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Skyvisions, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 14505
Experience:  Toyota Master Diagnostic
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Toyota RAV4 4x4 how do i install a replacement side mirror

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how do i install a replacement side mirror on a 2009 toyota rav4 (left/driver's side)

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Are you trying to replace just the glass in the mirror or are you trying to replace the whole mirror assembly? Do you have power mirrors or manual?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Skyvisions -


I'm replacing the entire mirror assembly. The mounting base cracked during the winter, and Toyota said they don't sell individual parts for the mirror - just the entire mirror assembly. I purchased a new OEM mirror on ebay, but the merchant doesn't provide installation instructions (I assume that's for liability reasons). So I have a brand new mirror, but no clue as to how to install it. It is a power mirror, unheated, and it does not have the integrated directional signal. I'm looking for instructions that will walk me through the removal and installation steps, unless a project like this is best performed by a body shop. Thanks, Eric

I personally would not spend $100 which would be about one hour labor to replace the meter and is considered standard labor time. It is not that complicated and if you're reasonably mechanical you can probably do it yourself. Unfortunately I cannot post any copyrighted material directly here. If you want step-by-step pictures and instructions you can purchase a two-day subscription for $15 directly from Toyota by going to this being said here's a short version and if you can visualize you can probably do this without going to this website however I would keep the website in mind because there is a lot of good information there if you choose to do your own service work on your vehicle you can download whatever you want. The black triangle piece of plastic that is in the corner of the door simply pops off use a plastic prybar or tape coated screwdriver so that you don't scratch the paint and get between the plastic cover and the door frame and pop the cover off. This will expose the three bolts that hold the mirror to the door frame. Don't get too excited that was easy part. The hard part is getting to the wire that goes down in behind the door panel. Most flat-rate guys shortcut this by pulling up and out on the top of the door panel very carefully so that you don't break or distort it and then go down in with a dental pic to catch the lock tab on the electrical connector to disengage the lock and slide the connector apart. If you're not comfortable with doing this the other option is to simply remove the door panel. In behind the lever that opens the door from the inside is a plastic bezel take screwdriver and pop this bezel out. Behind it is one Philip screw. The next thing to remove is the trim panel or plastic cover that goes up the vertical door pull handle it simply pops out and it will reveal two screws that hold the door handle onto the door frame. Once these screws are removed use a prybar or plastic coated screwdriver and go between the bottom of the door panel and the door itself and work your way pulling out on the door panel to pop the clips loose from the door panel and the door assembly. Once you have all the clips popped loose from the bottom work your way up the front side and the back side of the door panel pulling out and then lift up on the door panel to disengage the weather stripping across the top by the glass. This should give you plenty of room to reach in and get to the electrical connector for the mirror at this point. Let me know if you have any questions. If done correctly this takes no more than 20 min.

Skyvisions and 2 other Toyota Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hello again Skyvisions:

Sorry for the delay in responding. I had originally planned to make the mirror replacement a project for last weekend (6/11 - 6/12), but didn't get that far down the "to do" list. However, the good news is that I completed the repair today.

You've probably heard the old expression - "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades". Well, we can add your instructions to that list.

When you remove the little triangular-shaped plastic trim piece, only one of the bolts holding the mirror to the door becomes exposed. In order to access the other two bolts, you have no option other than to remove the door panel. Your instructions said I could access all three of the bolts upon removing the trim piece, and that removing the door panel was optional depending on whether or not I could access the electrical clip connection.

Since this is the first (and so far, only) RAV4 I’ve owned, I’m not familiar with the mirror configuration for other model years. It could be that your instructions would be spot-on for other model years, but not so for the 2009 model. I wanted to mention this only so that you could slightly tweak your reply the next time you get a similar question.

Please don’t take these comments as negative feedback. Despite the fact that I did have to remove the door panel, your instructions were invaluable. There is no way I could have completed the project without them. Well worth the $18 cost. For a total of about $70 and about an hour of time, I have a honking new mirror that the local Toyota dealership wanted to charge me almost $400 for.

Count me as a very satisfied customer.

Thanks, Eric