A broken tail light cover is an invitation to have the police pull you over and write you a ticket for a mechanical violation. Of course, once you are pulled over, a police officer will typically look for other violations that might be happening. The best way to avoid this type of hassle is to fix the tail light cover as quickly as possible after it gets broken. The problem many people have is that tail light covers are not cheap to replace, and if you are short on cash, you'll need to find another way to fix the tail light cover so you aren't breaking any vehicle traffic laws. Here is how you can fix a tail light quickly with minimal effort.
You Will Need:
- Adhesive Tape
- Red Colored Permanent Magic Marker
- Sanding Block
- Torque Screw Driver
Step One: Remove Tail Light Cover
A tail light is usually held in place with a couple of torque screws. A torque screw has a star pattern on its head, and you'll need to use a torque screw drive to fit into the head to remove the screw. Remove the torque screws on the side of the cover and take it off the car.
Step Two: Place Adhesive Tape on Cover
Place clear adhesive tape on the inside of the cover over the damaged area. Do not use any type of colored tape as this would affect illumination of the tail light. The tape will serve as backing for when you apply epoxy to the damaged area.
Step Three: Put in Epoxy
Flip the cover over and fill the damaged area with epoxy. The adhesive tape on the other side of the cover will keep the epoxy from just dropping through the hole. Don't worry if you get some epoxy over the undamaged area of the lens.
You can buy a small tube of epoxy at a local auto parts store – make sure you purchase a clear epoxy.
Step Three: Color the Epoxy Red
Test the red permanent magic marker to make sure the color matches up with your tail light cover.
Take the marker and color over the epoxy after it has set for a half an hour or so. The epoxy won't be completely hardened at this point, but it will still be hard enough to run a magic marker over the top of it.
Place the cover back on your car and allow the epoxy to harden overnight.
Step Four: Sand the Epoxy
Use a fine grade sanding block to smooth the surface of the epoxy and make it look good. Use the red permanent magic marker to color the epoxy again for a uniform look. You should also color over the scratches you have made on the unbroken red part of the cover.
You are now ready to get back on the road with a tail light covers that looks normal and won't catch the attention of the police as you drive down the street. If you don't feel up to the task, or find your car has more significant damage, contact a collision repair specialist in your area to get it fixed.