Kia Optima Headlight and Taillight Covers
Kia Optima headlight and taillight covers can get cracked or scratched just from general driving conditions. It’s a good idea to fix the lens as soon as possible in case the crack spreads and damages the entire fixture. Small scratches can be polished out with lens restoration cleaners.How do you repair cracked headlight or taillight covers?
If the light cover is only cracked and still intact, it can be repaired with either an epoxy glue or repair tape. Begin by washing and drying the lens.
- If using epoxy, sand the crack with fine grit sandpaper. The epoxy will adhere better to a rough surface. Wipe off any dust caused by the sanding. Apply a line of glue down the crack, making sure to fill in the entire scratch. Let dry. If the glue bulged out excessively, gently sand it down with the fine grit sandpaper. Do not wash the car for 24 hours after this repair to allow the epoxy adequate time to bond.
- Repair tape is available in three colors: red, amber, and clear. Match the color with the cracked lens. With the tape backing still on, hold the tape over the crack, and trace on the tape a half inch around the crack. The tape needs to overlap the crack to seal it properly. Cut out the patch and remove the backing. Apply it over the crack and press out any air bubbles. Do not wash the patch for 24 hours to allow the tape to bond.
If any Kia Optima lamp fixtures are broken beyond repair, they can be replaced at home with a flat head and a Phillips screwdriver. To ensure your replacement parts will fit, make sure you note the year of your Kia.
- Open the trunk or hood of the car. Look for the screws holding in the light fixture; there are usually three. You may have to reach around or under the frame to locate all of them.
- First, try to wiggle the lamp out. If it does not come out, gently use a flathead screwdriver to pry out. To prevent paint scratches, place a towel or rag between the screwdriver and the car.
- Once the lamp is out, disconnect the wire in the back.
- Connect the replacement light to the wire and push it back into place, then screw it back into the vehicle.
Over time, covers begin to get cloudy and foggy. The discoloration is from the sun and elements. For the cleaning, you will need protective automobile tape, 2000 grit ultra-fine sandpaper (wet-dry), a microfiber sponge, water, rags, and headlight restoration solution.
- Wash the covers, and tape all around them, protecting the paint job. Soak the sandpaper in clean water.
- Wet the cover and sand in one direction (up and down or top to bottom) over the entire light. Keep the lens and sandpaper moist. Change directions.
- When you’ve finished making up and down and top to bottom passes, dry the cover and see if it is clearer. Once the cover is unclouded, rub the restoration solution in using a microfiber sponge. The restoration solution will buff out scratches, and the lens will come out shiny.