Ask a Mechanic: Drooping mirrors and old trunk springs

In today’s column we discuss when the motors of your side mirrors and your trunk springs need to be changed.

By Nida Zafar

Sep 18, 2021 2 min. read

Article was updated 8 months ago

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Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column we discuss when the motors of your side mirrors and your trunk springs need to be changed.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

I drive a 2005 Volkswagen Beetle. I’ve had this vehicle for the past two years and I was the principal driver. In the last six months, some of my family members have also started using the vehicle, and therefore adjusting the mirrors to suit their driving needs. In the past three months, a problem started occurring. After I adjust my side mirrors to my liking, I notice they slowly lower throughout the day. What’s the issue and does having more people move them around have anything to do with it? – Mirror problems

Zafar Habib, co-owner of Scarborough’s Humble Autohaus, believes the issue lies with the motor that adjusts the side mirrors. Habib explained that the motors can weaken over time. The motor usually only needs to be replaced every 15 to 20 years, but when it does, the entire mirror has to be changed. Habib believes more people using the vehicle, and adjusting the mirrors more frequently, may make a small difference but not enough to be the main culprit. It’s more likely the motor was on the verge of wearing out anyway.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

The trunk on my 2012 Hyundai Sonata gets stuck from time to time. When I press the button that opens the trunk door, I hear a click sound that indicates it’s open, but I have no success when I try to lift it. It’s like it’s still locked. Sometimes tugging at the handle works but other times I have no success. What can I do to fix this? – Feeling jammed

Habib said sometimes the springs that open the trunk weaken and aren’t able to open the trunk fully. The springs weaken over time and there’s no preventive measure for avoiding this. The springs likely need to be changed in this case. It’s also possible the trunk needs a new latch. Habib recommends a professional examine the issue and change the springs if need be since the springs’ tension poses a safety issue.

Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.