When out on the roads, it’s essential that other drivers see your vehicle, so if cloudy or yellowed headlights have others checking twice, you need a fix. Although the lights have a special coating that resists UV rays, the plastic can still oxidize and become dull from repeated exposure to road salt, pollution, and chemicals. Here’s a simple way to give your headlights a little sprucing up.
What You’ll Need
You can buy headlight cleaning kits online, but most tools can be found at an auto parts store, including:
- Painter’s tape
- Soap and water
- Plastic polish
- Clean cloth
- Protective gloves
- Prep – First, prep the area by cleaning it with soapy water. When it’s completely dry, apply tape around the headlights (this will protect the paint).
- Sand – Next, soak the sandpaper in water for several seconds and then work it horizontally over the light cover. It helps to start with 1,500 grit and work your way up to 2,500 grit if necessary (the grit you use will vary depending on the level of buildup on the plastic). After you’ve sanded in one direction, rinse the area and sand in the other one (vertically). This process should help buff away any light scratches, as well.
- Polish – When you’ve finished sanding, wash the entire area again with soapy water and dry completely. At this point, you’ll want to use protective gloves before applying the plastic polishing compound to the lights. For best results, use firm pressure in a circular motion across the entire plane. Once the polish dries, use an unused part of cloth to buff away any remaining residue. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary to get a smooth, shiny finish.
Tips to Maintain Headlights
To keep grit from tarnishing your headlights, clean them regularly with soapy water; a mild detergent and soft-bristled brush work wonders. Also, never clean headlights with chemicals not made for plastic, as they can damage this area.
When necessary, replace headlight bulbs to keep the area looking fresh and new. Note: Not all bulbs are created equal. For example, many drivers report that high-performance halogen lights help them see clearer on night roads, and winter bulbs are specially-formulated for driving in ice and snow. SilverStar headlights are also recommended by industry experts.
Don’t wait to call the experts at Heath’s Auto Service in Flagstaff at 928-214-8150 and schedule an appointment today!