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Mirror - Interior Rear View

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Mirror - Interior Rear View

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What is a Rear View Mirror and where is it Located?

The rear view mirror, typically mounted inside of your vehicle on your windshield (it may also be found on the interior roof or the dashboard), allows you to get a glance at what’s behind you. It helps you in backing up and merging into traffic among many other day-to-day driving tasks. They can be adjusted and angled every which way – up, down, left, right – in order to show as much of the rear window’s view as possible. When used properly in tandem with side view mirrors, driver blind spots can be minimized. Rear view mirrors are an extremely important safety feature in cars and trucks, and allow the driver to be aware of their environment and avoid potential accidents and mishaps.

The earliest automobiles, interestingly enough, did not feature rear view mirrors. Many drivers though, saw the benefit of such a device. A 1906 book, The Woman and the Car, recommended that women use their compact mirrors to see behind them while driving. In 1911, a driver at the Indy 500 bracketed a rear view mirror inside of his car. Eventually these mirrors became standard equipment on all cars and trucks. 

The functioning of the interior mirror is pretty straight forward - it reflects light to let you see what’s behind you. If there are drivers behind you at night with their high beams on, the reflection may be distracting to the driver. So, interior rear view mirrors can be dimmed with a small tab on the underside. There is a piece of glass in front of the actual mirror. When you move the tab, you adjust the mirror to point at the ceiling, taking its reflection out of your view. The glass actually acts as a dimmer mirror. At some point, you may have tried to look out the window of a lit house at night and seen your own reflection. That is the same effect that makes your nighttime mirror work. 

Some rear view mirrors have auto-dimming systems that use electronic sensors and electrochromic, color-changing gel/fluid to dim the mirror. Auto dimming mirrors are constructed with two panes, and the fluid that they are filled with darkens automatically with an electrical charge, thus eliminating the glare from vehicles that are behind you. The brighter the glare, the darker the mirror gets. These help to make night-time driving even safer. Some mirrors may also have electronic displays that give the driver data on temperature, fuel consumption, compass bearing, and other pertinent information. Lastly, some rear view mirrors also may have the map lights or backup camera screens built into them as well.

How do I Know if my Rear View Mirror Needs to be Replaced?

If your rear view mirror is giving you poor visibility then it is time to replace it. Your mirror may become discolored with age or may crack. Rear view mirrors are held to the top of the windshield by an adhesive which can eventually dry up, causing your mirror to simply fall off. If the mirror is undamaged in the fall, you may be able to reinstall it. Otherwise, it’s time for a new one. 

Mirrors with auto-dimming or displays can also suffer electronic problems. If the auto-dimming works sporadically, it might indicate loose or faulty wiring inside the mirror. If the dimming doesn’t work at all, then the problem is either with the wiring to the mirror or the mirror itself. These mirrors can also fail in a way that results in the fluid leaking out of them.

Can I Replace a Rear View Mirror Myself?

Replacing a rear view mirror is not a complicated job, but it does require some patience. You’ll also need a mirror repair kit which will include the adhesive used to affix the mirror to the top of the windshield. 

To start, you’ll have to separate the mirror from the windshield (unless it has already fallen off). To do this, you’ll have to remove the adhesive. Heating the glue with a blow dryer may help, as could the use of solvent or a razor blade. Eventually you will have to pry off a button that the mirror mounts to. Be very careful not to crack the windshield. You will then have to separate the button from the mirror. Next, you’ll want to mark the spot where the mirror was mounted on the outside of the windshield. Then clean up any remaining adhesive from the mounting area. With that done, you can glue the new button to the windshield. Since heat and humidity can keep the adhesive from drying, you should do this job on a dry day between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and park your vehicle out of the sun. The glue will need at least an hour to set. Check the instructions on your adhesive. It’s usually a good idea to use something like masking tape to hold the mirror in place while the glue is drying.  If the tape used is too sticky, you risk pulling the tab off when taking off the tape (if not completely set). Once the glue is set, you can attach the mirror to the button.

Need a Rear View Mirror Replacement?

Your vehicle's interior rear view mirror plays a major role in the appearance and safety of your car or truck, even though many people probably take it for granted. Without it, it will be awfully hard to keep abreast of the current situation behind you, which is extremely important as things can change quickly back there. At 1A Auto, we know what a hassle and danger a broken car or truck rear view mirror is. That’s why we stock a large selection of aftermarket rear view mirror replacements for many makes and models, and at great prices. Whether you are looking for a simple rear view mirror replacement, or are looking to upgrade, we have you covered.

At 1A Auto, we also make shopping for a replacement interior rear view mirror for your car, truck, SUV, or van easy - we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our aftermarket rear view mirrors, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online.

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