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How to clean your headlights

By: Louise Mosqueda0 comments

Headlights can mean life and death when driving at night. It helps you see the road and let’s oncoming drivers know where you are. That’s why it’s essential to ensure they are clean and work correctly.

Cleaning your headlights

Over time, the plastic covering on the lights of your vehicle will cloud over. If you notice that the shine isn’t as bright as before, then it’s time to clean them. Most headlight lenses feature a polycarbonate plastic material that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Although the plastic has a UV protective film, however over time, UV rays can oxidise this film leaving you with yellowish or clouded headlights. To get them looking new again, all you need is a little time and some tender loving care. Here’s how to restore your lights to its former glory:

Get the tools you need

Before you start, you will want to get a headlight restoration kit. These contain everything you will need to ensure your car’s headlights shine as they should. Alternatively, you can also buy each component individually. It’s a better step for those who might already have some of the materials.

Thoroughly wash the area

Now that you have your materials, the next step is to give your headlights a thorough wash. Use car soap and water to give it a good shine. Cleaning the edges is vital for the next step.

Tape the sides

After the headlights are thoroughly cleaned, use painters’ tape to frame the lenses. Tape it to the sides of the headlight. The next step is sanding the oxidised plastic. This step is critical to avoid scratches to your car’s paint.

Sand the lenses

Sanding your headlight lenses is the most critical step. For this, you will need three types of wet and dry sandpaper: 1000 grit, 2000 grit, and 3000 grit. As you sand, keep both the paper and lens moist. Take your time to sand the lens. Also, note that you will sand the area differently according to the type of sandpaper you will use.

  • 1000 grit – Start with the most abrasive sandpaper. Apply water to the headlight and wet the sandpaper. Use with straight, horizontal strokes in the same direction, making sure that the area and the paper remain wet.
  • 2000 grit – Using the next sandpaper, apply water and sand using diagonal strokes.
  • 3000 grit – For the last step, go in the opposite diagonal direction. Once again wet the area and don’t rush. You need to ensure you’re happy with the result before stopping. Clean the lenses and dry it off.

Wax and polish

Select your polishing compound of choice along with a microfibre towel. Pour some of the wax onto the cloth and rub it into the lens. Make circular motions as you do so, ensuring you get the entirety of the glass lens.

Apply a UV Sealant

The final step is applying a UV Sealant that comes standard with most headlight restoration kits. For this step, you will need a paper towel. Read the instructions for the sealant and follow it. But generally, you need to apply a generous amount onto the headlights. After that, park your car in a dry place and allow the solution to cure.

It won’t be long before your headlights look new again. However, if this method doesn’t work, you might want to redo the process with even more sanding. Other times, the headlight lens might just be too far gone and need replacement. So, take a few hours off your weekend and have bright shining headlights for the road. See everything in your way and let other drivers see you.

Now, if you need to replace your car, then you don’t have to look far. Consider a car leasing option in Australia for your next vehicle. It’s the perfect option for those who need a car straight away and is on a budget.

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