Garages & Passenger Mirrors

Does anyone out there have a good idea about how to prevent someone backing out of a tight fitting garage from clipping the passenger mirror?

Needless to say this is not a hypothetical question as my normally very careful husband just knocked the mirror off our car. For the second time. In less than a year.

Yes, I know that paying attention should do the trick, but at many hundreds of dollars a pop to fix the thing, I’d like to do something more certain.

I was thinking maybe some kind of tracks like they have at the car wash?

Mos mirrors now fold; I would fold the mirrors after parking the car to minimize the chance of having them clipped.

In this case being careful is not enough. One must be aware of clearances. Your husband is trying to ensure sufficient clearance on the left side so he ends up sacrificing clearance on the right side. What he needs to do is park the car half-in, half-out, and study clearances on the right side. That will help him judge position by checking the left side.

If you prefer a simple gadget of some sort, hang from the garage an empty can on a string at mirror height on the right side. If he can begin his backout without brushing the can he is good to go. But if he sees/hears contact between mirror and can, there is another “Oops!” moment coming up. React!

Along the same line of thought, we hung a tennis ball on a string from the garage ceiling for my Dad. We positioned it so it would line up directly in front of his face as he drove into the garage. Once it touched the windshield, you knew that you were in the right position right/left and in/out. Just back straight out when leaving.

I too have a small garage door and wide flag mirrors.

I experimented with some high reflective tape on key spots on the garage structure until I got it where I could line up the sides of the body with the strips of tape and position into the garage perfectly. It works great.

Tracks would be a great idea too. Just enough to feel the tires hitting them, like perhaps a firm hose hailed to the garage floor.

Thanks for the ideas! I was familiar with the tennisball trick, but hadn’t been able to visulize how to make that work for the left-to-right issue. I think the can on a string aligned with the garage door should do the trick. I’ll give it a shot anyway. And I will definitely ask him to take a look at the clearances.

And sadly the mirrors on my 2007 Camry Hybrid do not fold.

Same mountain bike, where did you put the tape? On the wall that you are facing as you pull in?

I put two long pieces vertically on the walls, and I back in. The backup lights illuminate the tape.

I also put a piece on the side walls where if I alighn the mirror tip with the tape I’m fully in.

Because I also have a snowblower in the garage against the side wall, I also put an “L” braket on eth shroud and stick a piece of bright yellow foam tubing (from the toy store) on the front corner of the shroud, so I can easily tell where I am relative to the snowblower shroud…I remove it to blow snow.

I use that yellow (and orange) foam tubing for lots of safety stuff. It’s highly visable and great padding. And it’s dirt cheap. You could even hang a 3’ piece from a string to mark when you’re fully in the garage.

Next time he does that, slap him really hard on the back of the head. Pavlov was on to something! Sorry, I couldn’t resist :slight_smile:

Tell your husband to start backing the car in to the garage.
This way when he’s in a hurry the next day to pull out of the garage, it will be easier for him to judge the distances, and avoid damage to anymore mirrors.


Tell your husband not to feel too bad. I was walking between our two cars in the garage and bumped the left hand rear view mirror on one of the cars. This damaged the mechanism and the glass vibrated so badly when we drove the car that I had to replace the mirror. I think my wife made me go on a diet.

If you go in straight and come out straight, you can be a bad driver and still look good. Aiming the car before going in is a good idea.