Headlight restoration is not as easy as it sounds but we are here to make it that way! If your car has recently gone through an accident, then it is a job for professionals to look at. Apart from the basics, if you are looking to give your vehicle an amp-up, this is the guide you need!
Get yourself a cup of coffee, and get on the job, because it is not as easy as calming. There are many products and kits available in the market, which can make it as easy as possible. All the determination that you need is only for the handwork itself. Even if you are not that dedicated, there are still a few tools needed. The job requires a lot of patience, but if you want to get it done in few hours, follow up!
Here are some of the tools you need:
- Soap and water
- Wax and polish
- UV sealant
- Microfiber towel
These are some of the basic tools you need to restore an existing headlight. All these tools are available from the comfort of your home. This is why these things come in handy, and work with good proximity.
These powerful beams of your car are the most important things to keep you running at the best speed. These leadlight lenses are mostly made up of polycarbonate plastic which is strong enough to bear harsh road conditions.
Like every other accessory, these lights can start diming and losing their shine. If you think the light is fading away, consider Google immediately. A simple search like headlight restoration near me will do most of the work to get the best available results. If you think that your headlight bulb has deteriorated and needs a professional fix, ask immediately. It can also be dangerous for driving at night.
A broken and cracked light looks unfinished and gives off a particular dirty vibe because they become foggy. The heat from the light itself will make the inside start clouding. The UV layer over the light starts to oxidize which destroys the plastic film. Here is our guide to restoring the headlights:
Start by making sure you have all the supplies ready, including all the necessary items we mentioned above. Most of the kits work the same way and come with similar products including polishing compounds, wax, and UV sealants.
CLEAN THEM PROPERLY:
The first step is to get your cars to be squeaky clean. The best thing you can do is wash them with a solution of car soap and water. Make sure you wash the surrounding areas as well, this will allow the tape to sit right.
TAPE THE SIDES:
After getting done with the cleaning, mark your canvas. All you need is some painter’s tape or quality plastic tape that wouldn’t damage the surface. You also need to be very precise with this step to completely block off the rest.
You will understand the importance of this step in case your hand slips off a bit, this way you won’t accidentally mark off the paint. It is not a time taking process and saves you from wastage of extra dollars.
Now the most tiring process will begin where we start sanding. This is where we determine the depth of grit. Sandpaper comes in various grits also known as grades given as 1000, 2000, and 3000. The lower the number, the higher abrasion.
Now all you have to do is wet the sandpaper and use it on the surface in one single direction. Most mechanics recommend going only horizontal, which is because the lights are aligned that way.
Make sure you keep the sandpaper wet as you work your way, otherwise you can badly scratch the surface. The purpose is to lightly remove the buildup and sand down the gunk. You may have to sand for approximately 7-10 minutes for a good finish.
You may have to go over with higher grits at the end to assure that the lens is clean and shiny. You will start seeing the difference after a visible difference of 5 minutes on the sanding. A spray bottle can do wonders because you won’t have to constantly dip the sandpaper.
APPLY WAX AND POLISH:
After the most time taking steps, go ahead and start greasing. Wipe off the sandpaper residue with a microfiber cloth to prepare your surface for polish.
Many polishes come equipped with wax kits, and you can also use any other brand. Squeeze some of the polishing compounds onto a clean towel and start rubbing in.
We recommend that you go with circular motions, a buffer would do wonders but don’t buy it particularly. Once the lens is clear, now is the time to dig in the wax. Apply it in the same manner as you would on a car, and go with circular motions all around.
USE UV SEALANTS:
Your old oxidized sealant is now wiped off, all you need is a protective coat. A UV sealant will protect your headlights for a good amount of time, where your hard work will show visibly.
This protective layer will keep the lenses from hazing over or getting cloudy over time. All your hard work will go down the drain if you skip this step because the oxidation will happen again. A variety of sealants are available in the market, you can also ask your car enthusiast friends for advice.
TEST THE PROGRESS:
If you do not have a lot of experience, you might not see a clean surface after applying the wax. As a first-timer, you could’ve also scratched a few cracks here and there but it is okay.
The best part is that you can ultimately start sanding again for a cleaner surface. You might need a headlight replacement or light check if the problem is not detectable. If your lens has already gone too far while sanding, it is better to get it checked with a professional!