Cars Simplified: Everything Automotive Explained


Mirrors are used by the driver to see behind the vehicle without having to move too much. The side view mirrors are often magnified so the driver can see things more clearly. Side mirrors are part of the body of a vehicle and are usually adjustable, sometimes electronically via a dial inside the vehicle.

Driver/Left Side Rear View Mirror -->

The side mirrors are often the least aerodynamic part on a modern passenger vehicle. In some vehicles that run quietly at fast public speeds, the main sound heard inside the vehicle is the wind turbulence generated by the mirrors.

Supplemental Mirrors

Additional mirrors are sometimes added to a vehicle if the owner chooses to add them. The most common types are curved mirrors that can be stuck on to the existing side view mirror(s), or an extended version that replaces the original mirror, usually for towing vehicles.

Performance Mirrors

While some racing vehicles remove the mirrors entirely, others use small mirrors which are much smaller than the kind found on a passenger car. They are often a little further away from the body, since the air pressure is higher (more dense) close to the body surface.