Things to Pay Attention to When Replacing Toyota Corolla’s Side Mirrors

Whether an accident left the side mirrors on your Toyota Corolla hanging or cracked, they are one of those car parts that should be taken care of immediately, so that you can avoid fix-it tickets, safely change lanes, and monitor your sides and rear. Over the past several years, aftermarket mirrors have greatly evolved in terms of design and technology. Auto manufacturers have made sure to include advanced safety features such as blind-spot detection, built-in turn signal lights, and many more. If your stock Toyota Corolla side mirror came with some of these features and they’ve suddenly stopped working, you should get the issue fixed or the faulty mirror replaced immediately, so you can take full advantage of these convenient functions again.

Sometimes, you won’t have to replace the entire Toyota Corolla side mirror. Instead, you might only have to replace the mirror glass, which is a cost-effective and simple fix. Depending on the new application, the mirror glass can come with or without a backing plate. If it does come with one, you’ll have to take out the old glass and backing plate, and just put the new glass in. If it doesn’t come with one, however, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to install it inside the existing backing plate. If the backing plate isn’t there, and compatible replacements don’t have one either, or if your motor, wiring, housing and other side mirror components are damaged, you’ll need to replace the entire window assembly.

If you only have to replace your glass and aren’t sure what type your Corolla requires (i.e whether it has auto-dimming, or the glass is heated, etc), make sure to refer to your owner’s manual, look up information online according to your vehicle’s make, model, submodel, year and body type, or consult a professional. Before you order Toyota Corolla mirrors online, ensure you get the right side (i.e passenger or driver side). Usually, the driver’s side mirror glass is flat, whereas the passenger’s one is made of convex glass to give you a better visual field on the right side. This is the reason why passenger mirrors usually come with a note that says “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”.

close up picture of white toyota corolla's side mirror
source: Caricos

When searching for replacement Corolla mirrors, you’ll find OE (original equipment) replacement and OE upgrade mirrors. The OE replacement mirrors are designed exactly the same as your Corolla’s factory mirrors, and all you need to do is perform a plug-and-play replacement for a fully restored, original equipment-style performance. These mirrors are for people who are looking for a straightforward, cost-effective replacement that provides the most value. OE upgrade mirrors, on the other hand, come with a few extra features that can range from telescopic and towing mirrors to aerodynamically designed mirrors for racing. If the latter type is your choice, make sure you double-check that the ones you go with are compatible with your Corolla.

Further, you’ll need to consider whether you need manual or powered mirrors. Manual mirrors don’t have any electrical components and are manually operated, so you’ll have to angle them by hand. There are manual remote mirrors that also don’t have any electrical components, but they also allow you to position them from the comfort of your vehicle with a remote. The connection is made through a steel cable that sneaks through a hole in the door and ends in a small joystick, knob or lever found inside your vehicle.

two toyota corolla's side mirrors on red seat
source: Pinterest

Powered mirrors are operated electrically, so you can adjust them through a switch or button inside your Corolla. Some models come equipped with a range of functions, such as heated glass that defrosts in cold weather, auto-dimming glass that darkens automatically when it’s bright outside in order to minimise glare, and memory settings which adjust the mirrors to a predetermined position with the single push of a button. There are some powered mirror models that are engineered with even more features, including puddle lights, turn signal lights and blind-spot detection.

The last thing to consider is whether your mirrors are fixed, or feature power or manual folding. The latest mirror models come with manual-folding in order to prevent damage in tight spots, but there are some mirrors that take it further and offer a power-folding option. Moreover, side mirrors come in chrome, textured or black paint-to-match the finish. If you prefer to bolt your mirrors as they are, I’d recommend getting one in chrome, polished, matte or a textured finish instead of one that’s paint-to-match. If you want to paint the side mirrors yourself, a DIY project can prove to be the more affordable option, but it might be a tricky one if your Corolla’s paint job has faded due to aging. In that case, it’s a task best left to a professional.