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Tail Light Cover

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Did you just crack a tail light cover while backing up in a crowded parking lot? Better have it fixed as soon as possible if you don't want to get in trouble with the cops. Without a fully functional cover, your car's tail lights won't function properly and will become more prone to damage since there's nothing to protect the bulbs from road debris. And once a bulb breaks while you're on the road, you won't be able to signal other drivers. And this can get really dangerous when driving and road conditions are at their worst. Plus, you'll probably get a ticket since all states have some sort of traffic regulation regarding the proper use of tail lights. So before a busted tail light cover cause you more trouble, fix or replace it as soon as you can.

Fixing a busted cover

Not all damaged covers should be replaced right away. Take a closer look first at the faulty cover and assess the damage. If the crack is quite small and shallow, you can easily fix this with a wrench or screwdriver, microfiber cloth, sandpaper with the right grit, and a plastic adhesive. Once you have the tools, here's what you need to do:

  • Unbolt the cover with a screwdriver or wrench (check with your vehicle manual).
  • Clean it with a microfiber cloth, making sure that dirt and grime are completely removed.
  • Buff out the crack with the sandpaper.
  • Apply plastic adhesive in between the cracks. Make sure you apply the right amount and let it dry completely.
  • Aside from small and shallow cracks, another problem that doesn't require immediate replacement is a worn-out cover seal. If the inside part of the cover starts to get contaminated with moisture, dirt, and road debris, it means the seal is broken. Usually, this can be fixed by reapplying an aftermarket plastic adhesive. Once this is applied properly onto the edges of the cover, your cover should be good as new.

    Replacing a severely damaged cover

    However, if the crack is big and deep, your only option is to replace the factory tail light cover. Fortunately, replacing a busted cover is an easy task. Before you start with the replacement process, however, make sure you have these tools: screwdriver, wrench, and some plastic adhesive. Here's how to replace a damaged cover:

  • Locate the screws or bolts that attach the cover onto the tail light assembly. These bolts or screws can be usually accessed by opening the trunk, although their exact positions depend on your vehicle's make and model.
  • Remove the old tail light cover by prying off the clips or the seal that holds it in place with a screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch or nick nearby parts with the screwdriver's sharp end. Also, make sure you don't touch or bump the bulb while removing the old cover.
  • Attach the new tail light cover and lock it in place by clamping the clips back or by applying some plastic adhesive along its edges.
  • Reattach the bolts or screws you've removed in the first step.
  • Tail Light Cover Articles

    • Troubleshooting Tips for a Faulty Tail Light Cover

      Did you just crack a tail light cover while backing up in a crowded parking lot? Better have it fixed as soon as possible if you don\'t want to get in trouble with the cops. Without a fully functional cover, your car\'s tail lights won\'t function properly and will become more prone to damage since there\'s nothing to protect the bulbs from road debris. And once a bulb breaks while you\'re on the road, you won\'t be able to signal other drivers. And this can get really dangerous when driving and road conditions are at their worst. Plus, you\'ll probably get a ticket since all states have some sort of traffic regulation regarding the proper use of tail lights. So before a busted tail light cover cause you more trouble, fix or replace it as soon as you can.

      Fixing a busted cover

      Not all damaged covers should be replaced right away. Take a closer look first at the faulty cover and assess the damage. If the crack is quite small and shallow, you can easily fix this with a wrench or screwdriver, microfiber cloth, sandpaper with the right grit, and a plastic adhesive. Once you have the tools, here\'s what you need to do:

      1. Unbolt the cover with a screwdriver or wrench (check with your vehicle manual).
      2. Clean it with a microfiber cloth, making sure that dirt and grime are completely removed.
      3. Buff out the crack with the sandpaper.
      4. Apply plastic adhesive in between the cracks. Make sure you apply the right amount and let it dry completely.

      Aside from small and shallow cracks, another problem that doesn\'t require immediate replacement is a worn-out cover seal. If the inside part of the cover starts to get contaminated with moisture, dirt, and road debris, it means the seal is broken. Usually, this can be fixed by reapplying an aftermarket plastic adhesive. Once this is applied properly onto the edges of the cover, your cover should be good as new.

      Replacing a severely damaged cover

      However, if the crack is big and deep, your only option is to replace the factory tail light cover. Fortunately, replacing a busted cover is an easy task. Before you start with the replacement process, however, make sure you have these tools: screwdriver, wrench, and some plastic adhesive. Here\'s how to replace a damaged cover:

      1. Locate the screws or bolts that attach the cover onto the tail light assembly. These bolts or screws can be usually accessed by opening the trunk, although their exact positions depend on your vehicle\'s make and model.
      2. Remove the old tail light cover by prying off the clips or the seal that holds it in place with a screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch or nick nearby parts with the screwdriver\'s sharp end. Also, make sure you don\'t touch or bump the bulb while removing the old cover.
      3. Attach the new tail light cover and lock it in place by clamping the clips back or by applying some plastic adhesive along its edges.
      4. Reattach the bolts or screws you\'ve removed in the first step.