How I Changed Out a Side Mirror on My Jeep

I’m not much of a mechanic, but after a hail storm came through and cracked my driver’s side mirror, I decided I should take a chance and change it myself to avoid having to claim it on my insurance. One should note that vehicle I was working with was a 99′ Jeep Cherokee sport that in the grand scheme of things, has seemed to be fairly easy to work on. I’ve also been able to change a tire, change the oil, and switch out a rear wiper motor on this vehicle as well.

The most important thing to remember when you are changing out a side mirror, is that if it is an electric one, unplug your battery! Saving money on this repair is not worth getting a nice shock as you connect and disconnect wires. I cannot stress enough how important this step is when working on anything electric on the car.

Your next objective will be to get into the door. This requires taking off the paneling. For the Jeep, it was a few simple screws that a Phillips head screwdriver took care of. There are also some snap in attachments that you can pry out, but be careful not to break them as they are usually plastic. From there it is attached with a few wires, but I was able to just let the door hang and work around it. With the same screwdriver, you can remove the bolts for the mirror and then, disconnect the wiring from the car to the mirror. Carefully remove the mirror and dispose of properly.

Installing the new mirror is as simple as inserting it back in the right spot, returning the screws, and plugging it back into the car. Make sure it is secure and before returning the paneling to the door, reconnect the battery to make sure that your repair was successful by testing the mirror’s movement. If it works well, return the paneling to the door. It will snap back in and then after you replace the remainder of the screws, it will be just as you found it before.

One thing to note is that there are some wires running from the door to the paneling known as lock arms. If these get bent your locks will not work. Take care that nothing becomes altered while doing this repair.

And its as simple as that. Something that would probably cost you $100 plus the cost of the part in an automotive repair shop can be done easily at home in an hour with just the cost of the part.

**Please note author is an amateur and not all cars are the same, if you have doubts, consult your local repair shop.

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