How do you remove the door mirror?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Bob Simon, Apr 9, 2019.

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  1. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Another thought on compressing that spring...but it’s gotta be done with mirror off the car...

    Put it in a homemade compressor tool. Couple threaded rods, washers, nuts from hardware store. Maybe simple 2x4 block under mirror, and small piece of notched pvc pipe pressing down on the washer with another 2x4 on top of that. Slowly tighten the nuts on the threaded rod alternately to close up the 2x4 sandwich until the spring is compressed enough. You’re basically building a large jaw wood vice. $10 or less in material and some ingenuity. I’ve made numerous versions of this sort of thing to compress snowmobile clutch springs and scale based spring testers for rpm tuning...some springs have over 400 lbs of force though I built those out of steel instead of wood. Have made some for car suspension springs too. But that mirror has to be back on your workbench again for this concept to work.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  3. Bob Simon

    Bob Simon New Member

    I'm happy to report that I got some help from a neighbor yesterday and was able to lock down the spring and finish the job. With the mirror on the door and a second pair of hands, the final step was pretty easily managed. To answer Insightman's question in a word, yes, I would attempt this again if I break another inexpensive plastic part of the door mirror and everything else in the assembly still worked. But next time, I'd make some kind of spring compressor like Craze1cars suggested, which would provide way better control of this strenuous task and enable me to accomplish it in the comfort of my shop. But to do it for someone else, not likely. Anyone know what the shop rate is for labor on this job?
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  4. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    As you learned when you approached your shop, most shops won’t do it period. So no shop flat rate documentation will exist. A shop that takes it on would just charge based on time and material.

    Body shops generally $50 to $70/hour if they charge body rate. But due to the wire splicing most would charge electrical/mechanical rate of $90 to $150/hour for a job like this depending on geographical location. USA rates. I never know where anyone lives on these sites.
  5. Bob Simon

    Bob Simon New Member

    That's understandable. But I actually meant to ask what's the typical rate to replace the whole thing because I was curious how much I saved by doing it myself. So I called my local Honda dealership and here's what I found:

    Although offers the complete right door mirror assembly for $541.27, the dealership charges $826.39 for what seems to be exactly the same thing. Then there's labor: $192 for installation of the mirror plus $256 to "program the camera". Total replacement cost: $1,274.39.

    I paid $38.33 for the skull cap and $46.60 for the housing set or a total of $84.93. So I saved $1,189.46 and learned a bunch of new stuff. (Thank you all for your help with that part!) So now that I know the costs and have successfully repaired it once I would definitely undertake this again. But I still don't know whether I would replace the whole thing (mail order price) or open it up again and just replace the broken parts.
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  7. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    That’s a typical stealership estimate/answer and has no legitimacy behind it. Now call a local body shop or two and ask the same question. Typical labor for mirror install price at a body shop is about $50. MAYBE $100 at a super high end shop. Of course your dealer wants $500 for that labor but only the uneducated and uninsured would ever actually pay them that ludicrous amount to do it. Dealership mechanics rarely do this sort of thing and they try to charge thru the roof. But a body shop tech replaces a mirror every day....and they’ll get it done in 30 minutes.

    And the body shop would plug that mirror in, with no inkling that programming might be needed, and I’d betcha dollars to donuts the camera would immediately work without any programming necessary. And if programming was actually necessary, it would take them 15 minutes to do it. $256?! Yeah right.

    I saw this scenario play out thousands of times in my claim adjuster career. Customer gets a dealership estimate for $900 to fix or replace whatever. I review it, use my automotive and shop experience along with expensive subscriptions to part and labor databases, and in the end I negotiate the identical repair with the exact same process and part and shop down to $550. It is the very reason why my job existed, and it continues to exist. It’s a huge game. Darn near every single time. 95% of shop estimates for non-maintenance repairs hold little to no value, and can be drastically reduced. It is No different than healthcare bills and insurance. It’s really not possible for the average consumer to get straight and honest prices on many things like this.

    That’s why one of the first questions out of the dealers mouth was asking you about your insurance...

    Another wild card is paint. If you buy a whole mirror will the shop need to paint it to match? Usually. If yes it costs extra. Another $50 to $100 or so. But if you can reuse the painted trim cover then this is saved.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  8. Bob Simon

    Bob Simon New Member

    Thank you for the interesting review of unreasonable dealer markups. I'm surprised by the extent of the robbery but not that one should avoid dealer body shops if possible.

