What is a tail light lens replacement?

The tail light lens can be found at the back of your car and is usually a glass or plastic cover that is placed over the various light bulbs that indicate to the drivers behind you. The lens also creates the necessary color depending upon which bulb is being used—for example, red for brake lights and yellow for hazards.
The tail light lens is generally one full unit that contains several of these bulbs, which means that if one part is damaged, the whole assembly may need to be replaced.
Signaling braking to other cars or announcing your presence on the side of the road with hazard lights is an important part of maintaining the safety of yourself and all others on the road. If you suspect that your tail light lens is damaged, it is important to repair or replace the assembly.

How to replace a tail light lens

Here are the steps a mechanic will take to replace a tail light lens:
  • Examine the tail light lens assembly to assess the damage
  • Open the trunk to access the rear of the car
  • Remove the screws and fasteners that hold the assembly in place
  • Pull out the tail light assembly and separate it from the bulbs
  • While removed, consider swapping for all new bulbs
  • Reinstall the new assembly and test to ensure a snug fit and proper illumination of all the bulbs present

When do I need to replace my tail light lens?

There are several indications that your tail light lens may need replacing.
From several feet behind the car visually inspect each assembly to see if there is noticeable damage. This could include pieces of the covering cracked or fully missing.
In close inspection, see if there is any condensation or dirt buildup inside of the assembly. The tail light lens should be a fully sealed unit, so any water or dirt inside could indicate damage.
While short-term operation of your car is ok with damage to the tail light lens, it is important to get it fixed as soon as you can avoid confusion on the road and ensure maximum safety to you and others.

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