Wanting to Mod

As the owner of my brand new used Mazda Protege, I was eager to tinker with it. At this time, I was in my late teens and really had very little knowledge about cars. For some odd reason, I thought it would be a good idea to “tint” my headlights and rear reflectors and to do it myself.

I remember my dad telling me that it was a bad idea because all it was doing was making my lights and reflectors harder to see. Basically it wasn’t safe. Being the young stubborn teen I was, I still did it anyway because I thought it looked cool; plus, I simply wanted to do something—anything to my car.

“Tinting” my Tail Lights

I use quotes because I did it the tint-in-a-can method of spraying on tint. I really have no interest in tinting tail lights, reflectors, or sort of lenses now. However, when people decide to do this to their cars, there is a good way and a bad way of doing so. The latter is the way I did it.

I bought a can of spray tint from the local hardware store, sprayed my headlights and reflectors in the rear, and called it good. I didn’t even put clear coat on it. From what I remember, I believe I floored it out of a dirt area one time and a lot of the tint scratched off from all the dirt and rocks getting kicked up. It didn’t look very good either.

The good way of tinting your lenses would be to get a film custom cut and applied to the tail lights in order to get that smooth smoke look. Perhaps it is possible to get a decent looking tint with spray, but in my experience it just doesn’t come out as good as an applied film.


Hi there! I'm Scott and I run The Track Ahead. My goal is to provide helpful articles and tutorials based on my experience and research related to car maintenance and automotive detailing. When I'm not writing and not working my day job, you can find me spending time with my family and working on home and car projects.

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