Side mirrors in your car and motorcycle are meant to stay firm and sturdy with optimum visibility. So, when it starts vibrating, there’s every reason to get worried since it will reduce visibility. Also, a vibrating side mirror can cause accidents without the driver’s fault.
Hence, you must know how to fix side mirror vibration for safe driving to ensure better road visibility. For this, you must understand the reasons for vibrating side-view mirrors so that you can observe and identify the reasons for fixing them.
The side view mirror often vibrates due to excess wind speed, loose nuts, an inaccurate suspension system, and loose mirror housing. Thus, you can stop the side mirror vibration by properly tightening the screw, mirror housing, and suspension system. Also, you may upgrade to a sturdier aftermarket side view mirror for better results.
Is a Vibrating Side Mirror Dangerous?
When the side view mirror vibrates, you may not pay attention to it. However, a vibrating side-view mirror is one of the major reasons for accidents on the road. It reduces visibility, distracts the driver’s attention, and might cause mechanical issues for the mirroring system.
A vibrating side mirror drops your visibility more significantly than you can imagine. Also, a side mirror popped out would drop a driver’s ability to see behind and beside their vehicle. So, drivers get blinded by their surroundings and don’t know what’s coming beside them.
The vibration on the mirror causes distortion. So, it becomes difficult to gauge the distance and speed of approaching vehicles accurately. As a result, drivers may need to be more accurate with the safe gaps between the vehicles. It happens during:
- Changing lanes
- Making turns
All these will increase the likelihood of collisions. The problems become acute in adverse weather conditions or at night.
The vibration on the side mirror will amplify the glare from headlights and precipitation. So, it gets even harder for the driver to discern the traffic around them.
A vibrating side mirror will constantly move. So, it can be highly distracting for drivers. Also, the vibrating mirror will attract their attention. It takes their focus away from monitoring the road and other vehicles.
And as you know, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents. It reduces the driver’s reaction times, anticipation, and response-ability to potential hazards. Also, the constant sound of a vibrating mirror is distracting for drivers.
Potential Mechanical Issues
A vibrating side mirror might indicate underlying mechanical issues in the vehicle, too. It can be a symptom of:
- Problems with the mirror’s mounting
- Mirror adjustment mechanism
- The inaccurate and damaged suspension system
- The overall stability of the vehicle.
Thus, you can’t ignore these vibrations caused by the vehicle. Or else it can lead to more severe issues that might result in expensive repairs.
Reasons for a Vibrating Side Mirror:
Why does the side mirror vibrate in the car? Is it natural or due to any reasons? These questions may have hit your head hard. So, here’s the short answer:
A side view mirror in a car or motorcycle may vibrate due to excessive wind speed, loose mounting of the mirror housing, loose nuts, and too much vibration in the road. Also, a motorcycle side view mirror can vibrate due to a loose handlebar, putting too much pressure on the handlebar, and an inaccurate and damaged suspension system.
Before you get into how to fix a vibrating side mirror, let’s understand the reasons more.
Wind turbulence is a common reason for side mirror vibration. It happens particularly at higher speeds and where the wind speed is too high.
You will notice the phenomenon more in vehicles with larger and more aerodynamically exposed side mirrors. As the wind hits the side mirror at higher speeds, the mirror will jerk and vibrate. Plus, the shape and positioning of the side mirror may be responsible for unwanted vibration.
It can influence the wind turbulence your vehicle experiences. Thankfully, mirrors with streamlined designs and closer to the vehicle’s body are less susceptible to vibrations due to wind turbulence. You may install newer and sturdier mirrors to fix the problem.
The mounting of side mirrors involves several screws and bolts. These nuts and screws secure the mirror housing to the vehicle’s door or frame. Over time, the screws become loose due to regular wear and tear.
As the mounting hardware gets loose, the side mirror will move slightly. It will lead to vibrations during driving.
Vibrations from the Road:
Uneven road surfaces, potholes, and rough terrains can generate vibrations when you travel through these roads. As your vehicle vibrates, it can transmit to different components of your vehicle. It includes:
- The side mirrors
- The windshield of your car
- Interior seats and moveable items
Therefore, the mirror housing might shake, resulting in blurred or distorted reflections. Since it depends on road conditions, you can only do a little about this side view mirror vibration reasons.
Impacts or collisions can damage the side mirrors. Even if the collision is seemingly insignificant, it can crack mirror glass or misalign the mirror housing. Since it will disrupt the smooth movement of the mirror, the mirror will start vibrating.
Also, side view mirror housing may get cracked over time for unknown reasons. It will cause the mirror to vibrate, too. It may even stop the mirror movement, and you will find the side mirror won’t go up and down.
Mirror Motor Malfunction:
Many automobiles these days have electrically adjustable side mirrors. These mirrors depend on small electric motors to move and adjust the mirror position.
At times, these motors malfunction or become faulty. So, they fail to maintain the mirror in the correct position, leading to vibrations. A few causes of motor malfunctions include:
- Electrical issues
- Wear and tear
- Water damage
The loose handlebar of motorcycles:
Side-view mirrors on motorcycles sit on the edge of the handlebar. So, when the handlebar becomes loose, it can also affect the side view mirrors. Also, holding the handlebar with too much pressure or putting something on it may become shaky.
All this extra weight, pressure, and loose handlebar might lead to a vibrating side-view mirror. So, you must be careful about the handlebar condition in your motorcycle to avoid vibrations.
