Power Mirror Problems and Parts

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honda power mirror imagePower mirror problems are quite common because these automotive parts are exposed to the elements as well as stick out from the vehicle and are subject to impact damage. Factory original replacement power mirror parts can be very expensive.

Although I am not a supporter of cheap aftermarket automotive parts this is one area of the vehicle that I will make an exception. Listed below will be some of the most commonly searched for replacement power mirror parts such as the master power switch and the complete mirror motor assembly itself.

The nice thing about these systems is that they are very similar between car lines and even models. A VW electric mirror system is not that different from the one installed on my Pontiac Grand Prix. Before we get to replacing parts let’s discuss some of the more common power mirror problems.

Power Mirror Parts Problems

image of power mirror switch
Power Mirror Switch

Some power mirror parts that I see the most failure in would be the master control switch and stripped nylon gears on the electrically operated motor. In the case of my old Pontiac Grand Prix the power master switch is located on the armrest of the driver side door panel.

With the way that the roof is designed anytime it rains and I crack the driver side window water drips off of the roof line and directly into the power mirror master switch. After a few years of this happening to switch itself which is rather delicate compared to the other switches on the vehicle can become corroded and provide intermittent operation.

In some cases you are able to disassemble the switch and clean the electrical contacts. But again this switch is made rather delicate and sometimes the disassembling of the switch will lead to eventual replacement of it. The tiny springs and contacts can get lost and in some cases the plastic will just break apart and you will not be able to put it back together.

Power Mirror not Working

In many cases when you operate the power mirror master switch you can hear the motor running but the glass doesn’t move. The motor controls the movement of the glass in most cases with a series of small nylon gears. If the mirror is binding then the nylon gears will start to slip and eventually the little teeth will wear off.

VW power mirrror image
VW Power Mirror

Back in the old days they used to offer overhaul kits and we use to replace the gears and motors as necessary. Nowadays it is more common that the manufacturers and aftermarket companies will offer a complete replacement that includes the new glass, the housing and all internal parts including a new motor.

In my opinion this is really the way to go using the aftermarket power mirror parts in a complete assembly. In most cases power mirror assemblies whether they be driver-side or passenger-side are relatively easy to replace. On many models you may have to remove the door panel to gain access to the retaining bolts.

Having a properly operating power mirror assembly is more than just a convenience. When properly adjusted these mirrors give you a view of what’s happening around you with simple eye movement to the left or right. When you have power mirror problems and you’re not able to adjust them on the fly you can have an increase in the area that you can’t see. These are most commonly known as blind spots. These blind spots can get you into trouble when you are switching lanes on the freeway.

If you are interested in more auto repair information articles this next link will take you to the blog’s home page. You can review more of my latest posts and I usually add new ones about once a week. Visit the auto repair information blog from this page about power mirror problems.

Can't fix your car problem on your own? Ask a live mechanic!

8 Replies to “Power Mirror Problems and Parts”

  1. George Grimes

    I am building a Porsche 356 convertible D. I have the GT style mirrors that are adjustable by hand (if one has an 8 foot arm) I am interested in the switch, wiring harness, and motors ( approximately 2.5″x 3.5″). Any clues as to availability?


  2. Brandon

    I have a 2001 Ford Expedition, there are little white clips that hold the side glass to the power mirror to make the mirror actuate in different directions. i was wondering if you know of any where i can get replacement parts?

  3. John

    You give a lot of talk but no help! You were asked about WHERE to buy the PARTS but have not responded. The original Ford/Mercury outside power mirrors quit working when the little plastic threaded ball studs that connect the mirror glass to the motors either break or slip. These dinky little parts should be able to be purchased for about $2.00 each. But it seems the location to procure them is FORD TOP SECRET, allowing the car owner to buy a new mirror for anywhere from $50.00 – $200.00. I thought gouging was a crime, but I guess not when it comes to the Auto industry. So if you REALLY want to help in the power mirror area, locate and post the name(s) of where these minor parts can be bought. I positively know they were made, because I have 6 of the mirrors with those parts in them (in various forms of breakage and deterioration). If somebody made them once, tey can make them again.

  4. Alberto

    I need 2 parts for the inside of the side mirror of a 2006 Cadillac STS. They help move the mirror and are located between the motor and the mirror. (I have pictures). Have you any idea where I can find them? Thanks.

  5. Dennis RIttichier

    I have a 2006 Toyota Sienna and the driver side power mirror makes a noise every time the vehicle is started. It sounds like the mirror is trying to move even though it is not being asked to.. The mirror works and sometimes if we physically move the mirror to another the noise will stop. Is this the fault of the mirror itself and should be replaced or is there a switch involved.

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