Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Does the Side Mirror Control Switch Work?

imageDescription

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...
P0608 OBD-II Trouble Code: Control Module VSS Output "A" Malfunction
P0608 means there is an malfunction in the vehicle speed sensor A control module often due too faulty speed sensor or shorted electrical wiring.


Related questions

Q: Does a Cracked Mirror Need to Be Completely Replaced?

To determine if a cracked mirror needs to be completely replaced will depend on a few factors. Let's start with the interior mirror, or what is typically called the rear-view mirror. Generally this mirror is only replaceable as an entire...

Q: Key stuck in ignition switch

Hello, I am sorry to hear about your issue, but there is a solution. More likely than not, the ignition lock cylinder will have to be replaced and a new key set programmed. Your keys can be released during the...

Q: Is it possible to install power mirrors on a Lexus GS 350 2013

Hi there. It is possible to install power mirrors on this vehicle, it just depends on what style you are looking for. Your car should come standard with power mirrors, But if it does not have folding mirrors then that...