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Can You Drive a Car Without a Side View Mirror?


Every car tool serves a purpose, from the car key through the entire car engine system to side view mirrors. Are you a victim of losing a side view mirror? Probably, you think of driving your car without a side view mirror when this happens.

Driving a car without a side view mirror is illegal in most countries. But this should not be your reasoning. Think of your safety first. It is unsafe to drive without a car side view mirror.

However, having a car-side view mirror doesn’t guarantee safety. Why? Objects reflected in the mirror seem to be too far than they appear.

This calls for wisdom. You have to know objects’ actual distances as they get reflected in the mirror before taking your drive.

However, this article discusses in detail the importance of side-view mirrors and the types present in the market, and how to know if a particular side view mirror fits your car.

Importance of Side View Mirrors

Car side view mirrors are crucial elements in your car system. They help you keep forward vision while looking at what’s coming behind your car. This helps to reduce over-the-shoulder checks because you can end up causing accidents.

man adjust car side view mirror

However, you should make a correct set of your side view mirror. Adjust to an angle where you can see things behind the car.

How can you do this? While in your driver’s seat, adjust the mirrors to see only a small portion of the back of your car. If the mirrors are incorrectly adjusted, what you will see from the reflection is only your car.

Also, if adjusted too far out, it’ll be hard to know what is happening behind your car. For example, you won’t be able to see an approaching motorcycle.

However, you should do quick shoulder checks to minimize blind spots when driving to another lane.

What Are the Types of Side View Mirrors?

Many types of side view mirrors are flooding the market. You have many options to select from depending on the model you like. However, not all kinds of car side view mirrors fit your car.

Manual Side View Mirrors

If you need the simplest and easy to mount, these side view mirrors should be your choice. They are the oldest car side view mirrors ever existed.

They require hand adjustment whenever they don’t give a correct view of what lies behind your car. Most of all, they do not have wiring or remote control.

Manual Remote Side View Mirrors

These types of side view mirrors were most common in the 1960s. Unlike manual side view mirrors, you can adjust these mirrors inside your car with the car windows up.

They contain a non-electrical connection that connects to the inside of the car with what looks like a joystick. It’s easy replacing manual remote side-view mirrors while connecting the joystick for mirror adjustment.

Power Side View Mirrors

Most luxurious cars today have power side view mirrors. This type of mirror has gained popularity since the 1970s.

The power side-view mirrors come electrically adjusted, unlike manual and manual remote side view mirrors. The most basic power side view mirror has three wires running through its system.

Inside this car, there is a switch to adjust the mirror. Therefore, you get extra comfort adjusting your car side view mirror with closed windows, mostly when in cold or dusty places.

However, replacing the power side view mirror is more complicated than manual side view mirrors. The easiest part is plugging the electrical connectors together.

Power mirrors come with other selection options; they include;

Heated Mirrors

The funniest part about this type of mirror is that you may not know that you have it on your car. If you are in snow regions and your mirror melts snow, that’s it.

If you have five wires coming out of your car mirror, you probably have the heated and power mirror. You will notice heated mirrors with the symbol normally placed on the glass mirror.

However, it’s difficult to make non-heated mirrors into the heated mirror and vice versa. Fixing it on your car can be simple, but making wiring connections to a heated mirror is challenging. You will end up blowing your car fuses.

Mirror With Memory

Most luxurious cars and trucks get fitted with mirror memory. What is the purpose of this?

Having a mirror with memories means that when you enter your car, systems like side-view mirrors and steering wheel adjust to the last known location.

However, these mirrors come with an extra sixth or more wire connectors.

Signal Mirrors

These mirrors also come with an extra sixth or more wire connector. You will find signal mirrors mostly in trucks and luxurious cars. They have turn signals connected to the mirror housing or mirror glass.

Car Side View Signal Mirror

How Do You Know a Side View Mirror Will Fit Your Car?

So far, you know the different types of mirrors existing in the market. The right mirror to replace your car must have the exact specifications of the original side view mirrors.

However, you should get to know the body type, trim package, or the sub-model to help in verifying fitness. Once you get to know your car side view mirror’s speciation and body type, you can use it to compare the mirror you want to replace. If these specifications are equal, then you can use them for replacement.

How Can You Know You Can Upgrade Your Mirror?

Upgrading of electrical options of your car side view mirrors involves extra electrical work. If replacing your side view mirror is the only option, then do option-for-option.

However, you will find it easy to upgrade the side view mirror where the wiring system already exists in the vehicle.


Missing the car side view mirror does not interfere with the car engine. However, it does not mean you should drive your car without a side view mirror.

Think of your safety before making the option of driving the car without a side view mirror. You can end up getting accidents.

Missing to see what’s coming behind your car creates an easy chance of collision with other vehicles.

Moreover, driving a car without a side view mirror is illegal. This helps to reduce the number of accidents that would possibly happen.

But owning a car side view mirror doesn’t guarantee your safety. The image distance on the mirror seems too far from the object’s actual distance.

So, before you enter the road, try your best to know the reading distance between the image and the actual object.

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