Saturday, March 17, 2012

Replace 2001 Chevy Suburban Side View Mirror

A few weeks ago, driving down a very bumpy, rutted country road, this happened:

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I saw the mirror drop off, and stopped to grab it. I’ve been temped to replace it since it shakes, and this was the impetus to do so. As soon as I got home, I realized I needed the old mirror, so I put it back on:


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The round tabs around the mirror didn’t hold well, so I needed to add tape. It didn’t look great, as you can see.

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I ordered a new mirror online, and was surprised. The dealer wants like $400-500 for a power mirror with heat. I found a few parts warehouses selling one for $60. Amazing. It arrived yesterday, and today I want to install it.

My first stop was YouTube, where I found a great video on replacing the side mirror from They have lots of parts, at great prices, so check them out. Their videos made it wasy for me to remove the old mirror confidently.

the first step is prying off the triangle trim piece. Use your fingers, pull steadily, and it pops off. You see this:

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There are two tabs, and a lower hook on this, so pop the top off and then lift.

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Once that’s done, pull out the foam piece and disconnect the old wiring harness. You can see it below:

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It’s a tab that lifts and then you separate the pieces.

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From there, you need a 10mm socket and extension to undo the three bolts/washers you see behind my hand above. Be careful, I dropped the first one down into the door. Taking apart the door panel is a pain, so be careful. Fortunately I had nuts with the new mirror, so I didn’t have to do that.

Two come off easy, then I needed to support the mirror to get the third one off. Lowering the window made it easier, but still slightly tricky. Once the third nut is off, and out, there are three tabs that hold the mirror in. You can see them around the wiring harness in my hand above, where it comes through the door. Your fingers should pop those loose and the mirror will come off. Don’t count on them supporting the mirror, and make sure you have a hand on the mirror from the time the last nut comes off. Once it’s off, you have this:

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Slip the new mirror in there, and then pop the tabs in once the wiring harness is threaded through. It was a little tricky to do from inside and I had to stand outside the car, close the door, and then thread things through and give the new mirror a “whack” to get the tabs in. The newer foam padding is thicker.

Tighten the bolts, and once they’re tight, connect the wiring harness, and replace the foam piece. This took me about 3 minutes, and I had a new mirror. Putting in the keys let me test the power adjustment, which worked fine. I assume heat works, but I’ll see once it gets cold again.

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There’s a white trim piece on my trick. I was able to work it loose from the old mirror, and it came out with 3 intact tabs. One was damaged, which was the one that was behind most of the old frame electronics. I don’t know if all are like this, but mine had some adhesive stickers in there, so as I loosened the tabs, I had to use a screwdriver to pry, carefully, the panel loose. Once it was out, I snapped it onto the new mirror (which came with a black one).

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That’s it, and I have a new mirror. I still need to clean it, as you can see the duct tape adhesive still on there.

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