If you’ve ever broken a headlight, side marker light, or tail light lens on your vehicle, you need to fix it as water and electricity will cause the light or light socket to short out. You may also get pulled over and get a ticket (it’s illegal in some places) for having a broken lens as it has sharp edges if the lens has a piece missing or is sticking out or it can temporarily blind someone (tail light).
My Ford Taurus wagon had a busted tail light lens that had a piece broken out of it. I don’t have extra cash at the moment to replace it, so I needed a temporary fix.
In order to fix the problem, you will need either red, amber (yellow) or white lens tape, a pair of scissors, a cloth, some window cleaner and some time.
Most auto parts stores carry the lens tape. You can buy just one color or all of them.
Clean the Area
I use a clean old rag, t-shirt, or wash cloth. I will spray the window cleaner on the rag. I will carefully wipe the lens and the area around the lens with the wet part of the cloth.
This removes all greasy, oils, dirty, sandy grit that gets on the lens. You want the tape to stick.
Open the Tape
Open the tape package. Clip off the end with the paper on it. Put it down somewhere it won’t fall off the car and get dirty or you’ll have to cut more pieces off to remove the dirt.
Measure It Out
Pull the tape out by the lens your fixing. Cut the piece off. Make sure it’s the right length to cover the lens. It won’t stick properly if you have layers as the condensation (water) will get under it and it’ll eventually fall off.
You will start at the center and smooth it down. If it has to go around and edge or a round area, you want it do that after you make sure the center of the busted lens is covered first.
Tail light lens is rectangular on this car, so I start in the middle and wrap the tape to the right side (top to bottom). I will still need to put another piece on it to completely cover it.
If it has multiple colors in one section, you may want to go from left to right.
Example: An older Jeep which has a clear(white) reverse light lens below it. If you had to fix the lower lens, start from the top of the clear area and go down. If both parts are broken fix the lower one first and then the red one above, so that no condensation can get in.
I’ll add this other piece of tape over the other side of the lens. I make sure that I firmly (not pushing really hard) on the tape to make sure it sticks. If you push to hard, you’ll break the already brittle lens.
Temporary fixes are common when you break a lens or headlight. If you have to use the tape to fix it, do it for now until you can replace the actual lens. Use this How To when you need to fix your broken lens or headlight.
If you need to replace the lens you can call the Junkyard/Salvage yards, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon and other places to find a replacement.
If you want a new one be prepared for sticker shock at the dealership. They may also have a order a new one as they do not always stock them there (limited space).
I like being able to do things that need to be done on the car. finding the information I need to repair it, find the best deal on parts and accessories for it. Did you enjoy the article? Please feel free to ask a question, make a suggestion or leave a comment below.