Headlight Restoration Tips - Dealing with Discoloration

What’s your headlight lenses made of? Is it glass or plastic? Well if your car is a classic then your headlight must be made of glass but if it’s the latest racing car then your headlight must be made of plastic. Why is that so? Due to the demand that cars should be lighter and more aerodynamic, plastic material is the choice because it is very light and can be transformed into unlimited sizes and shapes, making it also cheaper than glass.

But have you inspected your headlights lately? Can you see the discoloration in your headlights? How did it happen?

  • The plastic or polycarbonate lenses are porous material that expands so slightly when it gets hot. Since you are using your headlights, degradation of the lenses occurs ultimately.

  • The heat it emits every time it is on and the heat of the day causes the pores to open allowing dirt and debris from the road to get in. When the dirt mix and react with other environmental factors like UV rays, acid rain, car exhaust and other chemicals used for maintaining your car, the plastic headlight lenses become oxidized, which then leads to lens discoloration.

  • Lens discoloration transforms the clear, bright and shiny plastic to a dull yellow color that appears to be foggy or cloudy.

Having a discolored, foggy and cloudy headlight is not safe especially during the night or on a foggy winter day because less light will be able to pass through thus, reducing the visibility while driving. You need to be safe, so what will you do? Will you do an expensive replacement? Or will you deal with the discolored lenses?

To help you save the money it will cost to replace your headlights, proper maintenance of your headlights should be observed.

Check these tips to help restore and maintain headlights:

  1. Restore headlight lenses.

  • Drip the headlight lens with soapy water ensuring enough soap in it.

  • With a sandpaper sand the headlight and apply slight pressure. Ensure to keep the soapy water while sanding.

  • Rinse and allow the headlights to dry.

  1. Park your car in the shade or garage so that it would not be overly exposed to the heat of the sun; thus, there will be less oxidation.

  1. Maintain the lens by washing, waxing and polishing every three months, this could avoid any damages to the headlight lens.

  1. Take off the top layer of oxidized plastic by cleaning using a polish containing UV polymers or UV coating that could slow down the discoloration of the lens.

  1. Safety first. Like what the saying goes if you’re drunk, don’t drive, maybe this will also hold true when you have a discolored headlight then don’t drive at night.



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