Q: How to Adjust a Car Mirror Correctly

asked by on November 18, 2015

How to adjust a car mirror correctly.

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There are two to three mirrors on your vehicle that need to be adjusted so that the driver can clearly see behind and down both sides of the vehicle.

Before you adjust your mirrors, you must first adjust your seating position so that you are sitting comfortably, can safely reach the steering wheel and the pedals, and can clearly see over the hood of the vehicle at the road in front of you.

First, look at the rear view mirror that’s located in the top center of the windshield. Adjust the view until you can see the entire rear window in your mirror. You should be able to see straight back through the center of the vehicle at the lane directly behind you. If your rear view mirror has a day/night adjustment lever on the bottom of the mirror, place the lever in the most forward position (toward the windshield) and re-check the mirror adjustment. This is the day adjustment. If the mirror is adjusted properly, you should be able to check your rear vision by simply looking at the mirror. You shouldn’t have to move your head around like a boxer trying to dodge a punch.

When driving at night, move the day/night lever on the bottom of the mirror to the most rearward position (toward you). This position reduces the blinding glare from the headlights of vehicles directly behind you. When changing your mirror from day to night time operation, you may need to slightly re-adjust the mirror for proper vision.

The left side view mirror should be adjusted so that you can fully see the traffic behind and to the left of the vehicle. This is where one of your blind spots is located. When properly adjusted, the left side of your vehicle should not be visible and you should be able to completely see any vehicle to the left and rear of your vehicle. However, any vehicle directly beside you will not be visible in the side view mirror. Before changing lanes, you should still look over your left shoulder to check for the presence of any vehicles directly beside you that can’t be seen in the side view mirror.

The right side view mirror is of a convex design, giving you a wide angle view of the traffic to the right and rear of your vehicle. Because of its design, all vehicles seen in this mirror will be closer to your vehicle than they appear. This mirror should be adjusted so that you can see the entire lane to your right. Be sure to check the lane directly to your right before changing lanes, as this area is not visible in your mirror.

If you need any of your door mirrors serviced, a certified mechanic can perform the replacement for you hassle free.

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