Driving in low visibility can be dangerous. When we think of poor visibility conditions, we tend to think of fog or precipitation around us. Another cause of difficult driving conditions, though, can be your car itself. If your headlights have gotten foggy or have started to yellow, then you put yourself in danger when driving at night. Your car will also lose its shine and start to look run down and neglected.
To address the safety and appearance of your car’s headlights, you can clean them yourself. The amount of work and supplies needed will depend on the level of damage or wear to your headlights. But with these tips, you will take years off your car’s appearance, and potentially add years to your life. Read on to learn how to clean foggy headlights and how to deal with yellowing headlights restoration.
A Quick Wash
The first thing you want to do is give your headlights a quick cleaning. You can use glass cleaner, a small amount of your usual car wash, or even some dish soap. The dish soap is good for taking off any buildup on the headlight. Just keep it off your car’s paint.
Assess the Damage
Once you have washed them, you can examine your headlights to see what kind of damage or wear you are looking at. Look for foggy spots, yellowing, or scratches.
Tape the Area
Using painter’s tape, tape the car’s surface around the headlight to protect the paint nearby. You can use a razor to trim the edge of the tape at the headlight to make sure you can get to the entire surface of the light.
Sand (Yes, Sand)
As painful as it might sound to take sandpaper to any part of your car, use a few grades of wet sandpaper, starting with the roughest and working to the finest. Start with 2000 grade paper, then 1500, and finally something like 3 grade paper to finish it off. A useful tip is to wrap the sandpaper around a sponge before you start. This will help you maintain a light and even pressure so you don’t accidentally wear any deep spots into the surface of the headlight. Then wet the paper and sand.
The next step is to polish the headlight. Follow the instructions on the polish container, then wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth.
After polishing, assess the job to make sure you got the problem areas. You can then add a sealant or plastic adhesion to protect your headlight in the future. Just follow the instructions on the packaging. Once that is done and dry, you can remove the painter’s tape.
Let it Shine
Finally, take a step back and admire your handiwork. You should see it sparkle in the light. Once you have done that, get back to work and repeat these steps on the other headlight.
If you want to save a little time, you can get all the supplies you need in a headlight cleaning package. If you find your headlight still diminished after a good, thorough cleaning and polishing, it’s probably time to buy a new one (or two).
Now that you know how to clean headlights, you should still remember that car care is just as important on the inside as the outside. You can get great looking floor mats from AutoPreme that will enhance the look of your car and protect the interior, just like your newly shined headlights.