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Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:25 PM

Anybody ever replace a tail light lens cover?

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Reply Anybody ever replace a tail light lens cover? (Original post)
Skink Mar 2014 OP
Gravitycollapse Mar 2014 #1
The Traveler Mar 2014 #2
HereSince1628 Mar 2014 #3
LiberalArkie Mar 2014 #4
jberryhill Mar 2014 #5
MineralMan Mar 2014 #6
NuclearDem Mar 2014 #11
MineralMan Mar 2014 #12
VScott Mar 2014 #7
librechik Mar 2014 #8
MineralMan Mar 2014 #10
geckosfeet Mar 2014 #19
MineralMan Mar 2014 #20
Mugu Mar 2014 #9
noamnety Mar 2014 #13
Warpy Mar 2014 #14
Laxman Mar 2014 #15
Uben Mar 2014 #16
Yo_Mama Mar 2014 #17
onethatcares Mar 2014 #18

Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:28 PM

1. Yes but each car has different ways of removal.

On newer cars you often have to remove part of the body work around the light or even the bumper.

Sometimes you can remove it from the trunk of sedans.

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:31 PM

2. Sure

 

Need some help? What make/model/year vehicle? Can you post a picture of the rear interior and exterior of the lens cover you are trying to replace?

I'm doing a brake job for my room mate and trying to diagnose a problem with my car today. It's really beautiful here in the ATL. But I'll try to keep an eye out for a reply.

Trav

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:31 PM

3. THere are youtube videos for many diy auto projects...

maybe you can find something by searching on "replacing tail light lens for: make model year"

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:32 PM

4. I found the easiest way to tell how to replace on is to buy the replacement lens and look and

see where the attachment points are.

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:34 PM

5. No, no one has ever done that

The fact that they are sold as replacement parts is an elaborate ruse. Anyone who has ever tried has been silenced.

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:34 PM

6. Google replace taillight lens {year make model}

That'll get you the information. It's usually not too difficult on most cars, but the replacement will be $$$. You can find good used replacement assemblies on eBay. Just search for the same thing you Googled. And be sure to buy the one for the correct side of the car. (I made that mistake with a side mirror once.)

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:50 PM

11. And depending on the model year, the Haynes manual is a big help.

 

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:53 PM

12. That's true. Still, someone has probably done a YouTube video

on it, and that might be cheaper. Haynes manuals are expensive these days.

Someone who is used to working on modern cars could probably just figure it out in most cases, but it's not unusual that you have to remove an interior trim panel to get at a fastener or two. Doing that incorrectly can cause damage to the interior panel. That's especially true in vans and SUVs.

In any case, it can be a real PITA, depending on the model. I was looking at my 2013 Kia Soul the other day, and don't even want to think about replacing a rear light assembly. It's huge, and you clearly have to remove three interior panels to get to the fasteners. I think I'll drive very carefully.

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:38 PM

7. Wait until you find out how expensive (over priced), that simple piece of plastic can be

 

even from a junkyard.

The reason they charge so much is that it's a commonly replaced item, and depending on state safety inspection requirements, you can't improvise the repair (there was a time you could get away with red lens tape).

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:40 PM

8. In a pinch, i have also covered the thing with red acrylic sheet and red duct tape.

and second what everybody else said about google. Lenses range from 20 bucks to a hundred bucks or more, depending on the style.

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Response to librechik (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:48 PM

10. These days, you usually have to replace an entire assembly,

instead of just the plastic cover. I liked it better on earlier cars. Lots cheaper.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 03:21 PM

19. This. Good thing is that you can usually do it with a simple tools from inside the trunk.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 03:28 PM

20. That's true in most cases. On some vans and SUVs

though, you may have to remove interior trim panels. Usually, that's easy, but sometimes not obvious.

Best solution, though, is prevention of damage, if you can manage it.

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:42 PM

9. Yes

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 01:00 PM

13. One thing I know about it

 

is if you do it when it's very cold out, the plastic is brittle and the little catch thingies on it can break off.

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 01:00 PM

14. Not yet but I need to

Asshole down the street used to get a skinful every night and go out and shoot his gun at 11PM. Because he kept such regular hours, the cops got him a couple of months ago.

Unfortunately, it wasn't until a bullet or ricochet had cracked one of my tail lights. They're big and they're expensive, too.

I hope they keep that drunken shithead until he's too old to remember which end of a gun to point.

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 01:00 PM

15. It's An Easy Job...

its generally a couple of screws and comes out as a unit. The bulbs are in a socket that unhooks from the tail light lens itself. If your car is an older model, a site like PartsGeek will have a direct after market replacement. They ship in 2 days and are reasonably priced. I've cracked a couple myself and replaced them. The attachment point is different in every car, but its usually accessible so you can get to the light bulbs, since they generally have to be replaced once or twice in a car's lifetime.

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 01:02 PM

16. Be careful, 200 people/yr die trying to change them!

They die of old age trying to figure out how to do it! ha!

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 01:12 PM

17. Try 1A Auto

http://www.1aauto.com/

Search for the part, and then they usually have an instructional video. Even if you decide not to purchase the part there, the video will help you.

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Response to Skink (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 02:06 PM

18. depending on the vehicle

there are the usual plugs and covers to deal with along with having to buy or borrow a set of torx screwdrivers.

Usually a #2 works in most applications.

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