Day/Night Inside Rear View Mirror (IRVM) - Feature Explained
In this Feature Explained article, we’ll present the most detailed analysis of the manual day/night inside rear-view mirror. We’ll list out the pros and cons, explain how it works, provide the typical cost of getting a day/night inside mirror from the aftermarket, repair/replacement costs of a prismatic IRVM. Based on this analysis, we’ll suggest if you should add this feature to your car or skip it.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Day/Night Inside Rear View Mirror (IRVM)?
The pros or advantages of a day/night inside mirror are:
- Easy to install (self installation possible)
- Hugely helpful for safe and convenient night driving
The day/night inside mirror or prismatic mirror has the following shortcomings or problems:
- Requires manual intervention to activate/deactivate
- In some cars, it requires readjustment every time you change the mode
- For glued IRVMs, the effort to replace is a bit high; taking professional help is recommended
What Is A Day/Night Inside Rear-View Mirror?
A day/night inside mirror has 2 levels of reflections — brighter and darker — for driving during day and night. A flick switch helps us change between its day (bright) and night (dark) modes.
The day mode works like a normal mirror reflecting everything clearly through the rear windshield. The night mode is darker and it cuts down the intensity of reflections during night time to avoid glare from vehicles behind you using the high beam. There’s still enough reflection in the darker night mode of the IRVM that you can easily spot vehicles following you and plan your manoeuvres. However, it’s not so bright that it affects your forward visibility during night driving.
How A Day/Night Inside IRVM Works?
A day/night inside mirror has 2 reflective surfaces inside shaped like a prism. One of them is a little darker than the other to cut down the glare during night driving. A mechanical switch under the mirror helps us switch between the day and night modes. Usually, the flick switch tilts the mirror just enough to toggle the mode of the IRVM without requiring any adjustments. However, in some cars, the mirror may require some readjustment everytime you change the mode.
How Expensive Is It To Repair Or Replace A Day/Night Inside Rear View Mirror?
Typically, replacing a day/night inside mirror costs between Rs. 2,000 and 3,500 for a mass-market car. Since all carmakers offer a day/night inside mirror in some or the other variant of all cars, you can just buy the IRVM compatible with the higher variant. Because of part sharing, which is a common practice across all carmakers, you can even buy the mirror compatible with a slightly expensive car from the same manufacturer. This is recommended if even no variant of your car comes with a manual day/night IRVM. For example, in my Tata Nano, I installed the day/night inside mirror from the Tiago as the Nano doesn’t offer this feature in any variant.
Inside rear view mirror usually requires a replacement when you’re replacing the windshield. However, if the mirror has a clip mechanism, which is intact after a windshield crack, then you can use the mirror from the older, broken windshield in the new one. There’s little to no room for repairing a day/night IRVM; although, it rarely requires any repair or replacement during the life of the vehicle. If the mirror’s ball joint gets loose, or the arm/mirror breaks, then there’s little to no room for repairs.
What Is The Cost Of Aftermarket Day/Night Inside Rear-View Mirror?
In most mass market cars, adding a day/night inside mirror will typically cost you between Rs. 2,000 and 3,500. If you buy an OEM-spec manual day/night IRVM, then you could save about Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000 depending on the compatible make and model.
How Easy Or Complex Is It To Install A Manual Day/Night Inside Rear-View Mirror?
Installing a day/night IRVM is usually a straightforward task. It’s usually attached to the windshield either with glue or clips into an attachment glued to the windshield.
If your car has the clip-type mechanism, then it’s super easy to install it in your car. You’ll have to carefully slide the existing IRVM out of the clip by pulling it towards the seats and away from the dashboard. Once it’s out, slide the new one in until it clicks and you’re good to go.
If your car holds on to the inside mirror with glue, then you’ll have to pry hard to remove the old mirror in the first place. Once it’s out, you’ll have to use double-tape to fix the new one. While doing so, you will need to hold the mirror in place until the glue dries out. This process is not suitable for self installation. So, we’ll recommend getting some professional help in this case.
What Cars Get A Day/Night Inside Rear View Mirror From The Factory?
All cars under Rs. 10.0 lakh (ex-showroom) get the day/night inside rear view mirror at least in some variants. Alto is the only car currently on sale, which doesn’t offer a day/night inside mirror even in the top variant. Shockingly, the Nexon is one of the rare cars in which, even in some variants costing over Rs. 10.0 lakh (ex-showroom), a manual day/night inside mirror is not available from the factory.
Verdict - Should I Get An Aftermarket Day/Night Inside Rear-View Mirror (IRVM)?
If your car didn’t come with a day/night inside mirror from the factory, then we highly recommend getting this feature after purchase. You can ask your car dealer or service centre to install it for you. It’s also fairly easy to find a compatible day/night inside mirror for your car from the aftermarket.
Once you use this feature in a car, it’s difficult to go back to a plain-Jane inside rear-view mirror. Considering the cost and simplicity of installing this feature on any car and the comfort, convenience and safety it offers during night driving, a day/night inside mirror is a must have feature for all car owners.
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