A side mirror cover is the housing that covers the inner workings of the mirror, including the wiring and moving parts.
When you have a cracked side mirror cover, you want to replace it as soon as possible. Water, dirt, and other contaminants can get in and damage the components inside the side mirror assembly.
When it comes to fixing a broken side mirror cover, you have two options:
- Replacing the side mirror cover.
- Replacing the entire assembly.
We’ll explore both options below. But first we’ll show you how to determine whether replacing just the cover is a feasible option.
Check the Assembly Before Making a Decision
There’s no point in replacing just the cover if your side mirror assembly isn’t in perfect working order. In such a case, you need a full replacement. Luckily, checking your mirror assembly is an easy task:
- Grab the side mirror and gently rock it up, down, towards you, and away from you. You want to make sure that it's not loose. If it feels loose, you can try tightening the bolts holding it in place to see if it does the trick.
- If you have power mirrors, use the controls to move the glass in all directions to see if it still works. If it’s not responding well to the controls, you will probably need to replace the entire assembly.
You can do a search here to see all the side mirror covers available for your Chevy. Keep in mind that there may not be any replacement covers available for your car. Some advanced side mirrors are too complex to take apart. If you have one of those side mirrors, you can just replace the entire assembly.
Replacing the Side Mirror Cover
OEM Chevrolet replacement side mirror covers are available in different finishes. The most common ones are black plastic and chrome. Some plastic side mirror covers come with primer, but they’re not painted to match. Chrome covers are a great cosmetic upgrade. But if you want the factory look, you’ve got to go with a plastic cover and paint it.
That means you’re responsible for painting the plastic cover to match the body of your vehicle. You can either do it yourself with spray paint or have it done at a body shop. The former, quite frankly, will look horrible. The color of the spray paint likely won’t match your Chevy’s body paint. And the paint job won’t look as smooth as the rest of the body. It won't be clear coated, so the color will change after being exposed to the sun and other elements for a while. Having a body shop paint your side mirror cover is the much better option. But, it might take longer than you’d like. They may want to wait until they repair a car that’s the same color as yours so they can paint everything at once.
Would you like to replace only the cover and paint it to match the body yourself? You’ll have to take into account the cost of the replacement cover, the paint, tools, and the value of your time. It’ll be more expensive to have a body shop paint the cover. If you add up all the costs, you’ll find that it may be cheaper to do a full replacement.
Replacing the Side Mirror Assembly
An OEM replacement side mirror assembly for a 2017 Chevrolet Colorado costs up to $175. A plastic replacement cover for the same truck costs about $41. However, when you replace the assembly, you only have to factor in about an hour of your time. Painting and replacing the cover takes much longer than replacing the assembly. You also have to take into consideration a variety of costs. You should include the value of your time (or the labor cost if you have a body shop do it), the cost of the paint, tools, and so on.
A full replacement is easier and potentially cheaper than replacing the cover. It also guarantees a perfect factory look and a smoother installation. To make the job go faster, take a look at this easy-to-follow tutorial.
Do a search here to see which side mirror assemblies are available for your Chevy.