Side Mirror Adjustment Not Working – Reasons and Repair

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Side mirror adjustment not working is a common problem in modern vehicles. The automated system fails if it encounters electrical damage, faulty components, or obstructions.

Side Mirror Adjustment Not Working

You can fix these by replacing the fuse and removing the obstacles or hiring a mechanic to replace damaged parts. This article will explain the reasons behind a faulty mirror folding system and help you fix them.

Why Is the Side Mirror Adjustment on Your Car Not Working?

The side mirror adjustment on your car is not working because the system has blown a fuse or frayed wiring. The mirror does not move if there is no power supply due to a broken switch or damaged motor. Moreover, foreign particles can obstruct the movement of your car’s mirror.

  • Blown Mirror Adjustment Fuse

The side view mirror adjustment mechanism in a vehicle has a fuse. The fuse protects the electrical components of the mirror system from excessive current or short circuits.
If there is a fault or malfunction in the system, the fuse may blow, which cuts off the power to the system and prevents further damage. The fuse blows out due to the following reasons:

  • The fuse blows when there is a short circuit. It can occur when a wire or component in the side mirror system comes into contact with metal or another wire, causing a sudden current surge. The fuse blows to protect the system from excessive current.
  • The fuse blows when the electrical components of the mirror system are exposed to moisture. It corrodes the components or causes a short circuit.
  • A malfunction in the mirror system, such as a defective motor or a blocked mirror, causes the motor to draw more current than the fuse can bear.
  • Faulty components in the adjustment system, such as the motor or switch, can cause excessive current flow and a blown fuse.

A problem with the fuse is easy to detect once you figure out the location of the fuse box. The exact position of the side mirror fuse and fuse box can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

It is usually located in the interior cabin or engine compartment. Refer to the owner’s manual or consult a professional automotive technician to determine the exact location.

  • Poor Mirror Folding System Wiring

If you experience Ford power folding mirrors not working and the fuse is fine, the system might not have a power supply. You can use a multimeter to test if the switch and motor are getting enough power.

Suppose the multimeter does not show an accurate reading. In that case, you can suspect an issue with the power supply or wiring connections. You can check the battery; if it works fine, a wiring problem may need attention.

The wires for this system pass through the moving door or window. Therefore, when pinched or crushed between the door or window, they are more prone to damage. It usually happens if the wires need to be secured or adequately routed.

Damaged Side Mirror

The wires can also wear due to regular usage and heat, cold, moisture, and vibration exposure. The wires fatigue and break since the mirror is continuously moved to adjust the side view.

Moreover, if the mirror housing gets damaged, the seals develop cracks, allowing water to seep inside. So if you take your car for a wash or drive in heavy rain, water will enter the housing and corrode the wires.

Also, beware of the rodents who love to chew on the car wires. Lastly, the power supply to the mirror system may get disrupted if the cables are physically damaged due to an impact. So your mirror might stop moving if you have recently been in a road accident.

  • Flawed Mirror Control Switch

A flawed side mirror control switch is a common reason for a failed mirror movement system. The button gets damaged over time due to frequent use, but it may expedite for some reasons. Since drivers press, toggle, and rotate the switch repeatedly, it gets loose or undergoes mechanical wear.

Electrical issues can also cause damage to the mirror control switch. These include short circuits, power surges, or faulty wiring connections. The button wears because these problems cause overheating that may melt or burn the internal parts of the switch.

Moreover, exposure to moisture or contaminants corrodes the switch’s internal components. Water comes in contact with the control switch if you spill a liquid or rainwater enters through open windows.

Contaminants such as dirt, grime, or dust accumulate in or around the switch if you keep the window open. These particles collect in the control switch and make it sticky or unresponsive.

Additionally, accidental impacts or mishandling can physically damage the mirror switch. Dropping objects on the button, forcefully pressing it, or harsh handling can cause the internal elements to break, causing switch failure.

  • Obstructed or Mechanically Damaged Power Mirror

Your Toyota side mirror not folding can be due to an obstructed or mechanically damaged mirror. Since the mirror extends outside the car, it is constantly exposed to debris and other foreign objects.

Over time, these objects accumulate around the mirror, preventing it from moving. The following things can obstruct the movement of the mirror:

  • The mirrors misalign if their mounting brackets and fasteners are damaged. It prevents the mirror from adjusting.
  • Ice or frost can form on the mirror’s surface or around the housing during cold weather conditions. The mirror freezes and gets stuck in one position.
  • Dirt, dust, and leaves gather in the housing. Over time the accumulation solidifies and obstructs the tracks and linkages, preventing mirror movement.
  • The rusty or corroded surface around the mirror creates friction and prevents it from moving. Rust builds ups due to exposure to water when the paint scraps off.
  • The varnish or overspray from the paint can scrape off of the vehicle and accumulate near the mirror housing. The collected varnish or paint creates a rough surface preventing movement.


