It can be annoying and seem perplexing when the plastic tail light cover on your Nissan Sentra unexpectedly falls off or develops cracks.
Often it results from the plastic deterioration in extreme weather.
Understanding why it happens and how to properly reattach or replace the tail light covers will get your Sentra’s rear back to normal.
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Common Reasons Of Sentra Tail Light Covers Getting Loosen
Several factors that leads to cracking or broken tail light enclosures and retainers over time include:
Sun Damage and Oxidation
Years of exposure to UV rays and extreme heat degrades the plastic material by causing brittleness. This allows covers to dislodge an easier under strain or vibration.
Even minor rear bumps or objects striking the taillight can fracture the covers and alter how firmly they stay affixed to the housing.
Driving on rough, uneven roads extends the plastic cover fixtures over years of ownership through repetitive bouncing.
Improper Previous Replacement
- If a broken taillight cover was in the vehicle in the first place, underlying cracks or cheap generic parts can cause new covers to eventually fail.
Thankfully there are both quick remedies for loose covers as well as more lasting solutions depending on the root cause.
Quick Fixes To Reattach The Taillight Covers
Before replacing Nissan Sentra tail light covers altogether, attempt these convenient fixes:
Adjust Plastic Retainer Clips
- Try tightening any existing plastic retainer clips in the cover to get better traction against the light assembly.
Clean Area of Debris
- Ensure that there are no dirt or debris trapped between the light assembly and cover. Therefore the maximum surface contact can be achieved.
- Specialized plastic epoxy or trim adhesive tapes can secure the covers firmly as a temporary measure. Ensure that they are exterior-grade.
Bend Cover Tabs
- Utilize the pliers to gently bend the metal cover tabs out wider so it hugs tighter against the housing when re-installed.
- Evaluate of cracking or brittleness means a more lasting replacement part is required before reattaching with the above methods.
Replacing the Nissan Sentra Taillight Covers
If your original tail light cover is too severely cracked or structurally compromised no matter what quick fixes you attempt, follow this guide to fully replace it:
Purchase the Correct Replacement Part
- Check your Nissan Sentra’s year, by including the make and model specifics and then order the corresponding OEM tail light cover.
Note: Aftermarket parts often don’t fit correctly.
Remove the Inner Components at First
- Taking out all inner bulbs, wiring and hardware allows greater access to the external cover for swapping out.
Check the Condition of Tail Light Housing
- Since the enclosure must securely cradle your new tail light cover, ensure no cracks or uneven areas in the plastic housing. If there are any, smooth over as needed.
Transfer Any Salvageable Parts
- Move existing non-damaged screws, retention clips or robust wiring components over to the replacement cover to secure the longevity.
Test for Correct Fit and Function
- Fully reinstall all the inner taillight components, then externally secure the new covers and evaluate if bulbs, wiring and braking functions correctly before driving.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nissan Sentra Tail Light Cover Fell Off
Q: How much does it roughly cost to replace a tail light cover?
A: Just the external plastic cover itself ranges from $50-$150 depending on the model year. Add another $50-$100 for professional installation of labor if you can’t DIY.