How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Tail Light in 2023?

When faced with a broken tail light, the cost of repair in 2022 can vary based on the extent of the damage and the specific components that need attention.

Tail Light Bulb Replacement Cost

  • For a straightforward tail light bulb replacement, you can expect to spend between $20 and $100. The cost varies depending on factors like the type of bulb needed.
  • Halogen bulbs typically range from $4 to $6 each, while LED tail light bulbs are priced similarly.

Tail Light Cover Cost

  • The tail light cover acts as a protective barrier for your tail light bulbs. Replacing it can cost between $50 and $120 for a set with different designs and colors.
  • Labor costs for cover replacement typically range from $75 to $180, depending on your location.

Tail Light Lens Cost

  • Tail light lenses may sometimes be referred to interchangeably with tail light covers. The cost can vary based on whether you need to replace the plastic covering over the tail light or the small, red, rectangular or circular pieces inside.
  • Repairing the small lens part inside can cost between $150 and $800.

Tail Light Wiring Repair Cost

  • If your tail light wiring is damaged, a technician can usually address this issue within an hour at a cost of $70 to $120.
  • Alternatively, if you’re comfortable with automotive wiring, you may opt to do the repair yourself.
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Replacing a Tail Light Assembly and Cover

To save time and money, you can choose to replace your tail light assembly and cover on your own by following these simple steps:

Tools and Equipment Needed:

  • Safety glasses
  • Wrenches, ratchet, and sockets of the correct sizes
  • Screwdrivers

Step 1: Safety Safety should always be a top priority when working on your vehicle. Start by disconnecting the car battery to reduce the risk of electric shocks during the repair. Access the tail lights through the trunk or rear hatch. Work in a well-lit area, and remove any padding or panels obstructing access.

Step 2: Remove the Bulb Holders Gently remove the bulb holders from the rear side of the tail lamp by turning them clockwise. When handling bulbs, use gloves to prevent contamination and breakage.

Step 3: Remove the Assembly Unscrew the nuts securing the tail light assembly, ensuring not to overtighten them. Apply oil or grease if necessary to loosen stubborn nuts. The assembly should then slide out smoothly.

Step 4: Install and Test Hand-tighten the bolts before using a ratchet to secure them, taking care not to over-tighten. Reattach the bulb holders, and if applicable, replace any padding, carpet, or panels. Finally, reconnect the car battery.

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Where to Get Your Tail Light Fixed

You can have your tail light fixed at a local dealership, though this option tends to be more expensive than visiting a local mechanic or handling the repair yourself. Tail light repair is typically a quick and straightforward process.

How Long Does It Take to Fix a Tail Light Cover?

Tail light cover replacement is not sold separately for most vehicles, requiring you to purchase the entire tail light assembly. However, replacing a tail light bulb is a relatively simple task, taking approximately 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Is It Illegal to Drive With a Broken Tail Light Cover?

While cracked tail light covers may not pose immediate legal issues, driving with a completely shattered cover that exposes the bulb can be illegal. Tail lights must emit a red light, not white. To avoid potential citations, promptly replace a severely damaged cover or use red tail light repair tape as a temporary solution.

Where to Buy Tail Light Accessories

You can purchase tail light accessories at your local auto parts store or visit the dealership where you bought your vehicle, especially if they carry brand-specific parts like Nissan or Honda.