How Does the Side Mirror Control Switch Work?

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Older vehicles and cars with base trim levels may have manual mirror adjustment. The most basic method is adjusting the mirror glass directly on the mirror assembly, or it can be adjusted by a manual cable toggle control. While manual mirrors are not totally extinct, they are becoming extremely uncommon.

Virtually all new vehicles are equipped with power mirror adjustment. The workings of a power mirror system include:

  • Side mirror power adjustment motors
  • Electrical connectors
  • Mirror switch with directional control
  • Fused power mirror circuit

If any one part of the system is faulty, the whole system won’t work.

How does the mirror control switch work?

Only the side mirrors are controlled by the power mirror switch. The inside rearview mirror is manual adjustment. The power mirror switch has three positions: left, off, and right. When the switch is in the center position, neither mirror will be adjusted if the button is pressed. This is to ensure that the mirrors don’t move if the directional control button is accidentally hit.

The directional control button has four directions that the mirror motor can move: up, down, right, and left. If the switch is moved to either the left or right side, that side mirror motor circuit is powered at the switch. When you press the directional control button on the switch, the mirror motor inside the mirror housing will pivot the mirror glass to the selected direction. When you release the button, the mirror stops moving.

The mirror motor has a limited amount of travel that is allowed to prevent damage to the mirror glass. Once the travel limit is reached, the motor will continue to click and bind until the directional control button is released. Continuing to press the button when at its limit will cause the mirror motor to burn out eventually, and it will cease to operate until it is replaced.

Making sure your mirrors are adjusted for proper rear and side-view visibility is extremely important to safely operating your car. You need to be able to see the traffic beside and behind you to make informed decisions about your driving. Check your mirror adjustment every time you start your car to make sure they are positioned properly for you.


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Jason

31 years of experience
148 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Surprise, Arizona
Needed new brake pads on my Land Rover-and booked through “your mechanic”- this was my second time using this service and I have to say- these guys are awesome- Today, Jason came out to my work place- and completed the work quickly. Thank you!!
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Jason was on time, self motivated, well educated in his craft, and very helpful. I am fully sold on your method of using the home service. Jason helped by creating a safer ride for my wife, saving me time, and saving money for my family. I will be a client forever. Dennis Laycock

Lee

18 years of experience
105 reviews
Lee
18 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Richmond, Virginia
Lee was professional and knowledgeable. The job did not take long he was a little late but like I said professional because he let know that he was running late. LEE IS AWESOME!!!!!!

Willie

23 years of experience
23 reviews
Willie
23 years of experience
Jeep Compass - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - North Hollywood, California
I made an appointment to have my brake rotors/disc replaced. On the day I scheduled my car services- it ended up raining. Willie checked in, moved my appointment, and continued to communicate through out the day until he was able to come work on my car. He took great car to make the repairs ANNNDDD SAVED ME MONEY by only doing what was necessary (only one of the rotors needed replacing). A blessing.

Honorio

18 years of experience
782 reviews
Honorio
18 years of experience
Saturn Vue - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Sunnyvale, California
This was our second appointment to service our Honda and Saturn with Honorio and we will continue to do so in the future. We highly recommend Honorio.

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