Side view mirrors - why no nighttime position?

Hi friends - I understand now that some cars have auto dimming side view mirrors to reduce glare, and that there is anti glare tint available, but I have always wondered why prior to these options the side view mirrors didn’t have a lever to “flip down” at night like the rear view mirror did, to change the angle and reduce the glare. I’ve asked a couple of people and no one seems to know what I’m talking about. Any ideas?

Interesting question, no answer but I have not found the need.

I have had the need many times and I think it’s a good idea. But in my opinion the reason they don’t design your idea is because in order to make them tilt down you would have to do it manually. If they took the extra expense to make them automatic, they would just go ahead and make them auto dim.

The high percentage of vehicles that have power mirrors would let people who need a turn down should be able to adjust them their selves. I have never felt the need for that function .


I turn them down or away sometimes. Unlike rearview mirrors near the windshield, the outside mirrors don’t have a dim position - so I see the OP’s point, and think it’s worth considering.

What would the bright/dim control look like and how would it relate to the up-down-left-right control? One more feature on a touch screen menu, or actual physical control(s) to the left of the steering wheel? Or automatic bright/dim control? Can it be turned on and off?

The reason for the side mirrors is to locate cars to your side and in your way if you want to change lanes. There’s no question that they are there if the lights are blinding you. I find this happens with commercial and raised personal trucks. I just turn my head a little to get the glare out of my eyes and wait for them to pass. That usually happens quickly and on my left. If it’s on my right, I can lose the glare by pulling in front of the truck after I pass it and let the electrochromic rear view mirror take care of it.

That is a really great question… and an automatic feature I’d really like to have on my driver’s side mirror in my cars. Not an issue in my truck… maybe that is another reason people like SUVs?

SUVs just sitting off my left rear corner blinding me in my car with their raised lights. I manually dip the mirror until they pass, or I slow if they don’t pass (#@$% left lane bandits!! :rage:)

This has been a huge problem for me the last 5 or 10 years. Seems like the headlights keep getting brighter or maybe I’m just getting old. I have to keep putting my hand up to block the light. On the highway, I’m holding my hand up to the mirror constantly. With manual mirrors there’s not much you can do.

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I recall jamming a sheet of translucent plastic, or maybe just cardboard, in the side window. Swung it forward or back as needed.

I’ve thought about doing this. Next time I take a long highway trip I’ll be taping something in the window.

I know most if not all self dimming mirrors made by Gentex have the pin out for the wiring harness for a trigger for self dimming outside mirrors. I just haven’t found any outside mirrors that will fit any on my vehicles.

On my million and a half miles driven, I’ve only had the problem of glare a few times. When I did, I just pushed the button to slightly change the mirror angle. Problem solved. Seems like a solution without a problem. The center mirror is another issue though where glare is more likely. In the old days you flipped the lever to night and now it’s electronic and automatic. In the real old days you just manually adjusted the mirror. I’ve replaced three outside mirrors after hitting the side of the garage. For $10 I get a new glass and for $50 I get a whole new OEM mirror. I can’t imagine what the cost would be to replace a day/night outside mirror. (Yeah the wife tends to crowd me in the garage. A couple seconds of inattention and wham, there goes another one.)

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Inside the car, the main mirror angles up to show the dark headliner, which isn’t noticeable. Outside the car, the main mirror would angle up and reflect the streetlights, which would be annoying.

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If you got the advance package in your latest Acura, you might find out. :wink: Auto-dim side mirrors are part of that package.

Auto-dimming side mirrors were available on BMW for quite some time.
A friend of mine was quite unhappy about quality although, as after 6-7 years one side mirror failed, then a second one.

Well what’ll they think of next? Maybe I’ve got them and never knew it. It was over two years before I realized I had the lumbar support, pressing buttons to see what happens.

05 Caravan had auto dimmers on all three mirrors. Don’t know why they put it on passenger side, but got spoiled on them.

Don’t read the owner’s manual. That’s cheating. :wink:


My first reaction was nice feature, but considering the additional upfront cost and downstream reliability and repair it’s probably not widely available as a cost/benefit thing. My mirrors are set to look at my blind spot, not survey the road behind. The occasional glare of a car passing through my blind spot can usually be countered by a temporary tilt of the head.

if blind-zone is not sufficiently covered, it is also possible to use additional mini-mirrors like this:

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