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Repairing a red stop/tail light lens

I thought that this idea may help others with the same problem.

Someone or something broke a small dime sized hole in one of my tail lights. I wanted a quick and simple fix until I could send for a new lens.

I had a tube of clear silicone calking and squeezed out about marbles worth onto a piece of paper. Then a used some red enamel spray paint…one little shot…and mixed it up with a toothpick. I then transferred that glob of silicone to a piece of wax paper and spread it out to be the size of a quarter.
I then carefully placed this over the hole and very lightly pressed with a finger to spread it over the edges of the hole better.
8 hours later I carefully pealed the wax paper off.

The wax paper just helps to keep the silicone from sagging back out of the hole. My first try was with Aluminum foil, but the silicone sticks to the foil.
The aluminum foil works great to keep body putty from sagging, but not for silicone.

Good as new…or until I get a new lens.


Great tip, this is one of those ‘temporary’ repairs that could last a long time.

Nice idea. I had the same sized hole in my tail light an just used plain silicone, you can see a white spot but it is sealed up. Did not think to add some paint to it to blend in. I was thinking about getting a new lens, but it has held up well and passes state inspection so it will be on the car for a while.

As An Experiment That’s Cool, But Most Taillights On Modern Cars Are Easily Removed And Salvage Yards In My Area Stock Used Pre-Owned Replacement Modules At Low Cost.

Also, Aftermarket Lights Are Fairly Inexpensive, But I’ve Heard, Not Always A Match For OEM Lights When Viewing From Behind While Brake Bulbs Are Illuminated.

CSA - you’re right, but this would still be useful for lower-production cars. The inexpensive replacements aren’t available for them, sometimes.

I know that the lens’s are not very expensive, but right now I just don’t have the time to fool with it. I had gotten a warning for a tail light out and when I went to replace the bulb I noticed the hole. Water had dripped in and shattered the hot tail light bulb, and I didn’t want that to happen again before I replaced the lens.

My first try was adding a little red (powdered) clothing dye. but that did not dissolve in the silicone. That’s when I tried the paint.

For a temporary fix this seems to have worked pretty well though.


I’ve done a similar thing. A 3/4 inch jagged hole in the tail light lens of my truck. I bought some red lens material (see link below) and – just cutting freehand – cut a rectangle out of it a little bigger than the hole using a dremmel tool. Then I traced the outline of that onto the lens needing repair. Next I cut the matching segment out of the tail light lens, using the same dremmel tool. Glued in the rectangular dutchman with a little super glue, then after it dried,I applied some 5 minute clear epoxy along the seam using a toothpick. I decided the repair looked good enough, and since it has never leaked, that’s the way it has stayed.

Lock tite used to have a red lens repair kit that worked great. It was a two part epoxy and came in red, clear, and amber. I used the red on a tail light and couldn’t tell it was repaired. I was looking for it again a few years ago but couldn’t find it so not sure what the status of it is. But I’d think if you used regular epoxy and tinted it, it would be the same thing. They gave you some plastic that you taped on the outside of the lens, then used a syringe to apply the stuff through a bulb hole. Of course you had to take the lens out so you could work on it on the bench.

Almost everywhere carries lens repair tape, but I like the OP’s idea. For some folks it’s 20 miles or more to the nearest “almost everywhere”, and it’s good to have the hole closed just in case it rains.