Can I Just Replace My Side Mirror Glass?

When you have a busted car part, it’s natural to seek out the cheapest way to fix it. In the case of side mirrors, replacing only the glass is sometimes the cheapest way to fix a broken side mirror. It’s because:

  • A full side mirror assembly costs much more than a side mirror glass. For example, this assembly for the 2020 Impreza is $127.62 (wholesale pricing). The side mirror glass for the same vehicle is only $50 (wholesale pricing).
  • Replacing only the glass is quicker than replacing the entire assembly. That means you'll pay less money in labor (if you hire someone to do it for you). If you do it yourself, you'll spend less time on the project.

Before you go out and buy a replacement side mirror glass, read this post. You need to make sure that replacing only the side mirror glass is a viable option in your situation. We can help you determine if replacing the glass will take care of the issue. Here's what you need to do:

See If Your Side Mirror Assembly Still Works

Broken mirror

Image Credit: ZacksJerryRig

If the side mirror glass is the only thing that’s broken, it makes sense to replace only the glass. If the side mirror assembly is broken too, then you’ll need to replace the entire assembly. It’s pretty easy to inspect the assembly and determine if it needs to be replaced too.

Inspecting The Assembly For Any Damage

New mirror

Image Credit: ZacksJerryRig

  1. Give the side mirror assembly a visual inspection.
    • Look for any damage on the side mirror housing. Look for cracks, dents, missing pieces, and so on.
  2. See if anything is loose.
    • With your hands, gently rock the side mirror in all directions. If anything feels loose, then something within the assembly may be broken. Keep in mind that this isn’t always the case. It’s possible that the mirror is working fine, but it’s a little detached from the body. In that case, you can tighten the fasteners. That may fix the problem.
  3. If you have power mirrors, test the controls.
    • Use the controls to move the mirror in all directions. If the mirror doesn’t respond correctly, there may be an electrical issue. Before determining that the entire assembly needs replacing, check for any disconnected wiring. If you find something that’s disconnected, reconnect it and test the controls again.

If the side mirror assembly passes with flying colors, then you can replace only the glass.

How To Replace The Side Mirror Glass On Your Subaru

replace mirror

Image Credit: ZacksJerryRig

If the side mirror glass is the only thing that needs replacing, there’s an easy way to save lots of money. Don’t bring your Subaru to a shop! Replacing a side mirror glass is an easy DIY job. Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Cover the side mirror glass in masking tape or painter’s tape. This ensures that the broken glass doesn’t fall everywhere during the removal process.
  2. Tilt the side mirror glass all the way up.
  3. With a flat blade screwdriver, loosen the retaining tabs on the back of side mirror glass from the mounting plate. There are two channels where you can insert the flat blade screwdriver to remove the glass. One channel is on the right bottom side. The other channel is on the left bottom side. Be careful not to break anything on the assembly.
  4. When the glass is loose enough, remove it with your hands.
  5. If the glass is connected to any wiring, unplug it.
  6. Plug any connectors into the new glass.
  7. Slide in the new glass from the bottom. This way, it will catch all the hooks it needs and snap/click back in place.

If you need any clarification, it’s best to look up a model-specific tutorial.