Why My Car Side Mirror Won’t Go Up And Down And How To Fix It?

"Person troubleshooting side mirror not moving vertically"
side mirror wont go up and down

Many cars and SUVs these days have motor-powered side mirrors. They provide drivers with a clear view and allow you to adjust them electronically. It will enhance convenience, safety, and awareness on the road. However, your car’s power mirrors may not move at times. Seeing the side mirror won’t go up and down can be frustrating.

A stuck side view mirror forces you to compromise riding safety. The mirror may get stuck and not move due to the damaged motor, faulty mirror switch, and wiring issues. If the wring is damaged or misaligned, the motor may fail to move the mirror.

As it happens, you must inspect the electronically-powered side mirror component and wiring to know where the problem lies. Then, you may follow our guidelines to fix the side mirror that won’t go up and down.

Why My Car Side Mirror Won’t Go Up And Down?

You pressed the side mirror adjustment switch, and it didn’t work. Understandably, it can be scary and freak you out. You must first identify why the mirror is stuck and won’t move up and down. It may even stop moving sideways, so be careful to find the reason.

Faulty Mirror Switch

The mirror switch is an essential side mirror management component. The switch allows you to control the movement of your side mirrors with one or two presses.

The switch can become faulty over time due to wear and tear or electrical issues. Your car is too old, and you haven’t maintained the mirror switch. Hence, the internal contacts of the switch might get worn out. Also, the switch sensor with the mirror may become faulty.

When the switch stops working, it will prevent proper electrical connection of the car side mirror. So, it will inhibit the movement of the mirror. The problem is acute with older cars, or you have upgraded to an OEM-powered side mirror from a regular one.

Damaged Mirror Motor:

The mirror motor translates the signals from the mirror switch into actual movement. When you press the mirror switch, the wiring transfers the signal to the motor. The motor then moves the side mirror according to your direction for proper alignment.

Nonetheless, the mirror motor may be damaged or malfunctioning. As the mirror motor stops working, it won’t be able to respond to the switch’s commands. It will result in the mirror remaining stationary without any up-down and sideways movement. The motor may get damaged or blocked due to moisture, debris, or mechanical wear exposure.

As these external elements contribute to mirror motor damage, you should maintain and clean the debris from the mirror.

Wiring Issues:

The wiring in your car’s electrical system connects the mirror switch and motor. As you see, the wiring will transmit the signal from the switch to the engine. As it happens, the motor will move upside down or sideways to make necessary adjustments with the mirror.

Any damage, corrosion, or breakage in the wiring can interrupt the flow of electrical signals between the switch and the motor. Therefore, the disruption can lead to the mirror’s inability to move as desired. Also, the wiring may become faulty due to short circuits or other issues. As it happens, you have to replace the wiring for the electrically powered side mirrors.

Signs of Power Mirror Not Working:

The power mirror in your car should work flawlessly with easy adjustment in one click. So, it can be problematic when you can’t adjust the mirror at the right alignment. You may fail to see the road traffic and sign with a misaligned side mirror.

Stuck in One Position:

Do you notice your side mirror consistently stuck in a particular position? Does it stop to respond to adjustments? A stuck side mirror in one position clearly indicates a problem. The damaged motor or debris inside the mirror panel may stop it from moving.

As the mirror gets stuck, you won’t be able to adjust it for your perfect viewing experience. It is one of the major signs that your side mirror isn’t working properly.

Clicking Noise

You may hear a clicking sound when the side mirror stops functioning and moving. You will hear the clicking noise as you try to adjust the mirror using the switch. It mainly comes from the mirror area. The noise happens as the motor moves the mirror according to your direction but fails.

Henceforth, the sound could signify a nonfunctioning car side mirror motor. There may be objects around the motor that prevent it from moving and cause the sound.

One-direction Movement:

Sometimes, the mirror moves in only one direction. It may be often upward and sideways movement of the mirror but not downward. Thus, it suggests a problem with controlling the mirror’s motor or the electrical system.

No Response:

The most obvious sign of a malfunction is when the mirror doesn’t respond when you operate the switch. As you press the switch, there will be no activity at all. Nor will the mirror move, nor will there be any noise.

"Non-functional side mirror stuck in position, unable to adjust vertically."
side mirror wont go up and down

How To Fix A Faulty Car Power Mirror That Doesn’t Move Up And Down?

