Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does a Rearview Mirror Last?

How Long Does a Rearview Mirror Last?

rearview mirror

Your car is required by law in most states to have a minimum of two mirrors that allow you to see behind the car. It can be any combination of the two side view mirrors and the rearview mirror. Of the three that came with your car, the rearview mirror is the largest and the most easily adjusted. It provides you with a direct view right behind your car, while the two side view mirrors show traffic to the right or left and slightly behind you.

The rearview mirror doesn’t actually do any work, but it is still subject to wear and tear. The most common issue is the effect of high temperatures and direct sunlight on the adhesive that holds the mirror to the windshield. Over time, the adhesive can weaken, and eventually the bond will be destroyed. The result is that the mirror will fall off.

When the mirror falls, it’s possible that it will strike the dash, the shifter, or another hard object and crack or break. If it breaks, it must be replaced. However, if the problem is only adhesive-related, it can be reinstalled.

There’s no set lifespan for your rearview mirror, and the mirror assembly itself should last the life of your car as long as it is properly maintained. However, if you park your car in direct sunlight often, it’s very likely that you will eventually experience adhesive degradation.

With that being said, some cars come equipped with power mirrors. These offer a range of different functionalities, from additional lights built into the mirror to auto-dimming technology and more. Because these mirrors incorporate electronics, they can succumb to age, malfunction and degradation over time. Again, there is no specific lifespan.

Without a rearview mirror, you have no direct line of sight behind your car. Watch for the following signs and symptoms that your mirror is about to fail:

  • Electronic functions not working

  • Mirror seems “loose” when you adjust it manually

  • Mirror is discolored or cracked (the plastic housing can sometimes crack with age and exposure to sunlight)

  • Mirror has fallen off the windshield (check the mirror for cracks and breakage)

If your rearview mirror has fallen off, or is showing signs of age, YourMechanic can help. One of our mobile mechanics can come to your home or office, re-attach your rearview mirror, or replace the mirror completely.

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

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...

Related questions

Q: Q: How do I adjust the rearview mirror?

The rearview mirror is an important safety feature that provides you with visibility out your rear window. Before driving, you should always adjust your rearview mirror so that you have maximum visibility. To adjust the mirror, manually move it up,...

Q: How do I manually adjust the anti-glare rear view mirror?

The rear view mirror is an important safety feature that allows you to see what is happening behind your vehicle. At night, however, the glare from the headlights of vehicles behind you can diminish your visibility and your safety. To...

Q: How Are Car Mirrors Used Correctly?

Automotive mirrors are one of the most crucial aids used in safe driving. When properly adjusted, they allow the driver to quickly see objects and other vehicles that are around you without turning your head or losing focus on your...