How to Fix Side Mirror Vibration:
When the side view mirror of your vehicle vibrates too much, you must fix it ASAP. Or you run the risk of collisions and even hurting yourself.
Method 1: Tighten Mirror Mounting
A loose mirror housing is often the main reason for vibrations on the side-view mirrors. So, you must inspect it for any loose nuts and damages. You can tighten the loose connection to stop the vibration as you find the loose connection. The key is to attach the mirror to the vehicle’s frame securely. And for this, you must know how to fix loose side-view mirror ball joints.
- Park your vehicle on a level surface. Also, you should engage the parking brake for safety.
- Now, you must carefully locate the screws or bolts that secure the side mirror to the vehicle’s frame.
- The screws and nuts are usually accessible from the interior side of the door panel. Or, you can access them from the exterior surface near the mirror housing.
- Use the appropriate screwdriver or wrench to tighten any loose screws or bolts. Be careful not to overtighten, as it may damage the threads, and you have to replace the entire housing.
- Once you have tightened all screws and bolts, gently try to move the mirror to check for any remaining play. If it still vibrates excessively, you may need to proceed with other methods, including a replacement side-view mirror.
You can also upgrade to sturdier mirrors. There are some sturdier aftermarket side mirrors. They tend to be more resistant to vibrations, too. When you upgrade to a higher-quality mirror, it may alleviate the vibration issue.
Method 2: Adjust Mirror Position:
Properly align the side mirror to minimize wind resistance and reduce vibrations. Thus, you should adjust the mirror’s position so that it is parallel to the vehicle’s body. You have to ensure that the mirror faces directly backward.
- Sit in the driver’s seat and adjust the side mirror to your preferred viewing angle.
- Park the vehicle in a well-lit area. Alternatively, you can call a friend to help you with the alignment process.
- Stand outside the vehicle and observe the side mirror’s position. See its alignment to the vehicle’s body. Ideally, it should be parallel to the vehicle’s side and facing directly backward.
- If the mirror is misaligned, use the mirror’s adjustment controls from inside the car. Thus, you can make necessary corrections and alignment until you find the desired position of the side view mirror.
- If your car has mirror motors and sensors, ensure they run and perform properly. Or else you need to fix them with a professional’s help.
Method 3: Replace Damaged Mirrors
Sometimes, side mirrors may face sustained damage. You must replace the damaged side view mirror with a new one. A cracked or misaligned mirror is more likely to vibrate, hindering visibility, which is the last thing you want.
- Assess the condition of your side mirror. Is it cracked, chipped, or damaged that is beyond repair? If so, you need to replace it.
- First, you should purchase a compatible replacement side mirror. You can get it from an auto parts store or through a reputable dealer.
- Park the vehicle safely so that it doesn’t move. Also, disconnect the power source for the electronically controlled mirrors.
- Moreover, you may need to remove the interior door panel. Alternatively, you might access the mounting bolts from the exterior of the mirror housing. It will depend on the model of your vehicle.
- After that, you should remove the damaged mirror. For this, unfasten the mounting screws or clips with the Allen screwdriver.
- Finally, install the new mirror in reverse order. You must secure and snugly fit the mirror to its housing during the installation.
As you finish the project, you should double-check all connections to ensure they are properly reattached. It is more crucial for electrically controlled mirrors.
Method 4: Install Mirror Dampeners
You can use mirror dampeners to attach them to the back of the mirror. The dampeners will absorb excess movement caused by wind or road vibrations. So, it will safeguard the side view mirror from the wind and different objects.
Purchase mirror dampeners designed for your specific side mirror model from an auto parts store or online retailer.
- First, clean the back surface of your side mirror. It is crucial to ensure proper adhesion of the dampener.
- Peel off the backing from the dampener adhesive.
- Then, carefully apply it to the back of the mirror. For this, you must concentrate on the areas where vibration is most likely.
- Press the dampeners firmly to ensure a strong bond with the mirror surface.
- You should let the adhesive set on the mirror housing according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It may take 30 to 40 minutes. So don’t drive your vehicle before the adhesive sets to secure the side view mirror.
Method 5: Reduce pressure on the motorcycle handlebar
You must ensure a steadier handlebar for side view mirrors on a motorcycle. Also, check that the mirror housing and handlebar connection is appropriate. If the wiring seems loose, tighten it to keep the handlebar and mirror housing steady. It will also stop the vibration on the side mirror of the motorcycle.
A vibrating side mirror is annoying and dangerous for drivers and other road users. Hence, you must act fast to identify the cause of a vibrating side-view mirror. After that, you may apply the right technique to fix it.
As you fix the vibration on the side mirror, it can significantly improve mirror stability. It will further ensure safer and more confident driving experiences. Lastly, you should maintain your side mirrors to prevent vibration issues and enhance road safety.
Frequently Asked Questions -FAQs
- Can you drive with a vibrating side mirror?
Driving with a vibrating side mirror is not recommended. Or it can impair your ability to accurately determine the distance and speed of surrounding vehicles, leading to potential accidents.
- Can side mirror vibration lead to mirror glass shattering?
While rare, excessive vibration can weaken the mirror’s glass over time. So, it could shatter if you don’t address the vibration issue promptly.
- Can you fix a vibrating side mirror yourself, or should you seek professional help?
Depending on the severity of the issue, you may attempt to fix a vibrating side mirror yourself. However, if you are unsure or need more experience, it is best to consult a professional mechanic or auto technician for proper diagnosis and repair.