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Another Single Woman Win!


I think I’ve just experienced my greatest “Single Woman” win thus far! (Side note: I capitalize “Single Woman” as a half-joke. One of my good grad school buddies just went through a tough divorce and bought her first house as a single woman. She sent a picture of a portion of the house contract. The contract listed her as a “Single Woman” in caps, and she was a bit offended by it. So I’m seizing the term “Single Woman” – with caps – as my own and making it into a good thing instead of a perceived negative).

I fixed my driver’s side-view mirror that has been broken for literally 6+ months! I first wrote about it back in the summer and it had already been broken for a couple months at that point. I’d intended to get it fixed over the summer, but then our A/C went out and cost $$$, then hubs and I decided to separate, then I moved out (which cost $$$), and I mean it’s just been one thing after the next this whole time.

After fixing my electrical dash/MyTouch system, by myself (something I never thought I’d do), I decided to conquer the side-view mirror. I bought the part on E-Bay and the exact day it came in I determined, “I’m going to put this mirror on today.” Period. That was it. My resolve was strong (I can also perhaps be a bit stubborn sometimes???)

THANK YOU to the commenter who told me to check out this YouTube video for guidance. It could not have been more perfect!

It showed me how to remove the mirror coverings, how to use a plastic ziplock bag to save the bolts from falling into the door (genius trick!), and what to do.

In full disclosure……It did take me nearly a full 3 hours. I got most of it done in about 15 minutes. It was that easy!

But there’s one bolt that’s down low/covered by another plastic piece. I had a REALLY hard time accessing it. I worked and worked trying to unscrew that bolt, but I just couldn’t get a good “grip” on it with the pliers (or wrench? Whatever. I don’t know this stuff…lol) I owned. I went to Ace Hardware and bought smaller pair that would more easily be able to fit into the small crevice of a crack to access the bolt. But it STILL didn’t work. I couldn’t grip the bolt tight enough to actually loosen it. It wasn’t working.

After a long time, I was feeling defeated. I had this mirror 99% removed and only one single bolt stood in my way of replacing it. How could the video make it look so easy?

I watched the video again and again. I must’ve watched it near 50 times that day. Finally, it hit me. As I watched the guy effortlessly loosening the bolt I realized…..he’s accessing it from above!!!


I was standing, so I was more-or-less the same height as the bolt (it was about chest-level with me). I ran inside and grabbed a chair. Ran back out to the garage and used the chair to elevate my position. Now, I was looking down at the bolt from above. I was much more easily able to slip in and I FINALLY made the concrete connection that was needed. I jimmied it a bit and finally the bolt started to loosen. Once it was off, the entire mirror was able to easily detach. I slipped the new mirror into place and it could NOT have been any easier! There was a plug I just plugged in, lined the bolts up in place, and then re-tightened them all. It worked like a charm!

Bye bye, old & busted mirror held together by tape for far too long:

Hello, shiny new mirror that only cost $250 and a few hours of time (as opposed to the $800-$1,000 quotes I’d received from a couple places around town):

Those are pliers, right? I’m telling you – it’s a miracle I was able to do this! lol

Friends, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt such an overwhelming sense of accomplishment! I mean, I was riding this wave of satisfaction and pride all weekend (I’m still pretty proud writing about it now, too)!

Another “win” for the Single Woman, and the frugal woman, too.



  • Reply Reece |

    Yes, those are pliers, lol. Needle nose pliers . Good on you for tackling the repair!

  • Reply Money Beagle |

    Nice work. I remember doing that once and it didn’t take three hours but definitely took longer than the fifteen minutes as well. Now you have the right tool for the next job that will require those pliers.

  • Reply Steveark |

    I was tempted to mansplain what that tool was but then I realized that would reveal me to be a tool myself, so I won’t. Good job though, I’ve done a couple of dicey repairs like that lately and I’m never sure if I’ll ever get all the pieces back together even when Mr. YouTube can do it standing on his head! Great post.

  • Reply susan chandler |

    On first mortgage in Chicago (in 1999) my legal designation was “spinster”…..

So, what do you think ?