Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Rearview Mirror

The rearview mirror is located on the upper part of the windshield in your vehicle. Its purpose is to reflect the view behind the vehicle and to help you determine if it is safe to make a lane change, or see other cars around you. The rearview mirror is an important part of your safety, and the safety of the vehicles around you.

More recent vehicles have an auto dimming mirror, which dims automatically so the light does not reflect in your eyes from other vehicles headlights. This can be a very helpful feature on bright sunny days. If you do not have this feature, the mirror may have to be moved manually to keep the sun from blinding you.

The mirror should last the lifetime of your vehicle, but there are a few things that can cause it to malfunction. Watch for the following symptoms if you suspect a bad or failing rearview mirror:

1. Auto dimming does not work

If the auto dimming feature does not work, the sensors may be off. There are several sensors that are located on the back of the mirror. Locate them and clean them with a soft cloth so as not to scratch them. Make sure there is nothing blocking the light from the sensors. After cleaning and inspecting them, shine a flashlight on the sensors and see if the mirror dims. If it does not dim, chances are your rearview mirror is going bad and needs to be replaced.

2. Discoloration

Over time, the sun and other debris that continuously touch the rearview mirror may cause it to become discolored. If this happens, try to clean it with a soft cloth. Again, use a soft cloth so as not to scratch the surface. The discoloration can be below the surface of the mirror as well. If the discoloration does not come off, chances are the mirror has been damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced.

3. No rearview mirror

Sometimes accidents happen and the rearview mirror falls off or is breaks off of its mount. When this happens, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Some states have laws requiring a rearview mirror, so be sure to replace it as soon as possible.

If you notice the auto dimming does not work, the mirror is discolored, or the rearview mirror is missing, contact a mechanic so the problem could be resolved. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your rearview mirror easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified Technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.


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