Tail Light Lens
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In a military academy, you'll see a troupe of soldiers marching up and down the field, the loud booming voice of the squad commander giving commands: "Left, left, left, right, left! Right turn!" That's how a leader lets his team know where it's going. Too bad you can't do the same with your car. Your voice won't be of much use in your car while you're driving, but that's what tail lights are for-letting other drivers know where you intend to go. The Tail Light Lens helps keep your tail lights working properly for a long time. This part is a covering, usually made of durable plastic, that's placed over the tail lights and is attached directly to the frame. The lens prevents harmful road elements like dust, moisture, and pebbles from getting inside the tail light assembly and doing damage to the bulb. These damaging elements can cause your tail light's bulb to burn out more quickly. They can also bring about rust formation or scratch the tail light bulb's parts. Thanks to advancements in technology, the tail light lenses produced today by many manufacturers are now tougher than the ones made in the past. Plus, they're now available in various styles and colors. So vehicle owners have a wide selection to choose from-whether it's for replacement, upgrade, or customization projects. Always invest in a quality Tail Light Lens for your car. Choose one that best fits your car from Auto Parts Warehouse's selection of high-grade tail light lenses. Explore our online catalog now!
How to Choose a Tail Light Lens
The tail light lens is one of the commonly damaged parts during rear-end car accidents. If broken or shattered, it is important that you get a replacement as soon as possible. Changing lenses should not be limited to repairs though. Customizers can pimp their ride with a unique set. Read this simple guide to give you a jump start in helping you pick the right lens for your car.
Looking for the right lens is simply finding a specific set designed to fit your car. For most American makes, OE replacement lenses can be identified by a small alphanumeric code etched on the lens' surface, or on the assembly's gasket. This will give your car's make, model, and year which will help in the buying. Note that this option may be impossible to do if your lens is completely ruined, and the code is mixed in the many pieces of shattered plastic.
Lenses are commonly secured to the tail light assembly in one of two ways: screws, or glues. Your choice is automatically limited if you're only looking for an OE replacement. If you want to convert to an attachment style different from your car's current style, you may need to modify the whole assembly.
- Screw: Lenses are secured to the assembly using screws. This makes installation, removal, and replacement quick and easy. However, this style means having screw holes on the lens itself, giving it an uneven finish. The assembly may not be fully sealed against water leaks that can damage the lights. Gaskets must be in good shape to keep the lights safe.
- Glue: This type of lens has better sealing and protecting qualities compared to screw-in types. It also has a cleaner finish because there are no holes for screws. However, since it's discouraged to pry the lens out during repairs, installation and removal is more difficult.
Tail lights contain the parking and braking indicators. Other styles can also include reverse indicators, and turning signals. Each light is a different color for the lens. Most come in only two colors: red for brakes, clear for reverse. Some include amber for turn signals. Match the lens' color to the set of your assembly.
As a final note, before you pick a set of tail lights, make sure that it meets DOT (Department of Transport) / SAE (Society of Automotive Engineering) standards. Lights that pass these strict quality control measures are guaranteed bright and safe enough to use.
Easy Fixes to a Shattered Tail Light Lens
Keeping your tail light lens in good condition is a must for every car. A broken, cracked, or shattered lens is enough reason for the police to give you a ticket. Also, an exposed tail light can be damaged by rocks, mud, and water. The degree of your repair will depend on the extent of the damage on your lens. Look after your busted tail light lenses with the help of this simple repair guide.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Socket set
- Tail light lens repair kit (red lens-repair tape, plastic film, crack filler, plastic glue, etc.)
- Kitchen oven (if necessary)
- Replacement tail light lens
Step 1: Locate the tail lights. If the damage is limited to small cracks on the lens, simply apply strips of red-lens repair tape over it for a temporary repair.
Step 2: For splits, or large cracks, another method is to fill-up the crack. To do this, you need to remove the lens, or whole tail light assembly, from the car. If the lens is screwed on, simply take off the screws.
Step 3: If it's glued, take out the whole assembly. Remove any mounting screws and nuts holding it in place. On old cars, the screws are on the outside of the car near the taillight assembly. Newer models have their screws in the interior either underneath or near the edge of the trunk carpet, or directly behind the assembly. Keep all the screws in a safe place.
Step 4: Remove all the wiring and electrical cords from the tail lights. Remember where the cords are connected so that you can properly reconnect them when installing the new assembly. Once all wires are off, carefully pull out the unit.
Step 5: Place the assembly face up on a baking sheet lined with foil. Put it in the oven at 200? F for 20 minutes to melt the glue. After, take out the assembly and pry the lens from the housing.
Step 6: For a split lens, you can use plastic glue to reconnect the pieces. For bigger cracks, put plastic film on the inner side of the lens. Prepare the crack filler with your repair kit. Fill the crack from the outer side of the lens. Let it dry for 24 hours.
Step 7: Return the lens on the assembly. Screw or glue it back on. Next, return the assembly to the car. If necessary, connect the wires to the new tail lights the way they were connected in the original assembly. Next, slowly fit the whole unit into the body and return all the screws and nuts to keep it in place.
- The same removal steps can be done for complete lens replacement.
- Wear protective gloves to avoid cutting yourself.