Fix tail lights as soon as you notice it’s not working or the lens has a crack. A tail light, despite having a crack, will usually continue to work well, lighting up red when the headlights are turned on and shining bright red when the brake pedal is pressed. But they will crack more and more until sections of the light lens come off.
It’s not only dangerous to have those tail lights fall off but it is prohibited to drive with a damaged tail light bulb, therefore you must fix tail lights before returning to the road. Any registered vehicle that operates on public highways in all 50 states must have a properly working tail light.
Any type of driving infringement that might be seen as a potential hazard, such as having a damaged or burned-out taillight, is a valid grounds for a traffic stop.
In many accidents, a motorist collides with the automobile in front because the tail light lens was either broken or was not lighted. The tail light lens is required by law to be red in order to be seen at all times of day and night. White is the color of the light bulb that lights the tail light. As a consequence, if the tail light lens is cracked, broken, or damaged the tail light will only appear white, making it harder for the driver following you to see your vehicle in front.
The tail light of every motorized vehicle must also be red in order to be differentiated from the front headlight. Drivers can see whether the vehicle is moving or turning away from any sides in this manner.
How to Know It’s Time to Fix Tail Lights
A damaged tail light lens does not necessarily mean damaged bulbs so you may be tempted to keep driving with it. But a cracked lens will slowly worsen until the tail lights stop working, so be sure you check them on a regular basis before they fail.
The tail light lens is lightweight, inexpensive, and simple to repair for the average technician. If the tail light lens is broken and must be changed, it is advised that the tail light bulb be replaced at the same time. This will guarantee that you fix tail lights in such a way that it is safely operational.
A defective or failing tail light lens, on the other hand, often does not display warning indicators that it is ready to break, unlike other mechanical parts. However, there are many levels of bad or failing, as well as a few fast self-diagnostic checks you can run yourself or with the help of a friend that will alert you to this problem and allow you to get it repaired as soon as possible.
- Check your tail light lens for cracks each time you refuel.
It's fairly normal for our tail light lenses to crack and not entirely break after backing into a wall, another car, or having a shopping cart strike the rear of your car. A damaged tail light will usually continue to work well, lighting up red when the headlights are turned on and shining bright red when the brake pedal is pressed.
A damaged light lens, on the other hand, will crack more and more until sections of the light lens come off. This issue is exacerbated every time you drive the vehicle when wind, debris, or other objects come into touch with the back tail light lens.
As you normally have to go around the back of your car to put fuel in the tank, it's a good idea to check your rear tail light lenses every time you fill up. This takes only a few seconds and can spare you from earning a traffic ticket or, worse, getting involved in a traffic accident.
- Test your tail lights every week at night.
Another helpful safety suggestion is to check your rear tail lights once a week with a fast self-examination. Simply start your automobile, turn on your headlights, walk to the back of your vehicle, and check that both tail light lenses are solid. If you find minor cracks on the glass, there’s a fair probability that the tail light lens will shatter entirely or that water will enter the lens, potentially shorting out your car's electrical system.
- Include tail light lens check during routine safety inspection conducted by service professionals.
Many automobile owners get their oil changed at service facilities, and when they do, the mechanic technician will frequently do a routine safety inspection with roughly 50 items on the checklist. Checking the tail lights to verify they work correctly is one of those items that need to be checked..
If the mechanic tells you that your rear tail lens is damaged or broken, replace it as fast as possible. Again, in the United States a fully working tail light is required by law. Don’t fret since the process to fix tail lights is simple, inexpensive, and far less expensive than a repair ticket or insurance premium. Do not hesitate to book a Body Electrical and Lighting Inspection. It’s always worth having those tail lights checked.
Affordable and Quick Ways to Fix Tail Light
The car's tail light may be readily fixed by just replacing it with a new one. In many situations, however, the tail light may still be used and restored. This will save the car owner time as well as unnecessary money, especially if the light belongs to a vintage or rare vehicle line.
The kind of tail light repair required is determined by the degree of the damage and the form of the damaged portion. Fortunately, a broken or cracked lens has many cheap fixes if you want to avoid all that annoying insurance red tape and overpriced markups given by dealers.
This will require some effort on your part and a certain level of DIY expertise but you do not have to be intimidated. It’s a relatively simple fix and shouldn’t take much of your time. Here are some tips if you’re willing to fix tail lights for a DIY project.
