I've had my charming classic Lincoln Town Car,

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for a year. On both exterior wing mirrors, it has small round "assistance mirrors" or "granny mirrors":

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  • I believe these were simply added by a user - they are not original equipment, not part of the mirror. Does anyone know, is this correct?

I wish to remove the two of them, one on each side.

  • Would it be correct that they are just glued on? (Rather like most badges - say, a dealer badge added on the back of your vehicle.)

The big question is how to best remove them.

Has anyone tackled this?

  • I was thinking of heating them up (hair dryer) ... much as when you remove a dealer badge (or even the factory badge in some cases, if it wasn't drilled).

  • Maybe use the "dental floss" trick??

What's my chance of these coming off without breaking the main mirror, or perhaps leaving it covered in unsightly black stuff that will never really come off?

I've noticed that if you take a badge off bodywork (maybe a dealer badge), you can use a little light cutting compound and easily clean it up without leaving any marks.

  • Can you use cutting compound like that for clean up .......... on glass?!?

Thanks, experts ! Great site

Tears of joy! I got a 94 cent packet of 12lb mono fishing line from WalMart. I put on some gloves to avoid a cut.

Result, happiness:

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Came off instantly.

As @Paulster suggests, the mirror itself is real fragile - you get the sense you could very easily just "crack up and smash off the whole mirror" if not careful. Surprising!

You'd have to take your time sawing downwards and be careful not to try to pull it off towards you

I guess the next step is Goo-Gone to I'm sure easily remove the tape remnants. Fantastic stuff.

  • 1
    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I think one of the problems you are going to see if trying to remove this is, the base mirror is really, really thin and will distort/break easily. If you force the small mirror off of it, you'll most likely end up replacing the larger mirror. Adhesive which is strong enough to keep the round mirror in place, is going to be strong enough to cause issues with the underlying mirror. IF (and yes, big "IF") you can get the small mirror off without harming the the big one, you can probably use something like Goo Gone to clean it up. Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 14:35
  • fantastic information! and I'm happy to be here, thanks :)
    – Fattie
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 15:21
  • Use fishing line to get the mirror off, then some kind of adhesive remover. Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 16:56

3 Answers 3


It appears that the mirror is placed over the "closer than appears" warning. This would indicate that it's an aftermarket item.

Your idea of using dental floss is a good one. The adhesives on these aftermarket mirrors are a very thin foam double-sided tape. Your objective should be to slice the foam in two pieces edgewise.

It can be done with small diameter spectra fishing line, which is going to be more durable than dental floss. It can also be accomplished with a thin metal blade such as those found on palette knives.

I would hesitate to use more than a hair dryer, but a 1500 watt hair dryer will put out enough heat to help remove the residual tape once the mirror has been sliced off.

To add an additional level of attack, use denatured alcohol or goo-gone and dribble some into the gap while you use the blade or floss.

Not to contradict Paulster2, but the adhesive isn't necessarily hugely strong, as the mirror is located in a shielded area with minimal forces applied in normal operations. There's also the fact that it's a large surface area. If the adhesive is only a few ounces per square inch and the mirror covers five square inches, that's still a pound or so of force available to hold it on.

One of the granny mirrors I've purchased has done away with full coverage adhesive and puts a postage stamp sized piece of tape on the back.

  • "The adhesives on these aftermarket mirrors are a very thin foam double-sided tape" spectacular information, thanks!!!!!
    – Fattie
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 15:21
  • I wasn't actually meaning the glue itself was strong, but rather the surface area of the glue adds up to more than the larger mirror can handle if you just try to pry it off. It's way more than enough surface tension to kill it. The base mirror is way more fragile than people imagine (glass on these is probably 1mm thick at most). Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 16:04
  • Total succes, @fred_dot_u !
    – Fattie
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 16:40
  • Your added photos show that you had one of the large coverage adhesive versions. Glad to see that it came clear without destroying the mirror. The easy part is over.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 17:54
  • thanks again so much! you made my summer :) @fred_dot_u
    – Fattie
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 20:05

i think the hairdryer trick isn't a bad one.

to remove residue adhesive, i have found "Goo Gone" very helpful. i'm not sure if there's a generic variant of the chemical, but i was going to recommend that once you get the adhesive backing-residue off. i have had much success in removing super-stubborn adhesive residue on surfaces like this.

  • I'm heading back to WalMart now, since the family tub of Goo-Gone is MIA! :)
    – Fattie
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 16:42

I'm adding this here since it might help someone else. Have you checked to replace the whole glass? They are generally quite cheap 20-30$ (the time I changed them it was on a heated mirror so I guess more costly?) for the pair and would provide an easy solution with very few way for it to go wrong.

Don't read me wrong, removing the thing is totally fine but it requires more work + product + times and it probably come quite close in cost to fully replace them. Just putting this out here as an option.

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