It can take just a few moments of inattention or a slight mistake to snare a car or van's wing mirrors and cause them damage; it might not even be the driver's fault. When accidents like this arise, eBay is one of the first places people turn when they start looking for a replacement.
But wing mirrors are only one of the types of mirror that are fitted to modern vehicles. Certainly, internal mirrors are not vulnerable to damage in the same way, unless faced with a rampant dog or child, but parents of young children look for in-car observation mirrors, while later they might want a secondary rear view mirror while teaching a youngster to drive. It makes sense, then, for buyers to understand the various types of external and internal mirrors in order to make a wise purchase decision and ensure their own safety as well as that of others on the road.
Wing mirrors are a vulnerable part of a vehicle's exterior trim. Not only can they come into contact with obstructions when negotiating tight spaces, but they can be damaged at any time by other vehicles passing too close, and they can be an easy target for vandals. As such, it is useful to know how to go about identifying and installing a replacement, should the need arise. Although there is no intrinsic difference between the needs of a domestic car, a small commercial vehicle, and a truck, each has its marketplace where suitable items can be found.
The largest market is for domestic cars. Fortunately, they are not among the most expensive items that a car owner might need to buy in the course of maintaining their vehicle's roadworthiness. On eBay, after finding the generic listings for wing mirrors,, the main manufacturers and models can normally be located by using the filters found to the left of the search results. Take the Ford Mondeo as an example. Once the results are specific, a more detailed review helps buyers find relevant parts, such as adjuster switches and motors, covers, and glass.
For older cars, on the one hand things can be more hit and miss, with keyword searches being necessary to find something suitable. On the other hand, there are generic parts available from third-party manufacturers that can be especially useful for a restoration project.
For vans and pickup trucks, the strategies are more diverse. For relatively new vehicles, using the same generic listings as for cars, filtering by manufacturer and model, can be successful. The alternative, especially for older vehicles, is to look for a more specific generic category for vans and pickups.. Some vans have indicator lights built into their wing mirror fittings, and spare parts for these can be found here too.
With trucks and lorries,, a complicating factor is that the equivalent part of a truck where the external mirror is mounted is not normally called a wing. An alternative term is "blind spot". Even so, there are rather fewer listings for truck mirrors than for domestic vehicles.
There is one category of external mirror that some road users might want to buy as an accessory, rather than as a replacement. Towing mirrors are invaluable when modifying a vehicle to tow a trailer or caravan. There are two main types: one is optically similar to a standard mirror but extended further away from the vehicle's body in order to afford the required view of blind spots to the rear. The other is an inset mirror that is like a wide angle, or fish eye, lens. These distort perspective, and take some getting used to, but they are more compact.
When a mirror has been damaged, sometimes, it is not necessary to replace the entire unit. Sometimes, it is both easier and a more durable solution to do this, but it is possible to buy a mirror surface and either stick it in place with glue or else get the appropriate backing plate and fix the glass onto that. Look for an adhesive that is sold as mirror glue for the best results.
Internal mirrors are not normally sought for repair and maintenance purposes. They are either needed for safety and precautionary reasons of one kind or another, or else there is a replacement fitting that has desirable enhancements.
Rear View Mirrors
As with wing mirrors, rear view mirrors for relatively recent makes of vehicles are easy to navigate using filters for manufacturer and model. As well as standard parts, the listings are likely to include generic wide angle, or panoramic, mirrors, and decoratively styled items with specific market segments in mind, such as owners of old-fashioned Mini Coopers.
An increasingly popular technological approach to sighting the blind spot at the rear of a vehicle is the use of rear view cameras and LCD displays. Although these are not strictly speaking mirrors, they are functionally equivalent, and many units are styled to resemble a standard rear view mirror. The possibility of electrical failure or dirt and damage to the camera makes it unwise to rely entirely on these, but they can be a useful enhancement to the driver's road awareness.
Classic Rear View Mirrors
Finding the right rear view mirror for a classic vehicle is a more hit and miss process than for recent models, in terms of finding exactly the right year and design. However, vendors often include "classic" as a keyword, making it easier to focus on the general market area in a search.
Passenger Side Mirrors
On the passenger side, there are two main types of internal mirror. One is the so-called vanity mirror, which is usually fitted to the inward-facing side of the passenger-side sun visor. As these are seldom listed as separate items, the best thing to do is to look through the visor listings in the hope of finding something suitable.
The other common type is a temporary mirror that is used in the same way as a rear view mirror, for example, when accompanying a learner driver. These are often attached by suction pad, which is ideal for short periods, since they leave no mark on the windscreen interior, but less so for extended use, as they are prone to falling off unexpectedly.
Child Safety Mirrors
For drivers with a small child on board, especially babies and toddlers who are being transported in rear-facing child seats in the back of the car, a car baby mirror can be invaluable. These are normally fitted to one of the back seats and used in conjunction with the standard rear view mirror.
Vehicle mirrors come into play off the road as well as on. Anyone who takes domestic car maintenance seriously needs an inspection mirror in the garage in order to conduct essential checks with maximum convenience. For getting visual access in the tight confines of an engine and other internal parts of a vehicle, the best kind is a small mirror mounted on a telescopic arm. For checking the underside, a broad, rectangular type is better. These too can be fitted to a telescopic arm, but this is less necessary since compactness is not such a major issue. Some mirrors are fitted with neat and bright LED lights, which makes inspection that much easier.
Mirrors are such commonplace items that people seldom give them a great deal of thought. For vehicle designers, though, they have come to be minor details that nevertheless show a great deal of ingenuity. With wing mirrors there is the aerodynamic moulding, the heating to keep the view clear in inclement weather, the built-in indicators in some cases, and the motorised controls that let the driver adjust the setting without having to get out of the vehicle. With rear view mirrors, there are all the adjuncts of digital technology, such as LCD rear view cameras.
Fortunately, it is not normally a great ordeal to replace one of these parts should it be necessary. Part of the ingenuity in a good design is simplicity in this respect. Mirrors are plentiful on eBay, and it should be easy for most people to find what they need by using a wise combination of filters and keywords. For people engaged in restoration projects, the search might be more arduous, but the same advice applies. Therefore, buyers should head to eBay for all their vehicle mirror needs to find the right one quickly and easily.