are generally the same for most vehicles.

  1. Find replacement OEM side mirror glass from either your local dealer or a reputable authorized online retailer (like Blue Springs Ford Parts).
  2. Cover the broken glass in the old mirror with masking tape or duct tape. This helps protect your hands when you remove the mirror, and saves you trouble of sweeping up the broken glass later.
  3. Tilt the mirror all the way down and adjust it side to side to create the most space for your fingers. Put your fingers behind the broken mirror and pull the tab(s) to disconnect it. (Refer to the new mirror to see where the tabs are).
  4. Align the mounting tabs on the new mirror with their matching receptacles on the mirror control mechanism. Gently push the new mirror in and make sure it clicks in place. This does not take a lot of force.
  5. If you have power mirrors, test the mirror with the controls inside the vehicle to make sure it’s working properly.

That’s all. It’s an easy and straightforward process that takes about ten minutes.