Side Marker Lens: Choosing the Right Pair for Your Ride
Protecting your side marker lights from damage is next to impossible if you don't have durable side marker lenses installed. Busted side marker lights may jeopardize your safety, as they are primarily used to indicate your vehicle's size, position, and travel direction under low-light conditions. Choosing the right side marker lenses is important to give these lights maximum protection and coverage, so we've come up with a few tips to help you find the right pair for your vehicle.
What are the things to consider when buying a side marker lens?
Red, clear, or amber? Shopping for new lenses can be pretty exciting, as there are tons of colors and designs to choose from. Red and clear lenses are the safest options because they intensify the bulbs' light better than amber ones. Clear lenses do not distort and filter out the projection of side marker lights, so you'll get sharper illumination. Plus, clear side marker lenses are a classic and look good on virtually all types of vehicles. You may also go for a combination of clear and amber lens for a more unique look. Replacement offers this type of dual-color lens for the front passenger and driver side. Keep in mind that the lens color should match the bulbs. Also, follow the US legal requirements for side marker lights-amber for the front and red for the rear.
We recommend high-grade, high-impact, and translucent plastic for side marker lenses. Opaque may also be used if you're going for improved aesthetic appeal. Smoked and acrylic plastic may also be used, but make sure the material is sturdy and can withstand all types of driving conditions. Using heavy-duty lenses is important to prevent premature cracking and wearing out.
What is the cost of a side marker lens?
You can purchase a side marker lens for as low as $12. Replacement offers amber ones for the front passenger side at around $11, so you can get more savings. Side marker lenses are generally cheap and are usually sold individually, but the price can also go up to $150, depending on the type of material used. Some lenses even include bulbs for a more cost-efficient purchase. You may also add labor charges to the replacement cost if a mechanic will do the installation for you. If you're planning to install the lenses yourself, make sure to consult your owner's manual first before purchasing a new pair.
How to Restore Your Side Marker Lens
Foggy, yellowed, and scratched side marker lenses won't be of much help on the road. Aside from decreasing your visibility, damaged side marker lenses are also unsightly and can affect the exterior look of your ride. Replacing the lenses can be costly, so it's best to restore the plastic yourself to save money. Lens restoration is easy and will only take a few minutes of your time.
Here's a list of the things you need and the steps to follow in restoring a foggy side marker lens:
Difficulty level: Easy
Things that you'll need:
- Polishing compound
- Car wax
- Water and soap
- Wash rag
- Polishing kit
Step 1: Remove surface dirt on the side marker lights using a wash rag soaked in warm water and dish detergent. Make sure there are no traces of dust left before starting the restoration process.
Step 2: Using 1,000-grit wet sandpaper, gently sand the side marker lens to get rid of any scratches on the surface. Make sure to use straight, back-and-forth motions and keep the lens' surface wet during the process to prevent dirt buildup.
Step 3: Once you've finished cleaning the area with sandpaper, allow it to thoroughly dry and examine the surface for scratches. If the marks are still visible, you need to repeat the sandpaper process. Sand the lens with finer-grit sandpaper to eliminate the scratches. Clean and dry the surface after each sanding to check the lens' condition. Continue sanding until the scratches have faded.
Step 4: After the sanding process, you can now polish your lens. Pour one teaspoon of polishing compound onto a soft flannel or microfiber cloth and rub it in a circular motion over the lens' surface. This will remove the dullness and haze on the plastic. Continue polishing until your side marker lens is shiny once more.
To keep the dirt off your lenses, rub car wax on the plastic surface with a soft cloth. Doing this regularly will also slow down the dulling process.