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Why is My Side Mirror Not Working?

Why is My Side Mirror Not Working?

Side mirror not working

Having functioning side mirrors is crucial for safe driving, as they provide essential visibility, especially when changing lanes or maneuvering in tight spaces. If you’ve noticed that your side mirror isn’t working, it can be both frustrating and potentially dangerous, not to mention a safety concern. Not ideal when you’re in need of a car safety inspection.

Several factors could be causing this issue, ranging from simple to more complex problems. Let’s look at some of the common reasons why your side mirror might not be working and provide insights into how to diagnose and address these issues.

1. Malfunctioning Side Mirror Switches

Malfunctioning power side mirror switches are a common cause of side view mirror issues. If you find that neither of your side mirrors is responding to the mirror control switch inside the car, the side mirror switch itself may be faulty. This mirror control switch allows you to adjust the position of the side mirrors, and if it fails, you won’t be able to control the mirror’s movement.

Solution: Inspect the side view mirror switch by trying to adjust the mirrors using the switch. If the switch feels unresponsive or doesn’t produce any movement in the mirrors, it’s likely that the mirror’s electrical connector needs replacement. Consult your vehicle’s manual or seek the help of a professional mechanic to replace the switch.

2. Loose Side Mirror

Loose power side view mirrors can occur due to various reasons, such as impact from a minor accident (from road debris or flying ice), heavy wind, or vibration while driving. If the mirror is loose, it might not stay in the correct position, making it difficult to use and potentially posing a safety risk. Side view mirrors on older vehicles are typically adjusted by hand, but they can still become damaged by debris or other factors, and can get stuck in an unsafe position.

Solution: Carefully examine the attachment points of the side mirror. If you find any loose screws or brackets, tighten them as needed. If the mirror itself feels wobbly or unstable, it might require more thorough inspection and potentially professional repair.

3. Damaged Side Mirror Motor

Modern vehicles often feature electrically controlled side mirrors, which are adjusted using a motor built into the mirror assembly. If the motor is damaged, the mirror won’t move, and you’ll lose the ability to adjust its position. 

Solution: Test the mirror control switch to see if the motor responds to adjustments. If you hear the motor running but the mirror doesn’t move, it’s likely that the motor itself is damaged. In this case, you may need to replace the entire mirror assembly, which could involve some disassembly of the door panel to access the wiring.

4. Faulty Fuse

Fuses are essential components of your vehicle’s electrical system, protecting various circuits from overloads or a short circuit. If the fuse responsible for the side mirrors is blown, the mirrors won’t work.

Solution: Check your vehicle’s fuse box for a blown fuse related to the side mirrors. Refer to your owner’s manual to locate the correct fuse. If you find a blown fuse, replace it with a new one of the same amperage. If the fuse blows again shortly after replacement, it indicates an underlying electrical issue, and you should consult a professional for further diagnosis and repair.

Additional Considerations

If none of the above solutions seem to address the issue, it’s essential to consider a few more possibilities. These issues should be looked at by an auto body professional so you can be sure all components of your car are working correctly, which makes driving safer.

Wiring Issues: Damaged or disconnected wiring can cause the power mirrors to malfunction. Inspect the wiring that connects the side mirror to the vehicle’s electrical system for any signs of damage or disconnection.

Control Module Malfunction: Some vehicles have a control module that manages various functions, including the side mirrors. If this module is malfunctioning, it can affect the operation of the mirrors. Diagnosing and replacing a faulty control module may require the expertise of a professional mechanic.

Water Damage: Water can seep into the mirror housing, causing damage to the internal components, especially if the mirror features electronic adjustments. If you suspect water damage, it’s essential to address it promptly to prevent further issues.

Let Bemac Help

A non-working side mirror can stem from various causes, ranging from simple mirror switch issues to more complex problems like motor damage or wiring faults. Ensuring that your side mirrors are in good working condition is crucial for your safety on the road, so addressing any issues promptly is essential.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a car, you’ll need to ensure it can pass a safety inspection in Ontario, and working power side mirrors are included in that.Troubleshooting the problem step by step can help you identify the specific issue and decide whether you can address it yourself or if you need to seek professional help from the experts at Bemac.