how to fix loose rear view mirror ball joint

How to Fix a Loose Rear View Mirror Ball Joint?

Rear view mirrors are a vital component of vehicle safety, providing drivers with a clear view of the traffic behind them. However, over time, these mirrors can develop a common issue – a loose ball joint that causes the mirror to tilt down and affect visibility. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of fixing a loose rear view mirror ball joint to ensure safe and effective navigation on the road.

Tools Needed for the Job

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to gather the necessary tools for the task. Here’s a list of tools you’ll need:

  • Hex key wrench set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Double-sided tape or insulation tape
  • Toothpicks or cardboard (for side mirrors)
  • Cleaning materials (IPA or ethanol, microfiber cloth)
  • Adhesive products (double-sided tape, super glue)

Steps to Fix a Loose Rear View Mirror Ball Joint

Step 1 – Tightening the Screw Underneath the Mirror

One common method to fix a loose rear view mirror ball joint is by tightening the screw located underneath the mirror. Follow these steps:

  • Inspect the mirror from underneath, near the flip tab.
  • Locate the hex or Phillips head screw used to secure the mirror ball joint.
  • Use the appropriate tool from your screwdriver set to tighten the screw.
  • Test the mirror’s stability to ensure the ball joint is secure.

Step 2 – Tightening the Screw Inside the Base of the Roof

For some vehicles, the ball joint connection is located within the roof assembly. Here’s how to address it:

  • Refer to your vehicle’s manual to learn how to remove the plastic shroud covering the mirror base.
  • Gain access to the adjustment screw inside the roof.
  • Use the correct screwdriver to tighten the ball joint connection.
  • Reassemble the plastic shroud after tightening the screw.

Step 3 – Tightening the Screw Within the Mirror

If the previous methods don’t apply, you might find the tightening screw inside the mirror itself:

  • Research your vehicle’s make and model to determine if there’s a tightening screw within the mirror.
  • Carefully disassemble the mirror following the appropriate steps for your vehicle.
  • Locate the tightening screw inside the mirror assembly.
  • Gently tighten the screw to secure the ball joint.

Steps to Fix a Loose Side View Mirror Ball Joint

Step 1 – Tightening the Screws on the Side Mirror Assembly

For side mirrors, the issue might be loose screws connecting the mirror assembly. Here’s how to address it:

  • Inspect the connection points of the side mirror assembly.
  • Identify the screws that hold the mirror in place.
  • Use the appropriate screwdriver to tighten the screws and secure the assembly.

Step 2 – Correcting the Side Mirror Position

To fix a side mirror that’s tilting downwards, you can use a simple method:

  • Hold the mirror in the desired position.
  • Insert toothpicks or cardboard between the mirror and the housing.
  • This creates a tight fit, preventing the mirror from tilting down.
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Step 3 – Replacing the Side Mirror

If the issue persists, consider replacing the side mirror:

  • Purchase a replacement side mirror compatible with your vehicle.
  • Remove the old mirror assembly using the appropriate tools and steps.
  • Install the new mirror assembly following the manufacturer’s instructions.

DIY Methods for Fixing Rear and Side Mirrors

Method 1 – Using a Spacer to Fix Loose Rear View Mirror

If the ball joint on your rear view mirror is loose, you can use a simple DIY method to stabilize it:

  • Cut a small piece of paper, plastic, or insulation tape.
  • Place the piece between the ball joint and the mirror receiver.
  • This creates a snug fit, preventing the mirror from tilting.

Method 2 – Using Toothpicks or Cardboard for Side Mirrors

For side mirrors, you can employ toothpicks or cardboard to stabilize the mirror position:

  • Hold the side mirror in the desired position.
  • Insert toothpicks or cardboard between the mirror and the housing.
  • This makeshift spacer prevents the mirror from moving and maintains the position.

Conclusion

Fixing a loose rear view mirror ball joint is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance your driving experience. By following these steps and using simple DIY methods, you can ensure that your mirrors remain stable and provide optimal visibility on the road. Regularly inspect and address any loose ball joint issues to prioritize your safety and the safety of others.

FAQs:

While Gorilla Glue can be used to reattach mirror components, avoid using it to tighten the ball joint. Gorilla Glue sets hard and can make adjustments impossible.

Repairing or replacing a rearview mirror can take around 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of the issue.

The cost varies. Consider aftermarket options and DIY solutions before opting for expensive repairs.

Excessive shaking indicates loose bolts. Tightening the bolts can stabilize the mirror.

Remove the mirror and access the ball joint to tighten it. Refer to the guide for detailed steps.

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