Automotive Maintenance And Detailing


Automotive Maintenance And Detailing

What is the car side mirror?

Almost all vehicles have a rearview mirror installed for viewing objects moving behind the driver, such as cars, trucks, boats, construction vehicles, motorcycles, and even fighter jets. The car side mirror has been in use for decades. That’s because when driving on multi-lane roads, drivers need to be careful when changing lanes or when turning on intersections and in many other situations.

Side mirrors or car wing mirrors have been developing continuously. The initial stage of the vehicle, it is equipped with manual side mirrors. The adjustment is both using a hand out of the cabin to hold the glass and move the mirror sheets to the desired position. Later, during the 70-80s, there is more development and design that the side mirror has a lever for adjusting the glass position from inside the car.

 Currently, or since 20 years ago, electrically operated door mirrors have installed on most cars.  It equips with luxury cars, then widely used in low-cost vehicles.


The most important part of the side mirror is neither the exterior nor its shape, but rather the piece of glass that reflects the object the driver wants to see. The mirrors used must provide the driver with a good view, able to see the vehicles coming from behind.

The type of glass used on the vehicle consists of a planar, convex, or aspheric surface. The United States and Canada have similar regulations for side mirrors: the driver’s side windows are allowed to be planar, but the passenger side mirrors must be convex.

Why is a convex mirror? The reason is that the use of convex mirrors increases the driver’s view for the passenger side to cover the blind spot. The degree of convexity or curvature radius of the glass, certified by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 111 and the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 111, is approximately almost the same, in the range of 889 mm and 1800 mm.

European and Asian regulations allow all types of glazing such as planar, convex, aspheric to be installed on both left and right sides. That is, there is no regulation that a vehicle manufactured for sale in the EU or Asia must use a convex mirror on the left side of the passenger side, depending on whether it is a left-hand drive or right-hand drive.

A convex mirror for wider rear view

Disadvantages of convex glass

Convex mirrors in use in the U.S. and Canada have the advantage of allowing the driver to have a view of the rear of the right side, but there are limitations to this type of glass. That is, the image that appears on the glass is smaller and more distant than the actual distance.


The distance between the image displayed in the driver’s eyes can affect the safety of driving.   Because in fact, the rear car is closer than what appears in the mirror, although in reality, it is farther from the rear (blind spot).


Therefore, side mirrors that are subject to U.S. and Canadian regulations must print a warning on the glass that the objects seen in the mirror may be closer than they appear. It is to warn drivers that the useful blind-spot view of the convex mirror can be dangerous due to improper distances.

What is the purpose of the car side mirror?

As mentioned above, side mirrors are made to be used in a wide variety of vehicles and are available with different glass types for different viewing angles. Some drivers are involved in road accidents because they do not understand the benefits of side mirrors and rear mirrors.

Driving a vehicle does not mean the front view alone is a safety factor. The road has multiple lanes in the same direction. Being careful with the approaching cars from behind is essential when you drive.

So the cars are equipped with mirrors on both sides, left and right, and one rearview mirror inside the passenger room.  It has a significant purpose to provide the driver with a panoramic view of the back to avoid accidents caused by vehicles following. The rearview is a blind spot that drivers face and can easily be at risk of an accident if not careful enough.

Driving with safety requires the driver to practice getting used to the rear and side mirrors every time behind the wheel.

There are statistics of road accidents that investigators have found that the car driving in front has changed lanes without seeing if the vehicle is following or not. It is due to the driving behavior of drivers who are not aware of their safety and do not use the equipment they have installed with benefit.

How to adjust the car side mirror for the best view ?.

Correct adjustment of the side and rear mirrors is something the driver should do with understanding in addition to looking at the rear mirror regularly whenever driving.


Correct adjustment of mirrors you will need to adjust and use along with the rearview mirrors. The perspective of the three mirrors should be relative in terms of the visual angle.


How to adjust the side mirrors and rearview


  1. If your car has multiple people, you need to adjust the glass to suit your body every time you get in the car. You must sit and position your body suitably with your hands to the steering wheel, feet to the pedals, and head so that your eyes can view both the front and the back of the car without leaning your head.


  1. Adjust the rear mirror so that it can look through the window back of the car. The rearview mirror should not tilt to one side more than the other.


  1. In a normal sitting position, adjust the side mirrors on the driver’s side by adjusting the mirrors to the outside of the car but exposing the rear body. That is to use the rear of the car body as an object to reference the distance to other vehicles.


  1. Adjust the passenger side mirrors by adjusting the view to see the rear of the car as well as the right side. Convex side mirrors provide a wider field of view than the right mirror to increase the blind spot view.


  1. Check the view of the three rearview mirrors to see whether the vision is continuous from left to right or right to the left or not. The left or far-right view of the rearview mirror should match the innermost side mirrors of either the left or right side.

Can the blind spot system replace for car side mirror ?.

What is the blind spot of the car? It is the limitation of the rear view of the vehicle due to its design. C-pillar,  windshield size, vehicle height, driver’s seat height, side mirror angles are the main factors contributing to blind spots when driving.

Blindspot warning systems in cars have been around for over ten years. Volvo, the well-known safety leader, has been using blind-spot warning cameras in many models since 2008.

This system uses a small camera installed under the side mirrors. This camera will aim at the blind spot where the side mirror does not cover the view. Cars approaching this angle are interpreted with a computer and displayed as a warning light to the driver.


Many car brands have developed and installed blind-spot warning systems in their cars. Today’s sonar or radar uses to detect objects more accurately than the cameras. They install it in the corners of the rear bumper on both sides.


Question: Can we use a blind-spot warning system instead of a binocular? The answer is, it should not be a complete substitute. However, the rear and side mirrors are still the primary means of visualizing other vehicles behind the car. The blind-spot detection system is an optional accessory that only increases the detection angle and faster. It cannot show the driver the distance and direction of the car clearly.


Therefore, the use of side and rear mirrors in combination with blind-spot warning systems increases the efficiency of driving safely for car users.


Side mirrors are an essential part of safe driving. Incorrect use of mirrors, such as misalignment, can give you a risk of driving on highways or routes that create blind spots, such as multi-lane roads.

Rear mirrors in the passenger compartment need to use in conjunction with the side mirrors. That’s because it gives you the full view of the back of the car when you adjust it to work with the side mirrors.

An innovative radar-based blind-spot warning system to help make your driving safer. It is most useful when you use it in conjunction with the rearview mirror.

However, if you don’t practice looking at the side and rear mirrors often while driving, even if your car has a lot of safety assistance systems, it won’t help you drive safer. We recommend that you practice this habit and use it whenever you are on the road.

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