There are many aspects of your car essential for your safety: brakes, tire quality, and engine health are chief among them. However, one piece that is just as crucial but often forgotten is your headlights. They do a lot of heavy lifting to get you from point A to point B safely, especially at night or in the middle of a rainstorm.
Unfortunately, headlights gradually degrade in quality. This deterioration affects both your visibility while driving and can make your car less prominent to other drivers. A recent AAA study revealed that hazy headlights offer “only 20 percent of the amount of light that new headlights do.”
When you’re trying to prioritize the well-being of you and your passengers, it’s clear that dull headlamps need to be addressed ASAP to avoid dangerous driving conditions.
If you’ve owned your car for a few years, or are just noticing that your headlights aren’t as bright as they used to be, now is the time to consider restoring them to their former glory.
How do headlights become foggy?
To understand why your headlights become foggy, clouded, or yellowed over time, you need to know what they’re made of first. The headlamps themselves, like most light bulbs, are brittle on their own. That’s why auto manufacturers protect them with a long-lasting plastic called polycarbonate, which can withstand all sorts of weather and road conditions.
However, polycarbonate plastic isn’t immune to everyone. On its own, it is prone to breaking down from UV damage. As a result, the headlight lenses are protected by a tiny layer of coating that prevents oxidation. That’s the root cause of headlights becoming foggy: the UV protection wears off and exposes the polycarbonate to all sorts of damage.
Why is headlight restoration so important?
As we mentioned above, clear headlights are crucial for ensuring your visibility and how visible you are to other drivers. Any time you drive with hazy headlights, either late at night, during a downpour, or in the middle of a snowstorm, you’re taking on significant risk. You need to be able to see clearly to navigate safely, and other drivers need to see you in their rear-view or side mirrors.
Not only does the headlight restoration process remove the added risk from each driving situation, but it helps to ensure your headlights are as bright as they were when you drove your vehicle off the dealership lot.
How do you fix cloudy headlights?
Like most things vehicle-related, there are multiple methods to try and address cloudy or yellowed headlights. The results often vary depending on which you choose, so it’s essential to understand each and be aware of any limitations.
First, there are a handful of DIY techniques that have been passed along for decades. Some people rely on Windex and paper towels; others may swear by scrubbing toothpaste with baking soda. Both make sense, as the former is a standard cleaning agent and the latter is an abrasive material with a good track record for cleaning stains. Neither is terrible for your car, but not everyone wants to aggressively scrub toothpaste on their car’s headlights in their free time.
Next, you have DIY restoration kits, which generally come as a package with multiple components to address your fogged headlamps. These restoration kits cost around $20-40 each, depending on the brand you choose. Usually, you can expect several types of sandpaper (1000, 2000, and 3000 grit), polishing compound, and a UV sealant.
You start by wetting the 1000 grit sandpaper and headlight, then get to scrubbing away. The process is repeated with the less abrasive sandpapers until your headlamp looks clear. From there, you apply a polishing compound and clean the lens before applying the UV sealant that keeps the headlights clear for four to six months
Lastly, there are professional services that can do the heavy lifting for you. Certain professionals may rely on a slightly different process to bring the clarity out of your headlamps. They will often manage the somewhat tedious process in a clean environment to ensure a convenient experience for customers.
Many drivers don’t have the time or energy to commit to scrubbing their headlights, especially when perfect results are never guaranteed. By turning to a professional detailer, you can expect a quality result or your money back.
How long does headlight restoration last?
How often you choose to restore the headlights of your car is ultimately up to you. Some people will always choose to wait until cloudy oxidation is intense enough to justify a restoration service.
If you’re looking for an opinion from the experts, then our Spiffy Technicians have your back. We recommend a Headlight Restoration upgrade for our customers once every six months. That level of service frequency helps prevent a return of that pesky cloudy and yellow look from UV exposure while also attending to any damage that can come from sun exposure, dirt, and other road debris.
What do I get with a Headlight Restoration upgrade from Spiffy?
Our Headlight Restoration upgrade process attacks the cloudy or yellow look, which in turn gives a high-gloss shine and makes them nearly as good as new.
Each of our expertly trained technicians starts by using a random orbital buffer with high-quality compounds and carnauba wax on the exterior of the headlights for consistently bright and shiny results. We extend our attention to detail beyond just your headlights by ensuring that the surrounding trim and paint are protected during the restoration process.
The result is easy and, most importantly, safe for you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road around you.
Are you interested in making your headlights shine brighter so you can finally see clearer? Be sure to select our Headlight Restoration upgrade when booking your next service with us; we’ll make your headlights truly sparkle!
Get $20 off your first Spiffy service and see the difference from our Headlight Restoration service today!