You compromise your riding safety and comfort when the mirror doesn’t move upward or downward. So, you must act quickly to fix the faulty side mirror. Depending on the reason for the malfunctioning car mirror, you have to opt for different troubleshooting.

Inspect the Mirror Components:

First, you must visually examine the car mirror and its components. You should look for visible damage, debris, or obstructions preventing the mirror’s movement. During the initial inspection, you might reveal minor issues that can be easily addressed. You can often remove the smaller objects from the side mirror panel to allow it to move freely.

Check the Mirror Switch:

Next, you must check the mirror switch to see if it works properly. The observation will help you know if you need to fix or replace the switch.

  • Carefully remove the switch panel. It will usually be located on the door panel or center console. You can access and remove the switch panel with a specialized car door panel trim removal tool.
  • Next, you should inspect the connections on the back of the switch. At this point, you may observe signs of loose wires, corrosion, or burning.
  • Clean the connections or replace the switch if necessary if any issues are found. You can get an OEM mirror switch at around $10 to $20.

Examine the Mirror Motor and Wiring:

Mostly, the switch will appear to be functioning properly. Thus, it suggests that the mirror motor and its wiring can be faulty. So, you have to observe them as well.

  • Remove the mirror cover (if applicable) to access the mirror motor and wiring.
  • Check for any visible damage or loose connections in the wiring and motor.
  • You should clean or replace the corroded wires or connectors. You can use a lubricant to wipe out the corrosion and rust from the motor and its connected sensor.

Replace the Mirror Switch:

When the mirror switch is problematic, you must replace it.

  • First, you must purchase a replacement mirror switch. For this, visit an auto parts store or order a replacement mirror switch online. Make sure to get the correct switch for your car model.
  • Next, you must disconnect the battery of the car. It is crucial to prevent electrical shock or short circuits and potential damage to the wiring.
  • Afterward, you must remove the old switch with a trim removal tool. You can gently pry off the switch panel.
  • Also, you must disconnect the wiring harness from the old switch. Once you mount the new switch, you must connect the wiring harness to the new switch securely.
  • Finally, you should reconnect the battery and test whether the mirror works properly.

Repair the Mirror Motor:

For the problematic mirror motor, you will need to replace it. You must first obtain a replacement mirror motor that matches your car’s specifications. After disconnecting the battery, you should remove the mirror cover too.

Depending on the mirror design, you might need to remove screws or clips to remove the cover. After that, you need to remove the wiring harness from the motor. Lastly, you can attach the new motor in place of the old one and secure it with the fasteners. Also, you must put the mirror cover back in place, securing it properly.

Addressing Wiring Issues:

For the wiring issues, you should carefully inspect the wiring for any signs of damage, fraying, or loose connections. If you find damaged wires, replace them with appropriate gauge wires.

For damaged wires, cut out the damaged section. Then, you may replace it with a new wire section of the same gauge and insulation type. Lastly, secure any loose connections to ensure proper electrical contact.

Safety Tips For Fixing Side Mirror On Car:

Safety is paramount When working with the car’s electrically powered mirror. Hence, you must follow proper safety measurements for fixing the side mirror.

  • Always disconnect the car battery before working with the mirror wiring, sensor, and other electrical components. It is essential to avoid electrical shock and ensure your safety.
  • Use the correct tools for the job to prevent damage to components and injury to yourself.
  • Are you uncertain about any steps or lack experience with electrical work? If so, you should seek assistance from a professional mechanic.

Final Thoughts

The side mirror won’t go up and down, a major setback for car drivers, especially in busy traffic. So, you must quickly troubleshoot and fix the car side mirror for a safe and comfortable riding experience. For this, you must inspect the mirror components, including the mirror switch, motor, and wiring. 

You must also maintain the side mirror component and panel for proper functioning. Or else, it can get damaged and cause you costlier repair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Why is my car mirror not adjusting?

The switch of the car mirror is in an open circuit and won’t close at all. Also, the sensor may not work to relay the signal for the mirror to adjust accordingly.

  • Can you manually move a power mirror?

You can manually adjust the side mirrors by pushing them with your hands. You must fold and unfold the mirror set to ensure proper alignment.

  • What controls power mirrors?

The power mirror switch, sensor, and motor will control the mirror. When these mirror components stop working, the mirror won’t move.

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