Mirror Mirror on the Car

About ten days ago, I was backing out Shraddha’s Maxima from our garage at home. Shraddha likes to park very close to the right side wall. While reversing out, the car has to be maneuvered out leftwards with deft use of the steering wheel.

I was halfway out when I caught something in my peripheral vision and instantly stepped on the brake. The right side rear-view mirror had snagged on a coiled 100-foot extension cord that was hanging on a peg on the wall, and the coiled cord was already flexing. Had I continued, I might have broken the side mirror. I braked, inched the car forward, and got out to untangle the cord. No damage was done. I patted myself on the back. All those years of sadhana were paying off; my awareness was now at a fine pitch where I could catch these accidents before they happened. 🙂

Sometimes a little awareness can go a long way.

Satisfied to the point of smugness, I put the car in reverse and proceeded to reverse right out of the garage without a further care in the world. The next thing I heard was a loud crack followed by a grating noise… which was the sound of that side mirror hitting the door frame of our garage and breaking to bits. 😦

Sometimes nothing can stop an event whose time has come!

Glumly I assessed the damage. The body shop quotes were an eye-popping $400. That was $275 plus tax for the unpainted mirror from Nissan, and the rest was for painting and installation. Depressing, to say the least.

Shraddha did some Google-searching and found a video which showed step-by-step instructions to open up the door panel, disconnect the electrical connections, and unscrew the vestige of the broken mirror. All we needed was a 10mm hex socket, a philips head screwdriver, and some patience. The video was posted by an online store which offered an aftermarket version of the same mirror for a quarter of the price! Emboldened by the video, we ordered the mirror from them. It arrived in 3 days. Fortuitously, it was even painted black, and matched the car’s color.

Promptly we got to work that evening, with Shraddha insisting on doing all the work herself. I was her able assistant, handing her the right socket, extension, screwdriver, etc., and putting away stuff when she was done. We got the door panel out, disconnected things, took the old mirror out, put the new one in, reconnected wires, and reversed the whole sequence to put the door panel back together.

The process wasn’t without its funny moments. We figured out how the door pull and the lock button are mechanically linked using cables to the door itself, but we hadn’t fully linked these things back together correctly. At one point we closed the door but pulling on the door handle didn’t open the door, and nor was the power lock any help. After a few moments of mild panic, a good shove by Shraddha from inside sent the door flying open again, after which we affixed the two linkages correctly.

We had fun turning our problem into an adventure. 🙂

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2 Responses to Mirror Mirror on the Car

  1. Aparna says:

    Good read 🙂

  2. K. R. Iyer says:

    Good! Through the accident you saved $300 and learned some car repair!!
    Appa

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