Electric side-view mirrors

I drive a 2002 Ford Ranger. Recently, I was driving and scraped a poll, which hit the back of the side-view mirror on the passenger’s side. It knocked out the mirror and it’s frame, but everything else works fine.

However, according to the dealership, they can’t replace the mirror, they have to replace the entire side-view unit, turning a $12 or so repair into an $80 repair. Is there a reason for this? If the electric components are unharmed, why am I on the hook for a larger repair?

Why Do People Drive Into Poles?

Often automobile parts come as an assembly, rather than individual parts. Individual parts used to be more readily used and available. The high labor costs have caused some of this. Technicians, not too long ago, would install parts in alternators and starters for instance. Now it’s mostly, “just replace the unit.” I wrote recently that I use a local Auto Electric shop that still repairs “replace only” units at a very reasonable cost.

Should I have a broken mirror as you describe, I would not hesitate trying to obtain a slightly used one. There are probably less expensive places to install it, too, than at a dealership.

On the other hand… Does $80 include the part and labor? It’s pretty tough to hit a pole and do such a small amount of damage to a mirror. For a total of $80 it might not be worth horsing around. Maybe you should go with it. That’s about the price of a tank of gas. It’s up to you.

Yes, there is a reason for this. If it were assembled in the manner of old, psrts each piece-part designed to perform only a single function in the overall design and then all screwed together, rather than the way things are currently design, they could save the electric commponents but the repair would coast $500.

It’s a concept called “design for manufacture” that while reducing piece-part repairability makes the overall assembly far, far cheaper. The best example I can cite is televisions. Adjusted for today’s dollars, it’s cheaper to replace an entire TV today than it used to be to have one repaired…even though today’s TVs are largely nonrepairable.

I didn’t drive into a pole as much as scrape it. I was turning to wide in a parking garage and braked too late, so there was no significant damage (scraped some of the paint) except for that. The $80 is the cheapest I could find the part elsewhere, no labor included. The dealership wanted $180 to fix it.

Thanks for the advice.

I see, thanks for the explanation.

Try An Independent Auto Body Shop For Installation Estimate

It’s easy for these guys. They do this all the time. Their labor time may be shorter and their labor rate may be smaller. Some may do it while you wait.