The Rules of Buying a Tail Light Housing
Your house is a refuge; it is meant to protect and defend. It works the same for the tail light housing in your car. It is there to keep the fragile light bulbs and sensitive electrical wirings away from damages. For the tail light housing to work efficiently, it should possess certain qualities that exhibit strength and durability. These are some of the rules that you should follow in choosing the best housing for your car.
Rule no. 1: Pick the one that fits your car.
Not all tail light housing is created the same. They all vary when it comes to size and dimensions, and it all depends on the car type, model, and year. For instance, a Honda Civic has a different lighting assembly from Ford Lynx. To avoid the confusion, make sure to:
- Read the car owner's manual to know the specific make up of your car's lighting assembly. Take note of the size, number of bulbs in the set up, and electrical wirings and connections.
- Know which side needs a replacement. Is it the tail light for the passenger side or the driver's side? Is it left or right? The shape of the tail light housing depends on the location so you also have to consider this.
Rule no. 2: Consider the price.
There is no denying that price greatly affects a buyer's decision. If you have the money, you can purchase an OEM tail light housing directly from the manufacturer. If you're on a tight budget, you have the option to buy aftermarket parts from legit distributors. Just to compare the prices, the Honda Accord OEM's price range starts from $100 while aftermarket price starts from $50. Most car owners nowadays like buying aftermarket tail light housing simply because:
- Quality is at par with OEMs.
- Aftermarket tail light housings are also backed by the Magnuson-Warranty Act that protects the buying rights of consumers in case the auto parts bought fail.
- Consumers have greater options because of a great number of aftermarket distributors that offer a wider selection of tail light housings.
- Aftermarket auto parts are more accessible. Even the local auto parts store or service facilities sell tail light housing that suits your car.
Rule no. 3: Choose a sturdy housing.
The tail light housing must be strong enough to withstand all the driving conditions such as weather, heat, and corrosion. There are materials that are proven to be durable and they are commonly used in tail light housings:
- Aluminum- Highly resistant to corrosion. Its silvery white color also jazzes up the style of your car.
- Chrome plated- Light-weight, corrosion resistant, and hard. This material can withstand the bumps and vibrations of your car and can protect the entire lighting assembly. This is also more affordable that aluminum types.
Change That Old Tail Light Housing without Hiring a Mechanic
The tail light housing is what holds the entire tail light assembly in your car, which includes the bulbs, lens, and wires. Just like any other part in your car, they can also get damaged through time. That is because they are always exposed to constant vibrations. Another instance is when another vehicle accidentally bumps your car from behind. That impact can break not just the lens but also the bulbs, thus requiring you to change the whole assembly, including the tail light housing. Good thing the process of changing the tail light housing of your car doesn't take a lot of time and effort. In fact, it is one of the most commonly done car replacement tasks. Here is a list of the tools and steps that you need to finish this job.
Difficulty level: Easy
- New tail light housing
Step 1: Work on one tail light before moving to the next. Start with either right or left. Remove the screws that hold the entire tail light housing. Start with the screws found on the outside. Choose the right size of screwdriver to do this.
Step 2: Open the car's trunk and find the back of the tail light assembly. Use the screwdriver to remove any remaining bolts. Carefully disconnect the electrical wirings from the housing. Remove the bulbs and place them in a safe area. Also, ensure that the bolts are complete. Place them where they won't get lost.
Step 3: Push the entire assembly out of the car. Start from behind; from inside the trunk.
Step 4: Remove the tail light lens from the whole assembly. Place them on top of a clean rag or any flat surface to protect them from scratches. Make sure to remove any component that is attached to the housing.
Step 5: Get the new tail light housing and mount it in place of the old one. Reconnect the electrical wirings. Put the bulbs back.
Step 6: Tighten the bolts using your screwdriver. Start form the See to it that the entire housing doesn't shake or flutter.
Step 7: Reattach the tail light lens. Put all the bolts back using the screwdriver.
Step 8: Start the engine or turn the lights on to check if the wiring are properly connected. If the bulbs light up, it means that you succeeded in changing the tail light housing of your car.
That's it! Good luck on your replacement project.