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Can I Wash My Car With a Broken Tail Light?


Water in different automotive parts is never a good thing. There are situations in which you may need to wash your car with a broken tail light. In such situations, you might be wondering “can I wash my car with a broken tail light?”

The answer is yes. You may wash your car with a broken tail light. However, you still need to be careful about the broken parts. If any electronic end has an unprotected opening, you may need to be more careful about that.

In this article, you will find the details and issues about which you need to stay careful of. Water in automotive parts can also cause issues while washing your car.

Water in Automotive parts

No matter how bad it gets, water in a car’s light assembly is never a cause for alarm. Leaving the bulb in the water for too long may cause the contacts to corrode, resulting in either a popping sound or complete failure.

To put it mildly, it’s possible that the fuse may go out. A shop manual for your year, make, and model of automobile should be used to identify and repair the plastic tail light assemblies on newer vehicles.

Normally, tail lights are not sealed from the inside but have weather seals to keep water out (for ventilation; those lightbulbs, even the LED ones, can get hot).

Corrosion of your electrical system may extend beyond your tail light assembly if water is found within the housing. Because automobiles are becoming more computerised, this may have far-reaching repercussions on certain models beyond the simple “oops, have to replace that taillight.”

Probable Outcomes

When the lights are on, though, water may carry electricity (albeit weakly). Because the voltage is just 12 volts, the short will only consume a little more energy from the electrical system than usual. However, corrosion will be exacerbated by the extra current from the water, which has already been discussed in a previous piece.

washing car with tail light

In any event, I recommend that you remove the light and connections and clean them, as well as sealing the site of entry. eventually. There’s no need to haste. During this time, your light may not work correctly.

That signifies that water has gotten into someplace that shouldn’t be wet, hence you have a leak. An issue with water might create difficulties with both the light and everything related to the electrical system.

Cracked lenses or broken seals are the most common causes. In any event, it’s a simple and inexpensive remedy that should be taken care of as soon as possible, before it becomes a more costly issue.

Get it fixed soon

Whether it’s an LED or an older filament bulb, water isn’t ideal for either of these lighting types. However, it’s a frequent problem. If you’re handy, you can usually repair most of these things yourself at home.

Removing the light housing will enable you to check for any areas where seals have opened, enabling water to enter, if necessary. You’ll need to replace the glass if it’s an older vehicle with a glass lens.

It’s common for contemporary plastic lenses to be repaired at home. The next steps may be completed in whatever sequence you choose; do what seems right to you.

Get a Quick Fix in case of emergency

To get started, you’ll need a few simple tools, such as a Phillips screwdriver and a flat one. If you’re in Myanmar, Liberia, or any other retrograde location that still uses f—king inches, you’ll need a 10mm or 5/8ths socket and/or an adjustable wrench.

The use of a drill is beneficial. You may also use sandpaper; epoxy glue; superglue; tape; silicone sealant; and more.


The best epoxy glue to use on most plastics is to fill the gaps. For shaped sections, the moldable epoxy filler substance on a stick may be more convenient to deal with. You may replace the failed seals using silicone squeezed into the existing rubber seals.

You may drain or evaporate water by drilling holes in the lens or plastic housing at low areas around the area where the water is. If you can, use a clean towel to soak up some of the water before going inside.

Once the epoxy has hardened, fill in the drilled holes. Sand and polish the lens when it has dried. As a precaution, if there are any fractures running through the plastic lens, drill through them as well, so that they don’t spread. Fill up the gaps with epoxy as well, if you can.

A burr and a rotary tool may be beneficial in the case of long or large fractures, when drilling a few holes along the crack and grinding away a bit of the lens may be necessary. After that, you may use epoxy to seal everything up and make it waterproof.

Get professional help

If you’re working with lens plastic dust, the superglue will set very quickly due to the high surface area of the dust. Once the glue has dried and all the holes have been filled, sand the lens/glue to a flat surface, beginning with a rougher grit and working your way up.

Abrasive pastes like diamond lapping compound and autosol metal polish may be used once you’ve reached 1000 grit, but only if you use a polishing pad and low-speed, mild pressure, since it’s possible to melt the plastic and cause a mess if you go too hard. Old plastic lenses with yellowing, clouding, or scratching may be cleaned using the same methods and supplies.


The lens of your car’s tail light may be shattered or the rubber seal surrounding it may be defective, both of which indicate that the light is not sealed correctly. You may choose to fill the cracks using super glue. Inside, the bulbs are fine. Do not worry and drive safely.

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