How to Adjust Auto Mirrors

Written by kimberly johnson
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How to Adjust Auto Mirrors
Properly adjusted vehicle mirrors improve safety. (Car mirror image by Fenia from

Car mirrors are more than just useful devices that improve visibility, they are also important safety features that protect the driver, other motorists and even pedestrians. While most people don't give too much thought to adjusting their automobile mirrors, there is actually a right way to do it. Properly adjusted mirrors provide the widest distance of visibility both during the day and at night. It is important to adjust all three auto mirrors each time you enter the vehicle.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle and fasten the seat belt. Adjust the seat forward or backward if necessary so you are in the position that is most comfortable to drive in. Your feet should reach the pedals easily without having to stretch your legs out or bend them up.

  2. 2

    Place your hand on the rear-view mirror, mounted in the centre of the front windshield. Move it upward or downward until you see nothing but the road behind you and not the interior roof of the vehicle or the rear car seats.

  3. 3

    Turn the rear-view mirror either to the left or to the right so that the view is centred in your back windshield. Be careful not to alter the vertical positioning as you do this.

  4. 4

    Look at the dimmer tab on the bottom of the mirror that should only be used at night. During the day, push the tab all the way back. At night, pull the tab forward only if a car with bright headlights is behind you.

  5. 5

    Rest your head against the driver's side window and adjust the left side mirror outward until you can barely see this side of your automobile. Move it upward until you can see all of a vehicle positioned behind you. When you lean back correctly into the driver's seat, you should not be able to see any part of the side of your vehicle in the mirror.

  6. 6

    Lean your body to the right until your head is above the centre console. Adjust the passenger's side mirror outward until the side of your vehicle is barely visible in the mirror. Move it upward until you can see all of a vehicle positioned behind you. When you sit normally in the driver's seat, the side of your vehicle should not be visible.

Tips and warnings

  • Many new vehicles have internal controls to adjust the mirror. On older vehicles, you will have to adjust the mirrors with your hands.

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