Guide to Buying Car Door Mirrors

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Guide to Buying Car Door Mirrors

Car door mirrors allow vehicle operators to observe those around them while safely trying to negotiate the motorway. When it comes time to replace a damaged car door mirror or upgrade to a more stylish model, vehicle owners need to know both the type of car door mirror currently on their vehicle and the type of mirror they want to upgrade to.

Shoppers should also assess the type of car door mirror features they want. Power car door mirrors offer the most features, including the ability to heat, dim in bright-light situations, fold on their own, and more. Shoppers should buy car door mirrors with features that their vehicle can support. Before purchasing car parts online on eBay or at local auto part shops, vehicle owners need to determine if they require specialty mirrors, such as telescopic or for towing. Finally, vehicle owners should decide whether to buy pre-painted, textured, or car door mirrors that need the paint applied before installation.

Types of Car Door Mirrors

When shopping for car door mirrors,, vehicle owners have a few choices regarding the type of mirrors available. They include powered and manual mirrors. The following sections detail both mirror types, as well as some common features available.

Manual Car Door Mirrors

Manual car door mirrors,, the standard side mirrors on most vehicles, require drivers to manually adjust them before vehicle operation. These types of mirrors do not come with many options, though some allow car owners to fold them in by hand and adjust them with a manual remote.

Power Car Door Mirrors

Also called electric mirrors, power car door mirrors allow drivers to control them through electronic buttons or switches usually located on the driver side armrest or door panel. These mirror types feature the most options available, as outlined below.

Car Door Mirror Features

Both manual and power car door mirrors on most standard vehicles come with available options. Remember when shopping for a vehicle to take a look at the available features. Though some of these features can also come with an aftermarket car door mirror when purchased, vehicle owners should make sure their particular vehicle can support the added functionality. The following table contains some of the more common feature types.

Features

Description

Memory

Memory functions allow the presetting of side mirror positions depending on driver

Heated

Heated mirrors generally have a built-in defrost function

Signal Light

Signal lights contained within the housing or even the glass highlight this feature

Dimmer

Mirrors with dimmer functionality help keep bright lights from blinding drivers

Electric Folding or Manual Folding

Depends primarily on mirror type; powered mirrors fold in at the push of a button; manual mirrors require drivers to fold in by hand

Puddle Light

Puddle lights can give drivers and passengers the heads up when exiting vehicles; lets occupants know a puddle or obstacle is present

Manual Remote

Manual remotes, a joystick or similar device, allow drivers to adjust mirrors from within the vehicle

Shoppers should inquire about what features they can add to a vehicle's car door mirror before purchasing a vehicle. They can also consult the user's manual to see what features they can add at a later time, if any.

Car Door Mirror Materials

Car door mirrors come in a wide variety of materials. The type of material chosen comes down to vehicle owner preference, especially when purchasing an aftermarket mirror. The table below contains the most common car mirror materials, ranging from metal, to plastic, to aluminium.

Material Types

Description

Metal

Durable and matches the rest of the vehicle; usually standard with any vehicle bought

Aluminium

Lightweight and durable; cost more than stock mirrors

Fibreglass

A lightweight, easily repairable material; not as durable as metal or aluminium but easier to replace

Carbon Fibre

Extremely strong and light material; costs more than other material types

Plastic

Usually a combination of plastic and another material, such as metal; textured mirrors typically constructed of hard plastic

When purchasing a car door mirror made from a specific material, vehicle owners need to determine if they want the part already painted. Most unpainted mirrors have the primer already applied, making the painting process much easier and quicker than buying a mirror without the primer already added.

Car Door Mirror Glass Types

Another important part of a car door mirror deal with the glass that gives drivers the ability to see their surrounding environment. The next section provide more information on this crucial part of car door mirrors and explains the differences between flat, convex, and tinted glass.

Glass Types

Description

Flat Glass

What drivers find in the driver side mirror

Convex Glass

Curved to allow drivers to see more; located on the passenger side of the vehicle

Tinted Glass

Tinted to reduce light glare in the mirror; comes in a variety of colours, such as grey, blue, brown, and other colours

When purchasing mirrors, vehicle owners should make sure that the glass within the mirror functions properly. Replace broken glass as soon as possible to avoid vision obstruction and prevent possible injury.

Painted vs. Textured Car Door Mirrors

One important area that shoppers need to consider when buying car door mirrors includes whether shoppers want to buy painted, unpainted, or textured mirrors. The following section details all three options and the pros and cons of each.

Painted Car Door Mirrors

Painted car door mirrors that match the colour of the car provide one way for vehicle owners to save a little money. The problem arises when the paint colour of the mirror does not exactly match that of the body of the car. Paint fades over time, and unless the car was recently bought or just had a paint job completed, the colour has a less likely chance of matching well.

Unpainted Car Door Mirrors

Most vehicle owners looking to modify or replace a car door mirror tend to buy a mirror that already has primer on it. This way, the mirror can receive a coat of paint before installation, or owners can wait until the mirror is installation and then paint the entire car.

Textures Car Door Mirrors

A textured mirror does not lend itself to painting. If the mirror has both textured and smooth surfaces, the vehicle owner can have the smooth surface painted. It is recommended that textured areas of the mirror are not painted.

Car Door Mirror Types for Oversized Loads and Towing

Sometimes, vehicle owners want to tow a trailer, camper, or other item behind their vehicle. Because these items can reduce visibility, vehicle owners should consider specialty mirrors. To counter reduced visibility, vehicle owners can choose from several options including telescopic and towing mirrors. The following sections detail these two options.

Telescopic Mirrors

Telescopic mirrors extend out past where a normal car door mirror would, allowing drivers to see further behind their vehicle than normal. These mirror types often allow adjustment to account for the item towed.

Towing Mirrors

Towing mirrors serve the same function as telescopic mirrors. The main difference is that they typically do not allow for adjustment in or out.

Shop for Car Door Mirrors on eBay

Vehicle owners who want to buy car door mirrors on eBay should enter keywords into the search bar located on any eBay page. This, in turn, pulls up a variety of product categories that shoppers can then use to narrow their search. Keywords such as "Ford car door mirror&" and "heated car door mirror&" allow vehicle owners to shop by part manufacturer, quality, placement, cost, and other item specifications. Shoppers unsure about how to search for a specific product can go to eBay's Search Tips page for further guidance on looking up products using keywords. eBay shops also provide buyers with additional product options when shopping.

One thing vehicle owners should keep in mind when shopping on eBay involves checking the seller's feedback rating. This allows shoppers to determine if they want to do business with a particular seller depending on their feedback rating. Shoppers also should not hesitate to ask sellers questions via the Ask a Question link on any listing page if they find themselves unsure about a product listing. Only buy products that meet all applicable specifications.

Conclusion

When shopping for car door mirrors, vehicle owners should strive to find the proper mirror to assure safety for the driver, vehicle passengers, and those around the vehicle, including pedestrians and other drivers. This includes making sure the vehicle supports the features that come with particular powered mirror models. The electronics must match up with enough cables to power each distinct feature available. Otherwise, some of the features might not work.

Car door mirror colour provides another area that needs consideration. If owners plan on painting their vehicle after installing the mirror, then they do not have to worry about finding the correct colour mirror to start with. Another common option involves having the mirror painted before placement on the vehicle. Some mirrors come already primed, making painting even easier. Overall, shoppers should have an idea of the colour, material, and features desired before purchasing any car mirrors on eBay.

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