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How to Select the Right Rear View Mirror for Your Car

Car owners looking to improve their vehicles have a lot of options these days in terms of add-ons and replacement parts. One potential upgrade that typically flies under the radar for most is new rear view mirrors. If you're in the market for an advanced rear view mirror or two, use the following as a rough buyer's checklist.

Choose a Form Factor

From standard 8-inch, entry-level mirrors to gargantuan 35-inch, wide-angle models, there's no shortage of options as far as size and shape are concerned. Whether you're eyeing a slick Gentex rear view mirror or something a bit more utilitarian, the optimal mirror for your car can be had in a variety of styles.

Settle on a Glass Type

Regardless of the specific mirror that strikes your fancy, you'll need to figure out what kind of glass you'd like housed within it. Your options essentially boil down to flat, convex or permanently tinted. Convex glass is great for expanding the driver's visual field, though it will naturally distort apparent distances.

Pick a Mounting Scheme

The nice thing about installing a custom aftermarket rear view mirror is that you can mount it any way you like. While most drivers are used to having their rear view mirrors affixed to the windshield, there are additional options. There's no reason why you can't try a dash-mounted or ceiling-mounted mirror instead.

Weigh Your Camera Options

Believe it or not, today's sophisticated rear view mirrors can actually display video feeds from cameras positioned around a car. For instance, a number of Gentex rear view mirror models can stream real-time backup and blind spot camera footage. Though this functionality comes at a price, the safety benefits that it confers are invaluable.

Consider Advanced Capabilities

Modern rear view mirrors are capable of a lot more than just video display. Electrochromatic auto-dimming models can react to changes in light to reduce glare. Many new mirrors can display alerts that would normally appear on the dashboard instrumentation. Some even boast the ability to remotely control garage doors and house lights.

Quality Is the First Priority

The latest rear view mirrors to hit the market are like nothing we've ever seen before. Since much of the technology involved is so new, it's important to avoid cheap units that cut corners. Opt for a high-quality device like a Gentex rear view mirror or a similar model to get the best results.