The Importance of Wing Mirrors
Wing mirrors (named so because they used to be located on the car's front wing) are obviously enough an important safety feature on any vehicle. They assist the driver by enabling you to see areas to the side and behind the vehicle which are outside of your peripheral vision. Wing mirrors are also referred to as door mirrors, side mirrors or rear view mirrors. Due to their safety critical nature, it's crucial that your mirrors are fully functioning at all times, this is why your wing mirrors and wing mirror indicators are part of the MOT & NCT (National Car Test). They can result in an MOT/NCT failure for the following reasons:
- Damaged or missing.
- Reflecting surface deteriorated or broken so as to impair the driver's view.
- Head or mounting loose.
- Mirror not adjustable.
- Cracked or broken mirror casing or glass
- Mirror indicator not functioning
Driving Without a Wing Mirror:
Did you know that driving without your drivers-side wing mirror is illegal? (on cars post 1978). Wing mirrors frequently get knocked off or damaged due to on-street parking on narrow streets, and just because of the fact that they're the part of your car that sticks out the most.
If you've knocked off a wing mirror or damaged part of it, fear not! Modern car wing mirrors are made up of a number of different parts which can in most cases be replaced individually.
Parts Of A Wing Mirror:
In many cases, only part of the wing mirror will need to be replaced rather the whole thing, which could save you a bit of money. By familiarising yourself with all the different mirror components you can identify which parts of your mirror needs to be replaced. For example, if the mirror glass and cover are damaged you do not need to purchase a complete wing mirror, you can simply order these parts individually. Once you have read through the guide you can simply enter your registration number to identify your car on the wing mirrors page at MicksGarage.com and use the filtering options on the left hand side to select the parts you require.
Wing Mirror Damage Diagnosis
1. Complete Wing Mirrors
If the entire wing mirror or the main mirror housing has been damaged similar to the wing mirror in the photograph below, then a complete wing mirror will be required. A complete wing mirror includes the mirror glass, cover and internal housing. The housing also includes all the relevant wiring, plugs and connections for the heating elements and electronics where needed.
2. Wing Mirror Glass if your wing mirror gets 'clipped by another car it's very common for just the glass to break. (it's also very common for the other car to just drive off) If this happens you're in luck because it's the cheapest and easiest part of the mirror to replace. Most mirror glasses simply 'pop' out of the mirror. There are two types of replacement mirror glass available. The direct replacement for the original mirror glass is known as a mirror glass and backing plate. This will be supplied with the mirror glass mounted onto a black plastic backing plate which is designed to clip straight back onto the car's mirror housing. The glass and backing plate is likely to include the heating element for your heated mirrors. The other type of mirror glass is a 'stick-on' replacement which is simply a piece of mirror cut to the correct shape for your car, with a strong adhesive backing. Stick-on mirror glasses are designed to be stuck on the mirror backing plate, or even directly on top of the broken glass! They're a very cheap and quick solution to get you back on the road again quickly but you will lose some of the functionality of your original mirror eg the heating and wide angle section.
Replacing a wing mirror glass is super simple, whether it's a glass and backing plate or a stick-on glass. Check out our quick video below to see how easy it is!
3. Wing Mirror Cover Wing mirror covers are easily damaged on contact and are prone to cracking or falling off completely in minor accidents. If all other parts of the wing mirror are still intact and functioning then you may be able to buy the cover on its own. What you need to be aware of when buying mirror covers is the finish. What we mean by this is whether the outside surface is a textured plastic or colour coded to match your car's bodywork. Now, unfortunately, mirror covers are not supplied painted to match the colour of your car. They are supplied in grey primer ready for you to paint or get painted by a Bodyshop. If you're thinking of doing the job yourself you could check out our DIY guide to painting with aerosols - we used a mirror cover in the demo video
How to choose the wing mirrors or wing mirror parts for your car
Wing mirrors differ from the driver's side to the passenger side so it's important that the correct wing mirror is purchased for the side that needs replacing. Here are some things to find out before you take the plunge and purchase a complete wing mirror:
- Drivers Side (RH otherwise known as Off-Side or O/S) or Passengers Side (LH otherwise known as Near Side or N/S)
- Foldable or Fixed Wing Mirror? (if it folds, does it fold electrically or manually?)
- Mirror Glass Manually or Electrically adjustable?
- Heated or not?
- Built in Indicator Light or puddle light?
- Outer finish - colour coded or black textured plastic
These features are fully explained in the sections below.
Wing Mirror Glass
When shopping for a replacement wing mirror glass there are a few things you need to look out for. The convexity or the flatness of the mirror varies from side to side (to help eliminate blind spots), the driver's side mirror glass is usually flatter than that of the passenger side. So it is crucial that you buy the correct mirror for the side that needs replacing. Some cars also have a 'wide angle' section on the glass, signified by a faint line. On our website, the fitting position of the mirror appears in the title of the product and in the product details. Most cars now come with electrically heated mirrors to help with de-frosting and to keep them clear in wet conditions. Cars with heated wing mirrors will usually have an internal control switch or the mirror glass itself may have a small symbol indicating a heating function. In most cars, the mirror glass can be adjusted internally, either manually or electrically. Manually adjustable mirrors are connected via cables to a knob inside the car to allow adjustment and electrically adjustable mirrors will have a switch, usually on the door which connects to an electric motor inside the mirror housing to adjust the position of the glass.
Wing Mirror Cover
Wing mirror covers are used to protect the housings of the wing mirrors i.e. the internal mechanical parts behind the mirror. Covers vary from the driver to the passenger side so it is important to make sure you select the correct one. Our covers either come in grey primer, ready to be painted to match the colour of the car or in a textured black/grey plastic. If your car has wing mirrors with built-in indicators then you will need to select a mirror cover that allows for this. See image to the left for an example. Click here to start your search for wing mirrors and wing mirror parts. If you have any questions, please feel free to use the live chat system or give our customer service team a shout on 01 4406603 (Ireland) or 02476 998425 (UK)