One of the most common complaints auto body shops get involves hazy, foggy and yellow headlights. Why does this happen and how can it be prevented?
The brutal truth is that yellow, foggy and dirty headlights simply happen, and you can thank time and the environment for it. Headlights constantly encounter dirt, pollution and more.
Today’s headlights are made of plastic, not glass like the classics, and these are great for protecting porous surfaces, but not so great when it comes to preventing yellow haze.
The clear coating on modern headlights is going to fade eventually. Summertime is especially damaging, thanks to UV rays and the constant heat. Clear coats on headlights also can be damaged from a variety of cleaning products, which can cause oxidation and in some cases an instantaneous clouding.
Foggy headlights can prevent your lights from doing their best job, and they’re also unattractive. Luckily, your local body shop can make them look like new.
Avoid Danger Ahead
Most headlights become foggy over time, and drivers don’t notice that their visibility has decreased. A weakened headlight beam doesn’t light up as much of the road ahead of you, and it also diminishes how well others can see you. As days get shorter in the winter, or when storms roll in, a dimmer headlight beam can contribute to accidents on the road.
If you think your headlights could use a cleaning, it’s best to let the pros tackle this task during the summer when the weather is fair and the days are long.
You also can help prevent headlight woes by carefully polishing them, but avoiding harsh cleansing agents. You don’t want to wear down clear coats faster than necessary.
Choose a polish with no grit, and park your car in a garage or in the shade to avoid direct sun exposure. Only use automotive soap to wash headlights, and limit yourself to once a quarter. However, if your headlights are already yellow, a professional needs to remove the old clear coat with sandpaper and apply a new layer.
An Expert’s Touch
With so many DIY headlight kits available in stores and through home shopping networks, a novice’s mistake can lead to even more (costly) work. Asking a professional to clean or re-coat your headlights is usually affordable, and should come with a guarantee.
These pros can also recommend the best cleaning agents and schedule for your specific headlights and clear coat, so you can rest easy knowing you’re using the best products for your vehicle.
True, a hazy headlight might not be as pressing a matter as worn-out brake pads, but anything that limits visibility should be addressed. Talk to your Dent Master auto body shop professional today about headlight cleaning and clear coating.