    The skull cap, which is the aerodynamic and waterproof top 3/4 of the Clarity's mirror assembly comes pre-painted from Honda. I have Forest Green and am happy to report that it closely matches the rest of the door.
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  9. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    So general answer if I had handled this as an insurance claim...based on your photos and Indiana rates. The mirror would have been replaced as a full assembly. $50 to $70 labor in Indiana, plus Honda retail price of the mirror....I haven’t researched and don’t have direct access to this info any longer.

    If you found a shop willing to fix it the way you did (some independent shops would, most would not because many won’t accept liability of cutting full wire harnesses in half), same $50 to $70 to R&I the mirror, another $120 to $150 labor and materials to overhaul it and splice the wire harness similar to what you did. Plus retail price of the mirror parts you purchased.

    Also instead of solder or crimp connectors, the best true mechanic (few exist) would use special tools and picks to meticulously remove the pins individually from the wire block to fish them, then reinstall the pins into the block, meaning no splices. This can be done, restoration artists do it regularly with older and obsolete vehicle. Labor would be similar price to crimping, but mechanics with this kind of attention to detail and quality are as rare as Clarities in the Midwest....

    And Honda has been using tablets and mirrors equipped with cameras for 5 years or more now. I have NEVER heard of a program charge for one. Much less $256. Whatever dealer told you that would be on my never trust list until they proved it necessary. My spidey senses are tingling on that one big time.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  10. Teslawannabe

    Teslawannabe Active Member

    Wow, for a mirror that doesn't retract or have memory driver 1/2 functions that is a crazy price. Cameras now a days are touchy and many need programing, especially ones with grids/moving target lines. Ouch!!!
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  12. Alexander Pournelle

    Alexander Pournelle New Member

    Let me add something to this excellent thread:

    In addition to not retracting, the mirrors are ONLY breakaway while moving forward. If you back up into a trash can, even doing 1 MPH, your now have that $1300 replacement that the other guy mentioned.

    Bad design, Honda. It’s a $40,000 car. People expect much more.
  13. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I hadn't realized this. Thanks for the "heads up".
  14. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Mine does both directions. See photo. No damage.

    Attached Files:

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  15. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    Mine too. As I was delighted to learn when I accidentally hooked it on the side of my garage when backing out.:eek:
  16. Alexander Pournelle

    Alexander Pournelle New Member

    Well, mine doesn’t. Or didn’t, and now it’s broken.

    I will go look at it again.
  17. Patdown45

    Patdown45 New Member

    Wow I am contemplating doing that job on my 2018 Clarity and after seeing all that you have gone thru, I am jumping on the dealership as they quoted me $200 for the labor and less than $100 for both plastic parts. I believe that will take me way too long to accomplish, but I fear the dealership is going to start the job and once the mechanic tells them he has to do all that work they will jack up the estimate to 3 or 4 hundred so at that rate I will just do it myself. my lower plastic housing is broken and the quote is for 2 hours labor on the passenger side and it has that lane watch camera in it everything is still working. Now that you have completed the job is there an order to the repair that you would recommend to make things go easier? Fow example removing the inside door panel and the mirror assembly is required or can you do everything from the outside by splicing the wires which turned out is required anyway. So if the inside door panel needs to be removed are there any special tools to get it off and hidden clips ect?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  18. Patdown45

    Patdown45 New Member

    That is not the quote I just got from my Honda dealership....I fear they don't know what they are getting into and will just upcharge me if I tell them to do it. I think I am going to just do it myself. Thanks for posting all this information!
  19. Patdown45

    Patdown45 New Member

    I agree that reprogramming thing is a scam!!
  20. Patdown45

    Patdown45 New Member

    Yes if you are nearby I have a couple cases of your favorite Beer waiting! I am in the southern tip of Maine
  21. Patdown45

    Patdown45 New Member

    The lower item 12 and outer upper item 2 are whats broke on mine. Do you think it is possible to replace those items without splicing the wires?
  22. Bob Simon

    Bob Simon New Member

    #2 is the skull cap and can be replaced by itself from the outside of the car.
    #12 is the housing set and you can see a hole in the base. The wires go through that hole so they would need to be cut and later spliced in order to install this part.

    The first step is to take the door panel off, disconnect the electrical connector for the mirror from inside the door, and remove the three nuts which hold the mirror onto the door. Be careful not to let one of those nuts fall to the bottom of the door or you'll need to fish it out with a magnet. (Cheap magnet on a stick available from Harbor Freight.)

    After repairing the passenger side mirror last year, a few months ago I broke the driver side mirror. This time, I just bought the whole mirror because I wanted to fix it quickly and was willing to pay more to make the job easier. There are instructions somewhere online for programming the camera including the template you need to print out in order to properly set the distance alignment marks.
    Bob Simon
    ps: I'm in New Orleans so it wouldn't be too convenient for me to help you in person.

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