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Rear-view mirror replacement
The rear-view mirror
Since the early 1900s we have been using rear-view mirrors on vehicles. Other than changes to the shape, they largely stayed the same up until the smart rear-view mirror era of today. Now we have the option of mirrors with rear-view camera displays incorporated into them. No need to look over the shoulder, a quick look in a tech-loaded rear-view mirror will show you what’s going on behind you.
The rear-view mirror is a great tool, of course. It enables you to see who is following and if they are planning to overtake; it aids in lane changes, parking, and avoiding accidents; and it’s good for keeping an eye on what your passengers or kids are getting up to in the back seat.
If you’ve ever had to drive without one you’d know that it soon becomes evident how often rear-view mirrors are used in everyday driving. We depend on them frequently.
What is a rear-view mirror?
A rear-view mirror attaches to the windscreen or hangs from the ceiling of the car and is positioned internally at the top and centre of the forward cabin space. It doesn’t obscure the forward view and is easy to reach if adjustments need to be made.
The rear-view mirror is generally a rectangular-shaped mirror fitted within a casing which is adhered to the windscreen or fitted into a roof-mounted console or mount. They can be removed from their mounts for cleaning and windscreen replacement purposes. There is a tilt tab under the mirror for day and night driving with the tilt enabling a dimmer view at night to stop unwanted headlight glare. On some more modern vehicles, this function may be activated by pressing a button.
Australian design rules state the internal mirror ‘needs to be a flat reflecting surface i.e. unit magnification’. This means the mirror should provide a virtual, or identical image. Distance perceived in the image should reflect the actual distance.
The mirror mount needs to be stable and provide vertical and horizontal movement. The rear-view mirror needs to provide drivers with a view to the rear ‘of at least 20 degrees horizontal angle and sufficient vertical angle to provide a view of a level road surface extending to the horizon’.
As long as the mirror is a plane mirror, fitted securely, able to be tilted in either direction and you can view the appropriate amount of vision, then all is good. If for any reason your mirror isn’t secure and the view is impaired, then the mirror may need to be replaced.
Symptoms a rear-view mirror needs to be replaced
- Loose fitting
- Broken assembly
- Mirror deteriorated
- Mirror broken
- Upgrading mirror
How is a rear-view mirror replaced?
- Remove old mirror
- Clean the window of old adhesive
- Remove mounting disk from the new mirror
- Adhere to window
- Attach mirror to mounting disc
(If fitting to a roof mount, remove the old mirror from fitment and replace with the new mirror)
Tips to remember
Make sure the window is clean and dry before applying new adhesive to the window.
Wherever possible, replace the old mirror with the same design as the old mirror to ensure the view is within regulations.
Mark or measure where the old mirror was located. The new mirror will need to be fitted in the same location as per the manufacturer’s recommended position, for optimal viewing.
How important is replacing a rear-view mirror?
You don’t realise how important they are until you don’t have one. Every passenger vehicle is required to have an internal rear-view mirror and if you don’t have one, not only could you be fined but you run the very real risk of being involved in an accident.
If you want a hand replacing your rear-view mirror have an AutoGuru mechanic replace it for you.