Well-maintained headlights provide drivers the ability to see at night, in fog, or during rough weather and are vital to driver safety. The condition of your vehicle’s headlights is also an obvious indication of age. Headlights are normally made with a polycarbonate plastic because it is a durable, scratch-resistant material. Over time, UV rays degrade that outer layer of plastic, meaning that as a vehicle ages, it’s headlights yellow and dim. This is not ideal for driver safety and aesthetics.
Your vehicle’s headlights can shine like new and you can get back great nighttime visibility with a few easy steps:
- Wash Your Vehicle – Remove any surface dirt. It is also a good time to consider waxing your vehicle except your headlamps to protect the rest of the vehicle from abrasive polishing compounds
- Mask Off Your Headlamps – Use painter’s tape to protect the area surrounding the headlamps that need to be polished and cover any chrome features of the vehicle to protect them from the process.
- Thoroughly Sand Headlights – Use abrasive sandpaper to scuff away the outer layer of haze. When complete, your entire headlight should be clear of any yellowing and have a rough, dull surface. Next, soak a piece of 1000-grit wet/dry sandpaper in cold water for around ten minutes. Sand the lenses in light strokes. Carefully cover the entire lense surface, be sure to sand back and forth in one direction, and keep the surface wet while you work. Be mindful not to damage nearby paint or trim. Sand until pits, discolorations, and scratches are eliminated. When done, clean and dry the area. Repeat this process with 1500-grit wet/dry sandpaper, sanding at right angles to your previous work. Keep paper wet, then clean to remove any abrasive dust or powder. Repeat with 2000-, 2500-, and 3000- grit wet/dry sandpaper, each time at right angles to your last sanding. Reapply or touch up your painter’s tape as needed during the process when tape becomes tattered. Clean up once more once you have completed your sanding.
- Apply a Polishing Compound – Smear the polishing compound onto the lense and polish in circular motions using a flannel or microfiber cloth. As the polish becomes ground into the cloth and dries out, it lifts the haziness off of the lenses. Most of the compound will eventually end up in the cloth, but it takes about ten minutes per lense to apply. If you have an orbital polisher, you can use this with a lambswool or terry-cloth pad. Be careful not to polish the paint from surrounding surfaces.
- Apply a UV Sealant – Sanding removes any protective layer that was originally applied to the headlights. Without this, the headlights will haze over again within a few weeks.
The service professionals at Legend Auto Sales are ready to help you with your service maintenance. If you are looking for professional assistance for your headlight refresh, you can visit us at 14650 1st Ave S, Burien, WA 98168 or call us at (206) 241-1888 to schedule your appointment today. Our service hours are Monday-Saturday 9 AM-8 PM and Sundays 10 AM-7 PM. You can also schedule your service appointment online today. We are proud to serve our Kent, Renton, Seattle, and Burien area customers.