The average price for a power mirror switch replacement cost is typically between $122 and $132 at most stores. Calculating the total labor costs, taking into account the hourly rate and the total billed hours, comes between $36 and $46 since this is a relatively easy and quick fix. Lastly, the total cost of the parts is around $86.
To understand why you have to pay around $125 to replace the power mirror switch, we need to know the power mirror’s function, the purpose of the power mirror switch, symptoms of a faulty switch, and the replacement period for replacing malfunctioning power switches in most vehicles.
What is a power mirror?
The power mirror in your car, also known as the power side-view mirror, power wing mirror, or power side mirror, is a mirror on either side of the vehicle that provides an extra field of vision to the driver. Equipped with either electrical connections to adjust the mirror horizontally or vertically, or sometimes manual adjustment capabilities, this mirror aids in driver safety.
The power side mirrors also feature the turn signal repeaters, with evidence that this mechanism effectively alerts other drivers to the car changing lanes. Instead of noticing the back turn signals, the signal repeaters on the power mirror add another safety element when driving in inclement conditions.
For a power mirror, usually, one single control is used to control both the left and right side mirrors. The mirror is usually adjusted by a switch or knob, with the mirror selector automatically set in the neutral position to avoid unwanted change while driving. The driver then chooses the position of the mirror by using a joystick or four-way knob to get the correct field of view.
If you find that the joystick is not working or the mirrors won't adjust properly, this will increase the overall power mirror switch replacement cost. Let’s find out the function of the power mirror switch and the symptoms of a faulty mirror switch to alert drivers to worsening issues!
What is the power mirror switch?
The power mirror switch is the mechanism used to adjust and change the angle of the side view power mirrors. Typically mounted on the driver’s door panel or the front instrument panel/dashboard, the power mirror switch replaces the traditional manual stick and knob used in older vehicles without the same safety technology.
The power mirror switch controls the mirrors in the vehicle powered by electricity. The switch can change the mirror’s position in four different angles and directions. Lastly, the switch has the power to heat the side mirrors in some vehicles to prevent fogging during inclement weather. If drivers notice the windows are not able to be adjusted from their original position, the overall power mirror switch replacement cost will be much higher.
How does the power mirror switch work?
Automotive switches operate the same way in almost every single vehicle. When the driver presses a switch, the circuit is either closed or interrupted. Based on the original position, the signal will cause the electronic turn-on of the connected system. In this case, the power mirror switch will now be able to adjust the outside mirrors.
Power mirror switches contain several switches that are formed into one assembly for ease-of-use. Each switch operates one direction of movement for the mirror, changing the position to the right, left, front, and back. In addition, some power mirror switches have the option to heat the mirrors during foggy weather.
In some high-end and luxury vehicles, the power mirror switch can also fold the mirrors for parking in tight spaces to prevent any exterior damage from bicycles or other cars. Any trauma or crash damage to the outside mirrors will increase the power mirror switch replacement cost.
Symptoms of a faulty power mirror switch
Failure of the power switch mirror typically shows itself in a few most common ways noticeable to the driver and passengers. The most common sign that something is wrong with the power mirror switch is the inability to move the mirror in any direction. In addition, if the driver cannot turn on the heated feature for the mirrors, this shows a problem with the electrical system.
Furthermore, drivers may notice that in some cars, they will be unable to electronically fold-in or unfold the mirrors during parking situations. This can cause an increased risk of damage to the outside of the car and increase the overall power mirror switch replacement cost.
Also, some cars have a circuit for lowering the power mirror on the curb-side when parking. If this feature fails in your car, it can be the result of a faulty power mirror switch. Lastly, the mirrors may move on their own, adjusting their position without being controlled by the driver. In this case, the mirrors could move and change the angle of the field of vision, resulting in a higher crash incidence and power mirror switch replacement cost.
Can you drive with a faulty power mirror switch?
The power mirrors are necessary to change lanes while driving on the highway. Every time a driver buys a new car, the mirrors will typically require adjustments. The same can be said for borrowing someone’s car or using a rental vehicle – changing the mirror adjustments is the first step before driving away in the vehicle.
Since people tend to sit in different positions depending on their height and body type, changing the power mirrors is crucial to getting the correct angles of vision. If the power mirror switch fails, you will not be able to change the mirror view. This is not an end all be all situation – if you are the only driver using the car, you can keep the same adjusted mirrors for a long period of time.
However, if you are using a rental car or borrowing someone’s vehicle, you need to let them know about the power mirror switch failure. If other drivers use the same car with the adjusted mirrors suited to your preferences, it could lead to unsafe driving situations.
How often do you need to Replace These Switches?
Similar to the power door switches, the power mirror switches are located in a place that can succumb to wear and tear due to the proximity to the window. Since they are mounted on the door panel, this means the switches are likely to be exposed to weather, like snow and rain. Although minimal exposure to the elements will not cause an immediate need for replacement, it can lead to a higher power mirror switch replacement cost if constantly exposed to rainwater.
While they are typically not subjected to heavy use in many cars, since the mirrors only have to be adjusted every now and then, they are subjected to the outdoor elements. This can lead to quicker failure than if you constantly took care of your car door’s switches. However, the likelihood of needing to replace the power mirror switch for most cars is low when compared to other parts exposed to constant wear-and-tear.
How do you replace the power mirror switch?
Since power door mirror switches are located on the driver's door or dash instrument panel, you will often have to remove a piece of the car’s trim to access the switch. Since many trim panels have fasteners keeping it in place, you or a mechanic will also have to remove this part to gain enough exposure to the power mirror switch.
If the switch can be pulled out of the instrument panel, this can reduce the total power mirror replacement cost. This makes the process easier since a mechanic will just have to disconnect the old switch, connect the new switch, and slide the new mechanism into the proper place on the door panel.
However, if the mechanic must remove the trim to access the hardware and the switch, this process often requires the trim to be pressed on with only a few fasteners. This can increase the total labor time and cause a higher power mirror switch replacement cost.
Power Mirror Switch Replacement Cost
Purchasing a new power mirror switch online to bring to your local mechanic can be a great way to reduce overall costs, especially with the cost of the parts being around $85 at a dealership or mechanic. Looking online, you can find a replacement mirror switch for about $13 on carparts.com.
By finding a replacement switch online, you can reduce the total power mirror switch replacement cost from around $122-$133 to under $100.
The Bottom Line
Paying for the power mirror switch replacement cost is a small price to pay for remaining safe while driving on the road. Without the ability to change the mirror adjustments, you would not clearly see a wide field of vision around your car, leading to unsafe driving conditions and higher crash risk.