Headlight Restoration Tips

By October 29, 2018 April 16th, 2020 No Comments

Headlights are essential when you are driving at night and even driving during the day! It is one of the indicators for a car. If the headlights are foggy or hazy, then it can be more dangerous for you and other drivers out on the road. Getting completely new headlights can be pricey. However, restoration is affordable and can make the headlights look just as good as new. Here are some tips to consider if you want to restore your headlights for your car:

  • Inside the headlights: there can be small cracks on the polycarbonate lenses of the headlight. Although you might not get the moisture out, if you drain the water and seal the crack, generally you can get the condensation out of the inside. Fortunately, most of the “haze” on headlights is often on the outside and UV coating applied in the manufacturing process can be removed, polished and protected.
  • Do not use household glass cleaners: common household glass cleaners contain a chemical called ammonia. This chemical can cause the plastic to turn yellow. So, do not use any household glass cleaners when restoring your headlights.
  • Always test: after you try to hand polish the headlights, it is important to remember to check and make sure it actually worked. To not make it any worse, focus on a small area of the headlight and see if you can see a difference after you hand polished it.
  • Don’t Try toothpaste: toothpaste is a temporary fix to polishing a headlight to pass inspection but doesn’t last because it doesn’t fix the ultimate problem of oxidized UV coating on the Polycarbonate lens.
  • Headlight deoxidizer: in the past, glass was used in headlight manufacturing, but since plastic is cheaper, it has replaced glass. Pollutants, debris, and UV rays can cause the headlights to develop a hazy and discolored look. A headlight deoxidizer can remove all of that and make the headlights clearer. Another advantage from this is your car will also look better, which can increase the value of your car if you ever plan on selling it.
  • Restore headlights in a shady area: it is best to work on the headlights in a shaded area or in a garage. Before you start, make sure your car is cooled down and the headlights themselves are at room temperature.
  • Wash the headlights: before you start restoring them, clean them with soapy water, then rinse and dry with a clean towel.
  • Sand the headlights: once the headlights are cleaned, you should sand down the face of the headlights. The sandpaper should be soaked in water first to soften it. Once you start, always sand in straight lines, never circles. After the headlights have been sanded, they should be wiped down with a clean towel. Make sure not to reuse the towels because that may cause further damage to the headlight surface.
  • Buff: After you have finished sanding the headlights, you can use a rubbing compound and start to buff. As you do that, you should allow the headlights to haze. Then, use a buffing pad to make them clear again. While buffing, you should use a standard household drill and automotive masking tape to protect the areas of the car around the headlights. As you continue to buff, you will notice the headlights become restored to a shiny finish and are very clear.
  • Polish and wax: you can try different techniques to give the headlights that shiny finish by using polish and wax. Rub polish for a few minutes on the headlights in circular motions. Once you have made them clear with the polish, you can apply wax. Wax the lens like you would a car. Doing this will thoroughly lean and protect the lens.

Restoring headlights, yourself, isn’t simple and easy. It can also protect you as a driver and other drivers on the road. It is essential to make sure your headlights are always on when they need to be, working properly, and are clear. As you decide to restore your headlights, but want a car wash first, go to Bee Clean Car Wash in San Antonio. Visit our locations to learn more about our wash packages and how we can help you.