Headlight restoration is very important as headlights are like the eyes of the car. If they’re fogged and hazy, it can be dangerous for you to drive your vehicle. New headlight lenses are very expensive. Since restoration is affordable, you can have the headlight lens looking as good as new with the help of a headlight lens cleaner. Below are tips for successful headlight restoration.
1. Damage Inside of the Headlight Lens
If the damage is on the inside, you will see condensation from moisture. If this is the case, the moisture needs to be drained.
Household glass cleaners contain ammonia that causes the plastic to turn yellow, and these should never be used in headlight restoration.
It’s best to test whether hand polishing will improve the clarity of your headlights. You can use toothpaste meant to clear tartar, on a small portion of the headlight, and if that part becomes clearer, you can restore the whole headlight. If the headlight doesn’t clear on polishing by hand, then sanding is required to restore the headlights.
In the past, glass was used in headlight manufacturing, but since plastic is cheaper, it has replaced glass. Pollutants, debris and UV rays cause oxidization of headlights, giving them a hazy and discolored appearance. A headlight deoxidizer can remove all the oxidation on the headlights and help increase your night vision. Another advantage is that your car will also look good, and this can increase the value of your vehicle.
It’s best to restore the headlights in a shaded area or in a garage. Your car should have cooled down if it has been driven, and the headlights themselves should be at room temperature.
The headlights should be clean before you start restoring them. Wash the headlights with soapy water, rinse and dry with a clean towel.
Once the headlights are clean, you should sand down the face of the headlights taking care to not damage the paint of the car. The sandpaper used should be soaked in water to soften it. You should never sand in circles but always in straight lines. After the headlights have been sanded, they should be wiped with another clean towel. Make sure you don’t reuse the towels, as this may cause damage to the headlight surface.
After sanding the headlights, you should apply 3M rubbing compound onto them and allow the headlights to haze. Then, make use of the buffing pad until the headlights become clear. While buffing, you need to use a standard household drill and automotive masking tape to protect the areas around the headlights. As you continue the buffing process, you will find that the headlights are restored to a shiny finish that’s transparent and as good as new.
Headlight restoration is relatively easy and needs only an hour of your time. It can save you a large amount of money that would have been spent on replacement.