  • Damaged Side Mirror System Motor

The mirrors fold and adjust when the side mirror motor keeps running. If the motor fails, the mirror will not move. The motor gets damaged for many reasons, such as mechanical wear and debris accumulating inside.

The internal components of the motor bear pressure that gradually wears them out. The motor’s bearings, brushes, or gears get damaged and reduce the performance of the adjustment system.

You can also damage the motor by applying force to adjust the mirror. Trying to move the mirror beyond its range leads to motor failure.

You can detect a problem with the motor by inspecting it. You might see cracks in the assembly or broken internal components.

Also, observe the side mirror motor noise when you activate the controls. A healthy motor produces a humming or buzzing noise when adjusting the mirror. If you do not hear any sound, the motor must be damaged.

You can confirm it by trying to move the mirror with your hand. The motor in your car does not work if applying gentle pressure does not move the mirror.

How To Fix a Non-Functioning Side Mirror Adjustment System?

To fix a non-functioning side mirror adjustment system, start by clearing the obstructions such as debris and snow. You can repair the electrical faults to retain the power supply by replacing the fuse or control switch. Moreover, fixing the defective mirror system motor will also solve the problem.

  • Clear Out the Obstructions and Reset the Mirror

If your side power mirror does not move and you suspect that physical obstructions are preventing its movement, you can clean it. First, you have to inspect the mirror housing and look for the kind of particles you will have to deal with.

Fix a Non Functioning Side Mirror

For instance, it might be dirt, debris, ice, or leaves. Start by removing the visible particles. You can use forceps to pull out light particles and remove the surface particles with a cloth.
Do not be aggressive because excessive force will damage the mirror and cost you more. You can use a soft brush or plastic scraper to remove snow or ice around the mirror.

Once you remove the obstructions, observe the mirror assembly to find loose bolts or screws. These loose connections can also obstruct the mirror, so tightening them can solve the issue.

After that, you can check the movement of the side mirror by applying gentle pressure or using the control switch. An underlying mechanical or electrical issue may need a further inspection if the mirror does not move.

It’s essential to exercise caution when handling the side mirror to avoid causing any extra damage. If you want to know how to reset power folding mirrors, here’s how:

  • Turn off the engine and start the ignition.
  • Find the folding mirror controls near the driver’s door panel window controls.
  • Press and hold the button for a few seconds until the system starts resetting.
  • The mirror should start moving while you hold the button.
  • Hold the switch until the mirror folds and unfolds, and you hear a beeping sound.
  • The sound indicates that the reset was successful so that you can release the button.


  • Replace the Blown Fuse or Control Switch

Replacing the blown fuse disrupting the electrical supply to the mirror can solve the problem. You can do it yourself after buying the fuse, but they are inexpensive compared to other components.

The standard blade-type fuses cost around $1 to $10 per pack. However, the specialty fuses may cost about $20 each.

Professionals can replace the mirror if it does not fold due to a damaged switch. The switch’s cost depends on several factors, such as the car model, OEM or aftermarket mirror switch, and where you buy it.

Regular switches can range from around $10 to $100. The OEM switches are expensive because your vehicle’s manufacturers make them.

  • Replace the Damaged Folding Mirror Motor

If your car’s power mirrors do not fold and cleaning them does not resolve the issue, you can repair or replace the motor. Some people ask, “Can you manually adjust power mirrors?” You can adjust it with your hand if the switch does not work, but not if the motor is damaged.

Repairing or replacing a side folding mirror motor can range from approximately $100 to $300. But you should know these are rough estimates, and the exact cost can vary.

Side Mirror Control Switch

Could a Faulty Side Mirror Adjustment Be Related to an Engine Issue?

A faulty side mirror adjustment is unlikely to be related to potential engine causes and remedies. These two components serve separate functions and have no direct correlation. Side mirror issues generally involve electrical or mechanical malfunctions, while engine problems relate to various internal or external factors affecting its performance.


The side view mirror adjustment not working on a car can be annoying. Although you can adjust it mechanically, opening the door or window can have risks. Here is a summary of the main points from

this article that can help you find the cause and repair method:

  • A blown fuse or damaged wiring disrupts power flow to the folding mirror.
  • Foreign particles obstructing the mirror movement or damaged motor prevent the mirror from adjusting.
  • You can fix the mirror by replacing the broken fuse and damaged switch or motor.

Now that you are halfway through setting the adjustment system grab your tools and mend the mirror.

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