Side Mirror Repair

  I was attempting to adjust my drivers side mirror on my Mazda Miata, when it snapped off the side of the car.  It turns out, the rusted bolt broke.  This tutorial will show you how to repair the side mirror.  There is more than one way to skin a cat, and this is just one.  As a side note, if your rear plastic window is cloudy or broken, you can check out my replacement project.

Cost:  $1.16

Time:  1.5 hours

Tools and Materials:  vise-grips, Break Away (something to loosen rusty bolts), metric socket wrench, Phillips and flat screw driver, hammer, nail punch, scissors.  You may find that you don't need exactly this set of tools, but these are the ones I was able to use.  note: the sharpie and the scissors are not needed. 

Step 1:  Open Up Side Mirror:
You will probably hear the rusted off bolt rattling around inside the mirror assembly.  Carefully pop the black plastic trim on the side mirror.  For me, this popped off without the use of any tools.

Use a flat screwdriver to remove the mirror and it's backing from the assembly.  Spray the rusted pieces with Break Away or some other penetrating oil to loosen it up.

Step 2: Remove the Mounting Bracket from the Car
Use a flat screwdriver to pop off the red trim from the side mirror bracket.  There is a notch on the underside of the red trim piece.

Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the black side mirror mounting bracket from the side of the car. 

Step 3:
Disassemble All Parts and Go To the Hardware Store
Be careful not to damage or lose any of the parts.  So far, the only thing that should need to be replaced is the bolt with a washer, a lock washer, and a nut.  I had trouble getting the rusted bolt out of the ball shown in the picture below.  I used a nail punch and a bracket that usually hangs things like screwdrivers and pliers.  The circular opening that is usually used to hang screwdrivers was perfect for placing the ball.  I used plenty of Break Away, and took my time.  If you damage the ball, you will have to be creative in finding a replacement. 

Take all the pieces to the hardware store, including the broken bolt, and find a new bolt, washer, lock washer, and nut that will replace the broken one.  Here it helps to go to a local hardware store where a person is able to help.  I went to Lowe's and, after 30 minutes, went to the local hardware store where the lady got what I needed in 5 minutes. Cost: $1.16.  Here is the original, broken bolt in front, and the replacement behind.

Here are all the pieces ready to be assembled again. 

Step 4:  Re-assemble the Side Mirror

Use the socket wrench and the vise-grips to put the mirror assembly back together.

Put the mirror and backing back in the side mirror assembly.  Put the black trim back on.  You might as well do this step while it is still off of the car since it will be easier.

Step 5:  Re-attach the Mirror to the Car
Use the Phillips screwdriver to attach the side mirror to the car. 

If this was helpful, please let me know at the Visitor Comments page.  Also, you might want to check out my rear window repair project.  Thanks.