Side mirrors allow drivers to see the traffic and gauge the distance from the vehicle behind it and what’s happening in the surroundings. Hence, the side mirror needs to be steady and stable, which normally it is. However, the problem starts when the mirror panel shakes or vibrates too much. The vibration can distract the driver, disallow him from knowing what’s happening behind him, and increase the risk of accidents and collisions. Thus, you must know how to fix the vibrating side mirror for an uninterrupted visual.
The side mirror vibrates due to off-road riding, damaged mirror panels, wind turbulence, and loose screws. So, you need to observe the reasons for a vibrating side-view mirror and fix it accordingly. And in today’s article, we will discuss the reasons, dangers, and ways to fix vibrating side mirrors.
Why Do Side Mirrors Vibrate?
Side mirrors may vibrate while driving for several reasons. Hence, you must observe your vehicle and side mirror closely to know the exact reason for its vibration. Only then can you take proper action to fix it.
Damaged side mirror panel:
Is the side mirror panel cracked, broken, or has loose components? A cracked or broken panel can result in vibration during vehicle movement. The side mirror panel may collide with other vehicles or get damaged for other reasons.
For stronger collisions, the side panel becomes loose. As the screws and connections become loose, you will see it has started shaking. If the collision is too powerful, the mirror may break apart and fall from the panel. In such conditions, you will need to replace the entire side mirror, including the panel that holds it.
Loose side mirror connection:
When your vehicle gets too old, the connection between the side mirror and the vehicle gets loose. So, the loose connections can cause vibrations. This can occur due to wear and tear or improper side panel installation.
Vehicle owners usually will not change the side mirror for years. So, the connection between the side mirror and the vehicle becomes loose for road vibrations, storms, and other external reasons. On top of it, the screws may wear and tear due to corrosion.
As the screws become loose, you will see that the side mirror will shake. It happens because the screws can’t hold the mirror tightly on the road as they used to be in earlier days. It is a common problem with vehicles having side mirrors a few years old.
Strong winds can create air turbulence around the side mirror. Also, if you drive through storms or hurricanes, it can lead to vibration. It is especially noticeable at high speeds or during gusty weather conditions.
If the wind speed is above 50MPH, the side mirror is more likely to vibrate. So, you must be careful if you drive through gusty winds. Also, higher wind speed may shatter the mirror.
Driving in off-road conditions:
Do you drive your vehicle, such as a motorcycle or car, often in off-road conditions? If so, it can be the cause of side mirror vibration. Driving your car in rough terrains or bumpy roads puts extra pressure on the car components.
Also, it can cause vibrations that transfer to the side mirrors. Moreover, running vehicles regularly in off-road conditions will loosen the screws and mirror connection. Naturally, it will vibrate.
Malfunctioning side mirror motor:
Sometimes, the side mirror motor can be defective or worn out. So, it will create irregular movement and vibration as the motor loses control over the side mirror. The result will be a vibrating side mirror.
Also, the malfunctioning moor may send wrong signals to the side mirror sensor, and the dashboard will light up the side mirror signal panel signal. It can be disturbing.
Some vehicles have side mirrors attached to a handlebar or stalk. It particularly applies to motorcycles where the side mirror sits on the handlebar. As the handlebar gets loose or damaged, it will vibrate.
And the vibration of the handlebar will soon transfer to the mirror. As a result, you will see a shaky side mirror, which is the last thing you want as a driver.
Dangers of a Vibrating Side Mirror
A shaking side mirror and its panel can be more dangerous than you think. A vibrating side mirror is responsible for many things, from distracting the driver to inaccurate distance measurement.
- Creates distraction on the road: Vibrating side mirrors creates severe distraction for the driver. It will divert their attention away from the road ahead. Also, their eyes will follow the shaking side mirror more, which creates further distraction.
- Inaccurate distance measurement: A vibrating side mirror can make it challenging to accurately judge the distance between your vehicle and surrounding objects or other vehicles. So, you may have problems during lane changes or breaks.
- Reduces traffic visibility: Excessive vibration can blur the reflected images in the side mirror. So, you will experience reduced visibility. Hence, you must compromise your ability to react to surrounding traffic, which is more dangerous than you think.
- Suggests malfunctioning mechanical problems: A vibrating side mirror suggests many underlying mechanical issues. These issues may be loose or worn-out components beyond just the mirror, which you should address and fix ASAP.
When a side mirror vibrates, it increases the chance of collision and accidents. So, you need to fix a vibrating side mirror immediately.
How to Fix Side Mirror Vibration
You need to choose different methods to fix the side mirror, depending on the cause of the vibration. So, you should observe the side mirror and determine its reasons for vibration. Then, you can start fixing the side mirror to stop its vibration.
