Installing Automatic Folding Side Mirrors to a Car that Does't Have Them


#1

Hey folks … I live in a house that has a small garage and am having trouble finding a new car that will fit in it, since cars seem to be getting wider and wider. Having a car with automatic folding mirrors would help, but most of the cars that have them are high-end cars. Does anyone know of a good aftermarket body shop in the San Francisco Bay area that will install automatic folding side mirrors to a car that has manually folding mirrors?


#2

I think it might be less expensive to have a new 8 foot garage door installed. Any custom auto shop could put power folding mirrors on but it will be costly. I did a Google search ( power folding mirrors ) and found all kinds of things and one site supposedly had a list of cars that had that option, Kia optima did.


#3

Volvo, I too have a small garage circa 1940 and it cannot accommodate wider doors without structural modifications. I wish I could widen mine too, but the budget won’t support it.


#4

It would be interesting to know the width of the opening to the OP’s garage.


#5

In the old days the mirrors didn’t stick out as far as they do now also, plus they usually didn’t have them on the passenger side unless they were mounted on the front fenders. One semester I rented a room for $5 a week from an 80 year old widow. If I shoveled the snow on the sidewalk, I could also park my 59 Pontiac in her garage. It was a 1920-40’s house so the doors were narrow. I don’t remember how narrow but I never had a problem but it was close. So a normal door is what 9’? So maybe as small as 7’ or even 6-6?


#6

I’m also curious about the width of the OP’s garage door. Many older homes with single car garages had 7 foot wide doors. Getting into the more modern era (say the last 40 or so years) most single car garages had 9 foot wide doors.
Most modern era homes with double garages have 16 foot wide doors but after factoring in the overlap on the end and trim the width is less than that; more like 15’9" or so. That makes it a tight squeeze for 2 cars in the same garage unless they’re both Fiat 500s.

In all honesty, considering the complexity and cost of adding auto folding mirrors, revamping the garage door entrance might be easier.


#7

The Pontiac was 80" wide so I’m thinking the garage door was maybe 6-6 or 7’. The old garages seemed to have more of a problem with length than width though and lots of the old garages had a three or four foot bump out at the back for the longer cars.


#8

I just measured mine. The door is 8’, the opening 7’10".


#9

Unfortunately you did not tell us what car you want to do this for. However, if it’s a Japanese car, or sold in Japan, it may come with the folding mirrors for the JDM version of the car because they have some seriously narrow streets and alleyways there. Even old 80’s/90’s Civics which are not by any stretch large cars were available with folding mirrors in Japan.

It’s usually possible to buy such things over the internet. Tell us what you’re driving and we might be able to help you find something.


#10

He’s in the process of selecting his next car.
It might be a good idea for him to measure the width of the opening, write it down, and look at the brochures for the different vehicles he’s considering. The brochures give all the physical dimensions of the vehicle.


#11

Mr Mountainbike you have offered a solution that is much too logical . I will add that all that can be found on the manufactures web sites.


#12

Thanks. Hopefully the OP is still around to consider our suggestions.


#13

Only if an aftermarket kit is offered.
Attempting to add the factory ones is next to impossible as the electronics are integrated with the factory computers.


#14

Thanks for the feedback FYI, my garage opening is just about 87 inches wide. One car I was looking at was the new Chevy Volt, which is about 83 inches wide (mirror to mirror). They don’t offer automatic folding mirrors as an option, and I’m not crazy about having to squeeze through with only 2 inches of margin on each side every day (or having to manually fold the mirrors). Widening the garage opening may be possible, but probably costly.


#15

@Ken87

Are you planning on driving the car forward into the garage?

Or are you backing into the garage?


#16

Backing in, why?


#17

Unless you have a turntable in your garage it seams that you will need to back up one way or the other.


#18

@Ken87

If you can back in pretty well, it makes it MUCH easier when it’s time to drive out of the garage

In your situation, I would much rather drive straight forward out of the garage, versus backing out of the garage

Please trust me on this one. Long ago, I was in a similar situation


#19

I dunno, yeah this is tight but certainly doable. I’ve got a pretty good garage but I use the mirror as a guide to how close I can get to the door casing. Would you rather scrape a mirror once in a while or scrape the side of the car? I’d much rather have the mirrors which are spring loaded anyway than the possible body damage. I disagree with backing in. In today’s cars its very hard to see where you are backing for sure. Much easier to drive straight in and then back straight out.


#20

@Bing

We’ll just have to agree to disagree :grin: