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Tips and Tricks for a Rear View Mirror Replacement

Time, temperature, humidity, pressure from bumps in the road and the weight of hanging items all lead to a rear view mirror replacement. In most cases, it's a simple repair.

Tools and Equipment

Start with a rear view mirror replacement installation kit. Kits will generally have exactly what you need to complete the installation. You'll also want to have a paint scraper, small Allen wrench, flat head screwdriver, rubbing alcohol, cleaning pad and grease pencil, felt tip pen or masking tape on hand.

Weather or Not

Pick a warm day or heated garage, ideally 50-75F, to do the fix. Never do a rear view mirror replacement in the rain or a sunny spot, because your new glue won't work properly. In cool weather, you can run the car's heater or warm the glass by softly blowing a hair dryer from a little over a foot away. Don't blow hot air directly onto a cold windshield. It might shatter.

Getting Started

Mark the metal button placement for the rear view mirror replacement onto the exterior of the windshield with the masking tape, felt tip pen or grease pencil, using the remaining glue or metal button as a guide.

Bag the Button

Take the metal button out of the mirror assembly. Avoid excess pressure, to keep your windshield intact. In foreign cars, you may have to remove some trim, deactivate the electronics, then use the screwdriver tip on the latch to pop it open. Some cars may need an Allen setscrew loosened. Older cars might not have a metal button. Scratch the up side of the button, so you'll reapply it correctly.

Clean Up

Remove the old glue from the windshield's interior surface. Thoroughly clean the inside of the windshield and mirror assembly with rubbing alcohol. Clean the button with sandpaper then alcohol. Fingerprints on either surface will ruin the glue.

Stick It

Apply glue to the up side of the button. Aim and place the button against your mark. Hold it with medium pressure for at least a minute. While many kits say it's okay to wait only a half hour or so, it's best left to cure overnight.

Hang It Up

With setscrew type assemblies, go slow and easy. Just eliminate the rattle. Any more will endanger both your threads and windshield.