Method 1: Tighten Mirror Mounting
If the loose mounting of the mirror is causing the problem, you can check the mounting bolts or screws. These screws will secure the side mirror to the vehicle. If they are loose, tighten them using the appropriate tools.
- First, you need to gather the necessary tools for tightening the screws. You’ll need a suitable wrench or screwdriver, a pliers set, and maybe a new set of screws.
- Next, you should locate the mounting points. It is where the side mirror is attached to the vehicle. You will typically find it inside part of the door panel or near the window.
- You may need to remove the coverings to access the side mirror screws from the door panel. Some vehicles might have covers or panels. If so, you need to be removed to access the mounting hardware. You may pry the cover off with a flathead screwdriver.
- Once you access the mounting hardware, use the appropriate tool to tighten the side mirror mounting bolts or screws.
- You should start with a gentle tightening and gradually increase the force. Also, continue it until the mirror feels securely attached.
- Once you have tightened the screws, check if the vibrations have been eliminated or reduced.
Before tightening the mounting bolts, you must ensure the mirror is properly aligned and adjusted to the desired position. Or else the mirror may be dysfunctional.
Method 2: Adjust Mirror Position
Often, misaligned mirrors are the cause of vibration. So, you need to adjust the mirror’s position to minimize vibrations.
- First, you must park your vehicle in a safe and well-lit location. Also, ensure you have enough space to move freely and adjust the side mirror. Also, get a place with lots of light since it will help you align the mirror perfectly.
- Then, sit in the driver’s seat and adjust the mirror’s position slightly. You must tilt the mirror up, down, left, or right in small increments. This way, you can find the right position to minimize the vibration.
- Once you’ve found the right position for the side mirror, secure the mirror in place. You must use the adjustment controls provided within your controller for the mirror.
- Finally, you should test and fine-tune the mirror placement. As you drive the car, pay attention to the mirror’s behavior. If the vibration is still present, you may need to fine-tune the position further to achieve optimal results.
The key is to experiment with different angles and orientations to find the best position for the side mirror. So, be patient and adjust the mirror at different angles to reduce vibration.
Method 3: Replace Damaged Mirrors
If the side mirror panel is damaged beyond repair, you must replace it with a new one. You will need a compatible mirror for your vehicle model and year.
- Identify the correct replacement mirror panel for your vehicle’s make and model. You can get a new mirror panel for most cars and motorcycles at around $50 to $100
- You must remove any covers or panels that are concealing the mounting hardware. It can be in the window or the door panel. You will need a door panel removal tool to pry off the panel and access the screws and nuts.
- Use a screwdriver to loosen and remove the old side mirror. Also, ensure that you disconnect the wiring following the user manual. It is essential, or you will have difficulty connecting the wires later.
- Align the new mirror with the mounting points. After that, use the provided hardware to secure it in place. Make sure you have securely attached the mirror and positioned it correctly.
Method 4: Install Mirror Dampeners
You can add mirror dampeners or vibration-absorbing materials to reduce the impact of vibrations. These can be in the form of adhesive pads, rubber grommets, or foam inserts. Before attaching the dampeners, clean the surface of the mirror and the mounting area. It is crucial for proper adhesion of the dampener.
Afterward, peel off the backing of the dampeners. Now, carefully apply them to the back of the mirror panel, which contacts the mounting bracket. Its proper placement will be effective for vibration absorption.
Method 5: Reduce Pressure on the Handlebar
If your vehicle has a side mirror attached to a handlebar, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on the handle. Avoid placing excessive pressure or weight on the handlebar, which can contribute to mirror vibration.
First, you should locate the locking mechanisms holding the mirrors. Use the screwdriver to tighten the locking mechanisms of the handlebar mirrors.
Vibrating side mirrors in your vehicle is highly dangerous. You will have a hard time driving safely with the side mirror vibration. Hence, you should tighten the screws of the loose mirror connection to stop it from shaking.
Also, you must maintain the mirror and its panel regularly to stop it from shaking. It is especially true if you ride on off-road and tough terrains more. Also, for older vehicles, consider replacing the mirror panel. It will stop the vibration and also improve visibility with a clearer view.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is an electric side mirror?
Electric side mirrors are also known as power side mirrors. They allow you to adjust the mirror from your car’s inside through the electrical connection.
- What are the types of side mirrors?
Cars and motorcycles have convex-style side mirrors. These mirrors have a wide field of view that helps the driver to see a wider area for better knowledge of the surroundings.
- Why is my side mirror shaking?
If your vehicle chassis and wheel vibrate too much, it will transfer to the mirror panel. Ultimately, the mirror will start vibrating too.