Replacing a Side View Mirror to Look Like New

I have a 2006 Toyota Camry. A friend borrowed it and accidentally knocked off the passenger side mirror. The replacement process seems relatively straightforward but I am concerned about it looking like a cheap replacement. I have priced power mirrors online and they range from $25 to $100 for a black one that is “paintable.” The dealership gave quote of $285 for a painted replacement part. That is a huge price difference. Is it possible to buy one of the paintable ones and paint it with a matching paint. If so, do I paint it before or after installing it? Will it look like new or like a cheaply painted replacement. I am concerned about resale/trade-in value. The car has relatively low mileage and is in pretty good shape otherwise. Thanks for any insight.

I’d remove the plastic covers no both the new mirror and the old one and carefully pain them with the touch up rattlecan paint from the parts store. If you put sandable primer, for thin layers of paint or so, rub that out with polishing compound, and finish with a well rubbed out coat of clearcoat, it’ll look fine. Nobody will ever know you did it yourself.

I’ve done exactly this on several occasions, including on my old '91 Camry mirror. It works great.

Or, you could buy a new black cover for the other side too and have black mirrors on both sides. The covers just pop off. The parts guy at the dealership should be able to print an “exploded view” drawing for you that shows how to pop off the cover.

I take it your friend is not willing to pay for the damages to be repaired at a body shop?

The mirror pod is painted before it’s installed.

Just mask off the actual mirror with masking tape prior to painting the mirror pod.


The mirror gets painted before it is installed. The dealer price probably includes that. To have the mirror painted professionally at a body and paint shop will run about $100. You don’t want it looking like you painted it yourself.

If you are actually in NYC, then your one-mirror '06 Camry is probably typical. And the rest of the car is probably not in concours condition. And if you did want it in concours condition in NYC, you would probably be driving something more exotic than an '06 Camry and you would not care about the cost of a new mirror. :>)

I vote for tsmb’s advice. (I, myself, have learned to live with dents and dings in the '04 Camry inherited from Dad. That includes having the body shop merely touch up the scraped passenger-side mirror when Dad lightly clipped the door of a parking garage and distorted the window frame just enough to shatter the window.)

Auto recylcer aka junkyard. Good luck or maybe even ebay for used parts.

You have one of the most popular cars so your chances are incredibly high of finding it.