Replacing the wing mirrors on automobiles made after the mid-1980s is a relatively straightforward process because the mirrors attach to most vehicles in the same manner. Wing mirrors, commonly knows as side-view mirrors, are manufactured from ABS plastic. They consist of a mirror housing or mirror shell, a plastic reflective lens and in some cases, a mirror actuator or motor. The mirror lens mounts to the motor or actuator mounted inside the mirror housing and the housing mounts to the side of the door via three threaded posts fixed to the mating side of the housing. The posts extend through the door and secure behind an access panel using three nuts.
Open the door and locate the access panel that hides the mirror bolts. The cover is located inside the door, directly opposite where the mirror bolts to the outside of the door.
Pull the access panel off the inner door panel by pulling on it. The panel has small prongs on the back of it that press into the inner door panel. When you pull on the access panel, the prongs pull free from the inner door panel.
Locate the wiring harness for the mirror motor or actuator inside the sub frame of the door, behind the access panel. Pull the connectors of the wiring harness apart with your fingers. Not all mirrors are powered. This is common with passenger side mirrors.
Hold the mirror housing with one hand, and remove the three nuts located behind the access panel using a socket and ratchet.
Pull the mirror away from the door. As you pull the mirror away, the three threaded studs pull out with the mirror housing. Take caution not to scratch your door paint with the posts.
Slide the posts of the new mirror through the door. Hold the mirror in place with one hand while you thread the three nuts onto the threaded posts with your fingers. Tighten the nuts in place using the socket and ratchet.
Push the connectors of the wiring harness together, and then stuff the harness back into the sub frame of the door if the mirror is powered.
Place the access panel back onto the inner door panel, and push the prongs on the back of the access panel into the inner door panel with your hand.