You take good care of your vehicle, so it makes sense that you pay attention to all of its parts, especially something as vital as headlights. It’s a good practice to clean them once or twice a year, particularly if you notice a dinginess or yellowness in the plastic lenses. This cloudiness will reduce the intensity of your headlights and lower your visibility on nighttime rides. Plus, dingy headlights detract from the overall look of your ride. You can begin the process by washing the headlight with warm, soapy water and then rinsing with clear water. Next, use a flannel cloth and apply some polishing compound designed for use on plastic. Work the cloth in a circular pattern until the lens becomes smooth and clear. You may have to repeat the polishing process several times.
If the damage is too severe or if the reflective coating of a lens is peeling, you should consider replacement of the lens as well as consider replacement headlight bulbs. You will want to get the exact part for your model and make of car. This is a great way to upgrade your vehicle’s lighting capacity and provide better illumination in all conditions with dim lighting.
Products Best Suited for Cleaning Headlights
As with any job, make sure to use the products that are designed for the task at hand. You should never clean clear plastic with a wax or chemical not designed for that purpose. Fortunately, when you buy car parts online you can find a number of products specifically formulated to get your headlights back in clear condition. Here are some top products to help with revitalizing your headlights:
- Rust-Oleum Wipe New Headlight Restore Kit
- Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer Kit
- Mothers NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit
- Meguiar’s Two-Step Headlight Restoration Kit
The kits offer a fast and inexpensive way to upgrade your lighting power. It’s an appearance issue, but a safety issue, too. Clouded lenses can reduce your headlights output by as much as 80 percent, meaning you will have less time to react to obstacles or animals in the road during nighttime driving.
Techniques for Cleaning Headlights
The right restoration kit gives you the tools you need to clean your headlights. A good kit uses multiple steps to get the best results. A buffing step with the help of a microfiber is often used to return the clarity to the headlight. Any work cleaning the headlights should produce results, but some kits will produce better results. This means you will need to clean your headlights less frequently. It may also be beneficial to place lens repair tape around the outside of the plastic lens to protect the paint finish from vigorous buffing.It’s also good to know how to replace headlight bulb. The most difficult part of this job is gaining access to the lights, and this will vary by vehicle. In some cases, this will involve removing a few screws, in other cases it involves going through the wheel well. From there it is a matter of removing the old bulb, identifying bulb placement and then installing the new bulb. You can find all of the parts needed online to restore the brilliance of your headlights.