Why Can’t I Get My Headlights Clean?

headlights before and after

Hello, Images friends and family!  For today’s moment of learning, I’d like to talk about something that I, myself, have run into on my personal vehicles.  Hazy headlights.

Like a dull diamond in an otherwise blingin’ ring, hazy headlights can keep your car from looking its best and most beautiful.  And, trust me…no amount of scrubbing with a sponge is going to make it look any better.  Not to mention the fact that, if attempted, you’ll wind up red-faced in the late summer heat, realizing 30 minutes of your life has disappeared with nothing to show for it other than chipped nail polish and a pinky fingernail that went MIA somewhere around the 22-minute mark.   Not that I would know…I’ve just heard…

“So what can we do?”  Glad you asked.  Here is a basic summary of what causes the haze, and what we can do to help.

What Causes ‘The Haze’:

  1. Headlights are generally made of plastic (polycarbonate, to be exact). Once the factory film wears off or deteriorates, the naturally porous plastic becomes oxidized…hence the hazy appearance.

Why Do We Care?:

  1. Consumer Reports tells us that foggy headlights can be a HUGE safety issue. Depending on the severity, this haze can make your headlights up to 80% LESS effective.
  2. And yes…it is a tad bit unattractive.

headlights at night

What Can We do?:

As usual, we have several options.

  1. You can replace the headlight assembly. Yes…the entire assembly.  Replacement headlight covers are generally non-existent, so you’d have to buy the whole kit and kaboodle.  It’s pricey…but it is an option.
  2. Buy a DIY “defogging” kit. These vary in how well they work, how much elbow grease you need to invest, power tools involved, cost, etc.  They also require an investment of time.  Consumer Reports discusses this option here:  http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/headlight-restoration-kits/buying-guide.htm
  3. Let us do the work for you. With our lens refinishing tools, we can remove the oxidized layer of the headlight lens, improving light output dramatically.  And the best part is…no elbow grease needed (at least…not yours, anyway, and that’s all that matters)!

headlight buffing

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