Car door mirror conversions
"Mirror mirror on the wall...."
The mirrors make quite a big difference to the appearance of a car and it is relatively easy to change them for something nicer.
The mirrors are necessary as per annual vehicle test specifications around the world, but you needn't stick with boring OEM mirrors forever!
Why would people want to change their cars door mirrors though? Well mirrors create a lot of drag and smaller mirrors not only look nicer but they are often more aerodynamic than the OEM ones.
The downside of having small mirrors is a slightly reduced field of view or, if this is optically corrected, the view in the mirror will be a lot smaller than your current mirrors.
In some countries the mirrors can be replaced with a camera and screen inside the car. Legality of this will have to be checked with your local vehicle licencing office. The advantages are that mirrors can be removed completely and replaced with a small camera. If done correctly a camera view can cover more of your cars blind spot than a mirror can. However conversions to cameras are quite expensive and unless you are getting an interior makeover getting the screens incorporated can end up looking messy.
Carbon fibre car door mirrors are gaining popularity. Although carbon fibre is used in Motorsports, to save weight, it has the image of being a "cool" material to use on your car. If you do this then you should really add other carbon fibre parts to the body work to avoid the "patch work, spare parts bin lash up look".
DTM style mirrors are held in place with small arms, allowing air to flow around them.
Things to watch out for.
Adding the wrong type of mirror can create problems and frustrations. Some of our members have reported increase wind noise at speed. Vibration can also be a problem with mirrors mounted on long arms or that are moulded in a flexible mounting. Just remember the old mantra "buy cheap - buy twice"!
In the image below you can see the difference between the OEM mirrors on the left and the after market upgrades on the right. (Thanks to forum member Prince for his photos.)
Also, as we have already mentioned, a smaller mirror will offer a restricted rear view, potentially increasing your blind spot. They also can be harder to use in the wet and poor weather conditions as the surface area is smaller. So you end up with the situation where a small droplet of water could be enough to completely obscure a car!
You will also need to verify any modifications with your local construction and use regulations to avoid falling foul of the law. Many countries insist that all parts fitted to a car have a safety mark or type approval. To get round this many parts suppliers will sell door mirrors marked "for show use only" or "for off road use only" which technically covers their backs but leaves the customer subject to prosecution if they use them on the public roads.
If you want some tips on choosing door mirrors and fitting them yourself please join our friendly forum where you can pick the collective brains of our worldwide members.
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