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How to Replace Your Toyota's Side Mirror

The side mirror is one of the parts on a car that gets broken the most. Side mirrors stick out, making them vulnerable to garage door frames, car washes, or careless drivers.

It’s always a good idea to get your busted side mirror replaced sooner than later. You could get hit with a fix-it ticket. If you get a fix-it ticket, some cities will make you bring your car in for an inspection after getting the mirror replaced.

The good news is that replacing your side mirror is easier than it sounds. It’s something you can definitely do in your garage with some basic tools.

Preparation

Replacement mirror

The first thing you want to do is to buy an OEM replacement mirror. Perform a search on your Toyota year and model here and take a look at the list of all the side mirrors available for your vehicle. Some mirrors come with all the bells and whistles while others are more basic. Because of that, they can vary in cost.

Keep in mind that your replacement mirror cover might need to be painted. If that’s the case, then you can find your car's three-digit paint color code on the driver's side door jamb VIN sticker. On most Toyotas, the color code appears right after the letters "C/TR:" In this example"C/TR:3P1/FA09", 3P1 is the paint code. Your mirror cover needs to be painted before installation on the vehicle.

Once you get your replacement mirror, it’s time to get ready for the project. The replacement process will take only a few hours with basic mechanical knowledge and the right tools, which are:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • 10mm wrench or socket with a ratchet wrench

Removing the Broken Side Mirror and Installing the New Side Mirror

Remove mirrorImage credit: 1A Auto

The first thing you have to do is to remove the broken mirror. Below is a basic step-by-step guide to removing a side mirror on a Toyota vehicle and then replacing it with a new mirror.

  1. Lower the window near the broken mirror.
  2. Open the door and pop off the small plastic trim right next to the mirror. You might be able to do this with just your hands. If not, you can use a small flat blade screwdriver to pry it off. (Find an inconspicuous place and pry gently. The screwdriver may leave a small dent in the plastic.)
  3. Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove screws in the door handle recess. Sometimes there is another screw by the door pull handle or power window switch.
  4. You may need to disconnect power window switches and door locks from their wiring harnesses. (The connectors are designed so that you can't mix them up when plugging them back in.)
  5. Gently pry the bottom of the door panel outwards. It is held on by plastic retaining clips. After all the plastic retaining clips are free, lift the door panel straight up. (Sometimes the retaining clips break. Get some when you buy your mirror from the dealer.)
  6. Unplug any cables that may be attached to the side mirror.
  7. Remove the ten millimeter nuts and remove the mirror.
  8. Put the new side mirror in place and pull the harness through the hole.
  9. Reverse the process listed above to put everything back in place.

This process will work on many Toyota's. For information about replacing the mirror on your specific vehicle, please search YouTube.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the process. We can also help you select the correct side mirror for your Toyota.

Written by Jason Lancaster