Q: How Does the Power Mirror Switch Work?

asked by on

How does the power mirror switch work?

A conventional power mirror switch is essentially two rocker switches built into a single housing. Each rocker switch is connected to two wires that are connected to a reversible DC (direct current) motor inside the rear view mirror on either door. Each rear view mirror has two DC motors. One DC motor operates the up/down function while the other DC motor operates the left/right function.

Both of the rocker switches inside the power mirror switch are constantly connected to the vehicle’s electrical ground circuit with the switch at rest. When you press the switch in any mirror direction, the switch connects one of the two wires of a motor to power (12 volts DC) while keeping the other circuit connected to ground. Electricity then flows through the switch to the DC motor and the mirror head moves in the intended direction. If you press the same switch to the opposite direction, you are reversing the electricity to the mirror motor and the mirror moves in the opposite direction.

For example, let’s adjust the driver’s side rear view mirror. Push the mirror switch to the right, which moves the mirror inward (toward the vehicle). One of the two wires of the L/R mirror motor, wire A, receives power while the other wire, wire B, is connected to ground. This causes the mirror to move inward. Likewise, if you push the mirror switch to the left. Wire A is now connected to ground and wire B is connected to power, causing the L/R mirror motor to move the mirror outward. The same concept occurs when you adjust the mirror up and down.

Many power mirror switches have a neutral or center position, which locks the mirrors in place and prevents any mirror adjustment from occurring.

Newer vehicles utilize control modules (computers) to operate the power mirrors. The power mirror switch is then used to provide a simple command signal to the control module indicating the desired direction. The switch is not directly connected to the mirror motors in this case.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. How Does the Power Mirror Switch Work?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Transfer case won't shift into gear - 2002 Mercedes Benz G500

There seems to be a deep electrical bug in the vehicle and unfortunately these problems require a case study of the vehicle. Some facilities will offer the service where they will keep the vehicle overnight and drive it in an...

Q: Q: How do you use the vanity mirror?

Your car is equipped with a vanity mirror on both the driver and passenger side. These provide convenience, but should not be used when driving (the driver side mirror). Here’s how to use them: Flip the sun visor down....

Q: overheating and engine is shaking.

The condition that is causing the electric fans to come on selectively would be caused by the coolant sensor / switch. The sensor / switch is loosing contact connections causing the connections to the fans to cut off making the...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.