Tail Light Lens
The tail light lens keeps the tail light safe from heat, dirt, moisture, and harsh weather and road elements. This cover also helps keep the light burning bright. If the lens is cracked or already faded, this needs to be replaced right away. Putting in a new one will be fairly easy with this simple step-by-step guide:
How to replace a tail light lens
Different vehicles may use different tail light attachments and designs. You have to get the right lens replacement for your vehicle's tail light and the right tools according to the type of fasteners or hardware used. Once you have all these figured out, then you're ready to get moving and finally replace the old lenses.
Step 1: Check the screws or fasteners used on the tail light. This will tell you what kind of tools to use. Armed with the needed tools, undo the fasteners that secure the lens. Keep these fasteners in a safer place so you won't lose any piece.
Step 2: Snap out the lens and the whole assembly. Don't use too much force when pulling out so you won't break wires and other attachments and connections.
Step 3: Disengage the wires at the tail light assembly. You may have to remove the light socket by turning it to the left. It doesn't usually require a full turn. Do this slowly and carefully until you can pull out the socket. After this, you can now set aside the old tail light lens and be ready to put in a new one.
Step 4: Hold up the new tail light assembly next to the tail light. Put back the light socket that was removed and seal it to the assembly tightly. The tail light has to be set into place, making sure that the holes of the fasteners are aligned. Once lined up, secure it with the fasteners. Avoid over-tightening them.
Step 5: Inspect the new tail light lens to see if it's properly installed. Do the same for the lens on the other side. After installing both lenses, turn on the tail lights so you'll know if the wires had been re-connected and the light socket had been put back in place properly. If not, then do the necessary adjustments.
How to remove scratches on a clear plastic lens
Tail light lenses can get scratched by road debris and get dull because of harsh UV rays. Good thing, these lenses can be polished to bring back the smooth, shiny surface and to remove some of the swirls and scratches. Here's one way of doing it.
Step 1: Remove the lens of the tail light.
Step 2: Wash the tail light lens using soap and water or any mild cleaning solution. After cleaning the lens inside and out, wipe it dry with a terrycloth towel or soft cloth.
Step 3: Use a 120-grit sandpaper (dipped in cool water) to sand out the lens with medium strokes and circular motions for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off the sanding debris. After this, move on to 320-grit wet sandpaper. Do this for about 5 minutes and then rinse the lens thoroughly. Switch to 800-, 1,500-, and finally the 2,000-grit sandpaper to work your way through removing the scratches. With soap and water, clean out the lens.
Step 4: Apply a small amount of plastic polish on the lens with circular strokes. Add more until the surface is polished, which may take 3 to 5 minutes. Buff the lens using a dry terrycloth towel. You may use car wax as final coat on the lens for enhanced protection against contaminants.
Step 5: Check the tail light lens for scratches and to see if it's polished well. If everything checks out, make sure that you reinstall the lens properly.