Reattaching Your Rearview Mirror

Traffic seems unusually light this morning. In fact, he hasn’t seen another car behind him in 10 miles. time to do a little time.

but then there’s a strange noise following you. it sounds like a siren. Hmm. There are no lights behind you, so where is that sound coming from?

Reading: How to reattach a car review mirror

It’s coming from the police car that’s following you. You didn’t see it because your glued-on rearview mirror isn’t on the windshield. it’s sprawled on the floor under the seat where his 4-year-old son hid it after discovering he couldn’t do pull-ups on it. tell the judge.


fortunately, regluing the rearview mirror is one of the easiest jobs for a Saturday mechanic. What you need most is patience and a clean work environment. warm weather also helps, but is not required.

Start by going to your local auto parts store and buying a wing mirror adhesive kit. It will come with a vial of super strong glue and a vial of accelerator to help the glue cure very quickly. There are usually instructions on the back of the cardboard packaging as well, in case you need guidance. You will also need a razor blade type scraper, a small allen key that fits into the security screw on the mirror base plate, a grease pencil or masking tape, and depending on your particular circumstances, a tape measure and a heat gun or hair. dryer.


Be prepared to work outside with the windows open, as the adhesive kit likely contains acrylic acid, methacrylic ester, and trichlorethylene, which you don’t want to breathe in large amounts.

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Because the adhesive cures faster in warm ambient temperatures, plan to use the heat gun or hair dryer to warm up the glass if you are forced to do this job on a cold day. but use common sense. Frosted glass won’t appreciate being hit by intense heat. you will almost definitely break the windshield this way. To prevent this, hold the heat gun or blow dryer 12 to 18 inches from the glass and move the hot air back and forth to gradually increase the temperature of the glass. and be sure to scrape off any old glue before heating the glass or it will create a sticky mess. an alternative is to park the car facing the sun for a few hours before starting work.

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If the old mirror left an obvious amount of debris on the inside of the glass, you won’t need the tape measure to locate the midpoint of the windshield. but if, for example, you forgot to mark the spot before cleaning the glass completely, simply measure halfway up the window and about 3 to 4 inches down from the headliner, and that will be your new starting point. mounting.

You can begin the mounting process by marking the outside of the window with a grease pencil over the area where the old glue is. or you can cordon off the area on the inside with masking tape. (some kind of marking is helpful in case you get discontinued after removing the old glue). the latter is the neatest way to work, but leave plenty of space around the work area for scraping and cleaning. now, go to the old glue with your scraper. Once you’re ready to smooth the glass again, wipe the stain with isopropyl alcohol so it’s completely clean. do the same on the back of the mirror base plate so you have clean metal to work with. do not touch any of the surfaces once cleaned or the oil that comes off your fingers will contaminate it.

the acceleration phase

the vial of accelerator (primer) will have a plastic double wall. the inner wall is designed to open when you bend the tube. the outer wall simply flexes. this allows the accelerator to soak into the felt tip of the vial without spilling onto your hands. apply accelerator liberally to mounting point on glass. it needs 5 minutes to dry.

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in the meantime, use your allen key to loosen the security screw and release the mirror from your motherboard. It’s much easier to stick the motherboard to the windshield first and install the mirror later. working with the whole set is too cumbersome.

once the motherboard is free, apply the accelerator to its flat mounting surface and let it dry as well. do not touch any of the treated areas as they are now ready to accept the adhesive, which will cure faster due to the accelerator.

adhesion time

Now you are ready to apply the adhesive. carefully lift the back of the motherboard and carefully press it onto the glass. give it a little squeeze to get good adhesion and keep applying pressure. do not let go for at least 2 minutes while the adhesive begins to set. then let it dry for at least another 15 minutes. If it’s very cold, a little hot air from the heat gun or hair dryer will speed up the curing process. remember, 15 minutes is a minimum. it is best to allow the adhesive to dry for as long as is convenient, even overnight, before reattaching the mirror to the base plate and tightening the security screw.

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If you’re very neat, cut away the excess glue around the base plate with a utility knife or one of the corners of the scraper blade. then reattach the mirror and readjust it for a safe rear view.

ouch! and do not pull on the mirror to see how tightly it is mounted. With Murphy’s Law ever in effect, you could rip it back out of the window. just leave the mirror alone and keep your child out of the front seat. The mirror will probably stay there for the life of the car.

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use a scraper or just a razor to remove the old glue. this will be easier if the glass is cool, so do it before heating the windshield.

application of accelerator to the mounting surface speeds the cure of the adhesive. do not touch the surface with your fingers.

Press firmly on the base plate for at least 2 minutes to allow the new adhesive to begin to adhere to the glass.

how it works: the anti-glare mirror

Most cars and trucks come with a manually adjustable prismatic day/night rearview mirror. you change a small lever from the day position to the night position. and the mirror glass is not flat, but bevelled. the top edge is thicker than the bottom edge. this is how the day/night function works.

In the day position, the image you see is reflected in the silver surface on the back of the mirror. the image is sharp and brilliant, because the silver provides an almost total reflection (80%) of the object.

in the night position, the tilt mechanism slightly tilts the mirror glass upwards. now the image of bright day drifts away from the silvery surface and up onto the vehicle’s headliner. and the front surface (plain glass) of the mirror takes over, providing a 5% reflective image. It all seems very dark, but you can still monitor the traffic behind you.

Many auto manufacturers offer an auto-dimming electrochromic rear view mirror that provides an infinite number of brightness levels. These automatically darken based on ambient light conditions and the amount of glare from the headlights. the sensors feed input to electronics that determine how much voltage to apply to a special gel sandwiched between thin layers of reflective glass on the rear and clear glass on the front. the more glare there is, the more voltage is applied and the darker the gel becomes.

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