5 Things to Consider When Choosing Side Mirrors for Your Vehicle

10th Apr 2020

sunset in car side mirror

How to Choose Vehicle Side Mirrors

Does your vehicle need a new side mirror? Maybe the old side mirror cracked, or perhaps the internal motor stopped working. Side mirrors play an important role in protecting against collision by improving your visibility when driving. Along with the rear-view mirror, you can check your side mirrors to view the vehicles, pedestrians and objects behind you. If one or both of your side mirrors break, however, you'll need to change them.

#1) Power vs Manual

Side mirrors are classified as either power or manual, depending on their method of operation. Power side mirrors, of course, contain a wiring harness that connects to your vehicle's electrical system. Once installed, you can adjust them by pressing the appropriate button or control system on your vehicle's dashboard. Manual side mirrors, on the other hand, are adjusted manually.

#2) Driver vs Passenger

Although they look similar, the driver-side side mirror is different than that of the passenger side on most vehicles. They often feature slightly different shapes and sizes. As a result, driver-size and passenger-side side mirrors aren't interchangeable. If you're planning to replace a side mirror on your vehicle, you'll need to choose the appropriate one.

#3) Turn Signals

When shopping for a new side mirror, you may discover that some of them have built-in turn signals. On the back of the housing unit is a bulb -- similar to a headlight bulb -- that activates in response to the turn signal. The normal turn signal on the rear bumper will also activate; the side mirror turn signal simply complements the normal turn signal to increase visibility and awareness to other motorists.

#4) Heated vs Non Heated

Something else to consider when shopping for a new side mirror is whether they are heated or non heated. Heated side mirrors, as the name suggests, contain a heating element that works like a defroster. If a side mirror has condensation or fog covering it, you can activate the heating element to clean it up.

#5) Color

You should consider the color when shopping for a new side mirror as well. Ideally, it's best to choose a side mirror in the same color as your vehicle. If your vehicle is black, for instance, you should try to choose a black side mirror. With that said, you can always choose a paint-to-match side mirror. Paint-to-match side mirrors have a base color, such as black, that you can repaint to match your vehicle's paint job.