There are numerous reasons why keeping your headlights clean is important. The main one, of course, is quite obvious. Visibility on the road starts with your headlights, and it’s one of the major ways you prevent accidents while driving. With clean lights, you have a better view of your surroundings, and you make yourself easily seen by other drivers.
One of the first things that will draw your attention when looking at a car is the lights. Unfortunately, foggy or cloudy headlights are never a pretty sight, so if you’re starting to see them starting to fade, it’s time to do something about it.
While this is something best left to an expert in Encinitas that specializes in auto detailing, restoring your headlights is a process that may not be as hard as you think. In this article, we shed light (no pun intended) on the causes of cloudy headlights and how to get them back into their original state.
What causes car headlights to get cloudy?
Cars of old were made of glass lenses. Nowadays, plastic lenses offer greater durability as they’re more scratch-resistant. However, due to exposure to UV rays from the sun, the outer layering of the lenses starts to deteriorate. There are other elements at play as well, such as road debris and acidic rain or the service life of the lenses. Luckily, there’s a way to get your cloudy headlights back in tip-top condition.
How are cloudy headlights restored?
If you are beginning to see haziness or a yellowish appearance of the headlights, this is a clear sign that oxidation has taken hold. Not to worry, as the restoration process of headlights is relatively straightforward. Follow these steps:
Preparation of equipment
Start off by checking you have all the supplies. These include a polishing cloth, masking tape, protection gloves, and wet and dry sandpaper. Typically, a headlight restoration kit will have all the essentials you will need to begin the process.
Clean the headlights
Thoroughly wash the headlight lenses with soap and water. Clear the debris and dust particles from the area bordering the headlights and gently wipe away any leftover dirt in order to prepare for the next step.
Tape off the edges
Before you can start the sanding phase of the restoration, make sure you close off the surrounding area to protect it. You don’t want to end up damaging the paint around the headlights. Apply a few strips of painter’s tape to protect other parts on the front of your car.
The process of sanding
Sanding is the most important step of the process. Start with using the most abrasive sandpaper at your disposal. If you’ve got a 2000 or 1000 grit at your disposal, go with the lower number, as this indicates it is more abrasive. Wet the sandpaper as well as the headlight, then sand the lenses in horizontal strokes. Making sure the surface is constantly wet is critical to minimize the risk of scratching or damaging your lens.
Wipe off or wash the headlights to remove any particles left from the sanding. Then, rub in the polish in circular motions onto the lense. You’ll soon start to see the headlights restore themselves to their previous glory.
Use UV sealant
Finally, apply a protective layer that keeps your headlights from becoming cloudy again. Use a UV sealant for this purpose. Don’t forget, if you skip this last step, everything you’ve worked for will be all in vain.
Book Encinitas’ go-to auto detailing service today!
If you need to make the fogginess of your headlights disappear, contact La Jolla Mobile Car Detailing to restore them for you. We provide expert mobile car detailing to all the residents of Encinitas and the surrounding communities.
No matter where you’re located, be it near San Dieguito Heritage Museum or another area, it’s all the same to us. We’ll dispatch a seasoned specialist to your location to handle whatever type of car detailing your ride needs. Get in touch with us today to book your appointment!
Infographic by Say Insurance