Can I Just Replace My Toyota’s Side Mirror Cover?

Side mirrors get banged up a lot. Usually in parking lots, or unfortunately in your own garage. Often times, a side mirror cover is the only part of a side mirror assembly that gets damaged. It’s the housing that covers the entire assembly (except the glass). Its purpose is to protect the wiring and other components from moisture and debris.

If your side mirror cover is broken, you have two different repair options to choose from: replacing just the cover or doing a full replacement.

Checking the Side Mirror Assembly

Before looking into each side mirror cover replacement option, test your side mirror assembly to see if it’s still working. You don't want to spend time and money replacing to cover only to discover that a wiring harness or another component inside the assembly is broken.

First, grip the mirror with both hands and gently rock the entire assembly in all directions. Repeat with just the glass. Then:

  • If you have power mirrors: Use the controls next to the driver’s seat to move the glass in all directions.
  • If you have manual mirrors: Use the control lever to move the mirror fully in all directions.

If everything responds appropriately, then your side mirror assembly is fine and the cover just needs to be replaced. Read on to see what is the best option for you.

Option #1: Replacing Just the Cover

Toyota mirror cover

It seems to be a no-brainer to just replace the cover if the assembly works fine. But it’s more complicated than that. Often times, a Toyota plastic replacement cover comes in black and needs to be painted to match the body of the vehicle. If you decide to paint it yourself, you’ll have to invest some time in the project. You will also need paint, tools, and so on. Once it’s all said and done, the mirror may not exactly match the body of your vehicle. Also, the cover can be pretty difficult to replace on a side mirror with a complex assembly.

It’s still worth seeing which OEM mirror covers are available for your Toyota. There’s a chance we have a mirror cover that’s already painted to match your vehicle. To find out, perform a search on your year model here and browse the list of covers that will fit your vehicle.

Not too crazy about the idea of tackling a paint job? Another option is a mirror cover in a chrome finish. If you want that paint matched factory look and/or an easier project – replace the full assembly.

Option #2: A Full Replacement

New Camry mirror

Often times, a full replacement is easier to do than a cover replacement because:

  1. You don’t need to take the the mirror completely apart.
  2. There are more resources online (such as this tutorial) on how to do this.

Make sure you factor in the costs of a replacement side mirror cover, paint, tools, and the value of your time. You may find that replacing the cover costs almost as much – if not more – than a full replacement.

You can do a search on your year model here and see which side mirror assemblies are available for your Toyota vehicle.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance reaching a decision. We’ll be happy to help you weigh the pros and cons of each option!

Written by Jason Lancaster