How To Fix A Broke Vehicle Tail Light Cover

No matter how careful you drive, you may run into a post or wall, and crack a tail light cover, the plastic cover that goes over the bulbs to make them shine red when you press the brakes. A broken tail light cover may cause a short in the circuits from water getting inside, and it will also get you a traffic ticket. It is commonly a simple fix that doesn't require a professional repair. Save money by following this guide to fix a broken tail light lens cover.

Remove the Tail Light Lens

To fix the tail light cover, gather the following:

  • plastic gloves
  • tape measure
  • lint-free shop rags
  • wire brush
  • foil cooking sheet
  • screwdriver of flat chisel
  • rubbing alcohol
  • 240-grit sandpaper
  • lens tape, plastic glue, epoxy lens repair kit 

Assess the damage to determine the repair method. A small crack can be fixed with lens tape without removing the cover. However, you will need to check for broken tail light bulbs, and replace them. Get someone to press the brake

Pry the lens cover using a screwdriver or flat chisel. Then detach screws. To remove a lens glued to the housing, detach the housing screws, and preheat a kitchen oven to 200 degrees. 

Lay foil on a cooking sheet, warm the assembly until the glue softens. Then remove the lens. Wipe the lens cover and housing with a shop rag dipped in rubbing alcohol, and let it dry. Avoid using ammonia cleaners, since they may cause the tape to not stick well.  

Apply Lens Tape or Glue

If you can't get a permanent repair right away, cover cracks with lens tape to keep it dry. The tape is identical to the material and color of the lens. Before you fix the damage, dab a cloth in rubbing alcohol, and clean the lens. Sand the area to smooth edges, and wipe sand dust with a rag.

Measure the length of the crack, and cut the tape slightly longer. Peel the backing from the tape, lay the tape on the crack, and smooth bubbles. Small cracks can be repaired with plastic glue.

Use the Repair Kit

To fill holes and gouges, repair it with the resin from a lens repair kit. Cover the damaged area with the tape or film in the kit and mix the resin according to directions. An epoxy repair kit commonly consists of two parts, the activator and coloring agent. 

Shake the bottle until it feels warm. Then pour the contents in the syringe. Insert the syringe in the crack, and fill it with the resin. Then let it dry. The repaired area may appear slightly darker until it dries. After two hours, remove the tape or film. Then lightly sand the repair.

For more information, contact a business such as Select Collision Group.