We'll tell you how to fix the mirror that Fido knocks out of place, but consider restraining him...for everyone's safety.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 2002

Dear Tom and Ray:

I need your help. Here's the dilemma: I have a big black lab that rides around in my front seat all the time. When she sees something offensive -- say, a cyclist or, God forbid, a truck -- she is compelled to launch herself into the windshield, snarling and barking like the hound of the Baskervilles. In doing this, her big head always whacks the rear-view mirror out of place. Now the mirror is so loose that every time I hit a bump, it shifts and I can't see. I can't get it to stay in place. I could replace it, but the car is a '74 Dart, and I don't want to put in a junky plastic thing. I could get a newer old one from the junkyard, but the same thing would eventually happen. So what do I do? I started thinking about duct-taping the dog to the seat, but her whining would make my ears bleed. Is there some kind of spray that would stiffen it, or is there a way to tighten it? -- Kristen

RAY: I'm pretty sure that by '74, the Dart mirror had an adjustment screw on the back, just for this purpose.

TOM: That might even have been the major upgrade for that model year!

RAY: If you reach behind the mirror -- between the back of the mirror and the windshield -- you should find a small screw. With a mini-screwdriver, tighten it up, and the mirror adjustment should stiffen back up and hold the mirror in place.

TOM: If your mirror doesn't have an adjustment screw, then a junkyard replacement is the next best bet. And you don't have to pull one from a '74 Dart. You can get one from any car, especially if it's the kind that glues onto the windshield. Or you can stay in the Chrysler family and upgrade to one from an Aspen or Volare. Now THAT'S living!

RAY: By the way, there are "dog seat belts" you can buy that keep the dog more or less in place on the seat. And she'll eventually stop whining. That would solve your mirror problem, your (unmentioned) dog-slime-on-the-windshield problem and it would be safer for the dog, too, if you ever had an accident or had to stop short.

TOM: Yeah. The only problem is teaching the dog how to buckle it.

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