It has probably happened to every driver at some point – a small, harmless collision with a surrounding object. Whether it’s a lamppost, a corner pillar that’s not easy to see in the rearview mirror, the gate in the parking garage or – as was the case for our colleague Dennis – the unfortunate collision of a side mirror with a pigeon that was trying to cross the road at low altitude. That really made a loud bang! A side mirror repair in the workshop can be quite costly. So is there a cheaper way to fix the damage?
Minor damage to a car happens quickly and is annoying (and in our example even painful for the poor pigeon). When Dennis inspected his car after the collision, he found that the cover of the side mirror had fallen off and cracked. Apart from that, however, the mirror was perfectly fine and the cover could be easily reattached.
As for me, I would have been fine with that kind of “repair”, I would have gotten back in the car and driven off, while thinking to myself “Alright, it’s just a small crack, what’s the harm in that? I don’t need a professional side mirror repair!”.
Luckily, our colleague Dennis is a bit more level-headed and immediately discussed the damage with our application engineer Mike, which turned out to be exactly the right thing to do. The cover has an important function for the entire side mirror, as it protects the electronics and mechanics inside from dirt and weather influences. If rainwater leaks into the cover, this quickly leads to electrical corrosion and irreparable damage to the electronics.
So a seemingly harmless crack can have fatal consequences. But does that mean the entire cover needs to be replaced or is there a simpler, faster and cheaper solution? Mike’s answer: “There is!”. Equipped with our Plastic-Bond and some Fibreglass Tape, Dennis and Mike set about repairing the side mirror. The following step-by-step instructions show you how to successfully fix a side mirror using an adhesive.
As already mentioned, Plastic-Bond was used in our case. This adhesive is perfect for doing DIY repairs on plastic parts. Because it is solvent-free, it adheres particularly well to plastic. And that’s exactly what the cover of the side mirror of Dennis’ car was made of.
The adhesive has high impact strength and can withstand both static and dynamic loads. In addition, Plastic-Bond is viscous, which makes it easy to apply in the curved interior shape of the cover.
The Fibreglass Tape additionally improves the adhesion and compressive strength of the adhesive, similar to a bandage.
A must-do prior to every adhesive bonding: clean the surface thoroughly! Only a clean, preferably grease- and oil-free surface allows the adhesive to last and develop its full strength. With WEICON Surface Cleaner, the inside of the side mirror cover will be squeaky-clean in no time.
Important: Gloves should be worn while cleaning in order to protect your hands hands and to avoid new grease on the side mirror due to particles on the skin.
Plastic-Bond consists of two components, which only develop their effect when mixed together. Mike advised Dennis to use the Quadro Mixing Nozzle. Attached to the Plastic-Bond, it reliably mixes both components from the double cartridges. Alternatively, the adhesive can also be mixed on an underlay (cardboard) with the included wooden stick.
Dennis applied the adhesive evenly inside the side mirror cover, especially to and around the crack. Over the crack, on top of the still-wet adhesive, Dennis then placed the Fibreglass Tape and coated it with another layer of the Plastic-Bond.
After the adhesive had fully cured, Dennis reattached the cover to the side mirror to complete the side mirror repair. Now, neither rain nor a drive through the car wash can harm the car’s electronics.