- Use a Tail Light Repair Kit
Begin by removing the portion that has to be repaired. Take your repair kit and throw away the plastic wrap. Now, place the film over any cracks or holes. The film only works on a smooth surface. Use cellophane tape if the inside is uneven or rough.
A tail light lens repair kit will normally include a solution to fix the damage. To initiate the chemical reaction, the materials must be mixed together, much like an epoxy. When the combination is finished, it must be applied as quickly as possible to ensure that its effectiveness does not lapse. But do not panic and rush. You will have enough time. Just follow the instructions given with your tail light lens repair kit.
Apply the chemical substance with the syringe inside. When applying, make sure you don't stray beyond the area you're supposed to cover. Small fixes should just require a few drops. Because the chemical is difficult to remove, you must use caution when applying it.
Wait for the substance to dry after you've finished applying it. It will seem darker than the rest of the glass when it dries. Reinstall the taillight after a set amount of time, when you are convinced that the material is totally dried.
- Use 3M Lens Repair Film
Although it is not a permanent solution, you can use it if you are still waiting for your replacement lens and need to go someplace and do not want to be pulled over for having a damaged tail light. If your clear reverse portion or orange blinker section has been bashed in, go to an auto parts store and look for 3M lens repair film solutions. You don't have to be stranded with a car you can't drive while you wait for a replacement lens.
- Visit nearby junkyards for OEM parts.
If you have the necessary equipment, know-how, and time, going to a junkyard is frequently the most cost-effective option to obtain OEM parts and that includes for your tail lights. Just be sure to contact beforehand or check the yard's website to ensure that it has your year/make/model, and closely inspect the used lens for an official manufacturer mark to ensure its authenticity.
If you see scorching or burning on the bulb pigtail, melted wiring, or evidence of water penetration, go away; depending on what you drive, there are usually plenty of alternative alternatives to pick from in a salvage yard that are not affected.
- Online Parts Shopping
If you don't mind going for aftermarket parts or if you don't mind pulling your own parts from a wrecked car to save money, online auction sites like eBay are a fantastic option. Because gently used OEM taillight assemblies for obscure, vintage, or expensive vehicles can be difficult to find, sourcing aftermarket lenses is a viable option. These tail lights operate just like your old broken unit and cost a fraction of what you would pay at the dealership.
- Find a used car specialist.
Find a used vehicle expert to get an all-in-one experience. If you find a local business that specializes in repairing shattered lenses, chances are it will have a variety of used components on hand to pull from. So, with luck, the business will have the lens you require and will replace your broken unit with a like-new one for a prearranged charge. So get on the internet and discover who in your area specializes in working on your car of choice.
Fix Tail Lights: Other Related Questions
Can I put red tape on my tail light?
Putting some red tape on tail light lenses is not an approved repair for tail light lenses for some states. Also placing red tape on the crack isn't going to fix the problem. If you want to use red tape, do it only as a temporary remedy, not as a repair.
How much does it cost to fix a tail light?
If you go to a dealership or auto body shop for a replacement tail light assembly, you may expect to pay between $200 and $2000 for each component. You will pay considerably more if you have a fancy vehicle. But if you fix tail lights for a DIY project, you may cut the cost down to $30 to $250 each assembly
What would cause tail lights not to work?
Sometimes a socket failure can result in the tail lights not working. Moisture is one of the possible causes of socket damage. Moisture accumulation of any kind can cause problems with the wiring, which can lead to failure. A faulty electrical connection might potentially result in the sockets not operating correctly.
How long do tail light bulbs last?
Some bulbs have a lifespan of up to five or six years (traditional, incandescent bulbs). LED lights, on the other hand, have a life expectancy of 12 years or more. The quantity of electricity supplied through the wiring is another element that might shorten the life of the car.
Should you replace both tail lights at the same time?
When one of the lights fails car specialists recommend replacing both. Headlamps fitted by the manufacturer should last around the same amount of time. If one bulb goes out, it is fair to predict that the other light will soon follow.
How do you change a tail light cover?
To get access, remove away or remove the cover from around the rear of the broken taillight/turn-signal cover. This reveals the bulb connections at the taillight's rear. Take a firm grip on the back of the bulb and press it in. To remove it from the damaged taillight/turn-signal cover, twist it counter-clockwise.
Your car's tail light lenses are also easily damaged because they are made of relatively delicate plastic. All it takes is an unintentional collision with a power post, tree or another vehicle to break a lens. Fix tail lights without delay. There are a variety of quick and cheap fixes but keep in mind that some are just a temporary fix. Tail lights must be replaced if they become cracked immediately.