How to Replace the Exterior Broken Mirror Glass of a Car

Written by desdemona delacroix
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How to Replace the Exterior Broken Mirror Glass of a Car
Side-view mirrors allow drivers to see everything going on behind them, which improves safety. (Backside the valley image by sylvain lienard from

A broken mirror on the exterior of your car limits your ability to see what's going on around you while you drive, creating a potential safety hazard. While you could take it in and pay a professional to fix the mirror, it costs less to do the job yourself. Believe it or not, replacing your car's side-view mirror is a simple do-it-yourself job as long as you buy the proper equipment and have a little know-how. Replacement glass is available at auto and glass stores or online.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Dustbin
  • Hair dryer
  • Putty knife
  • Silicone adhesive
  • Painter's tape

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  1. 1

    Place a dustbin or other container under where you will be working to catch the broken glass.

  2. 2

    Remove the old glass from the frame. If it is shattered, pull the pieces out carefully. If it is still mostly intact, use a hair dryer to apply some heat to melt the glue holding the mirror on. Once the glue is hot, use a putty knife to pop the glass out. Make sure the glass and glue are completely cleaned out of the frame.

  3. 3

    Glue the replacement glass to the frame, using silicone adhesive. Apply the adhesive in five small gobs, one in the middle and four at the corners. Smear each gob of silicone to cover about 1/2 inch, but be careful not to get to close to the edge.

  4. 4

    Secure the mirror tightly to the frame while it dries, using painter's tape. Do not remove the tape for at least 24 hours to make sure the mirror sticks firmly to the frame.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear gardening gloves and goggles for this project.

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