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How to Protect Headlights from Yellowing (What is Your First Step)

The overall outlook of your headlights is important. How are they? If they appear yellow or cloudy, then you are one among the many drivers who are experiencing such cases. If your car lacks yearly headlight lenses care, chances are that they will finally get damaged and become opaque and this of course will make them less safe while driving at night since there will be poor visibility.

Headlights become yellow and opaque

Headlights become yellow and opaque

However, no need to fret- the solution is just within your reach! It is possible to correct the problem within a minimum of 20 minutes or less.

This article will give a preview on the main causes of yellowing of the headlights, a systematic cleaning procedure as well as some restoration processes for the same.

The Headlights become yellow and opaque

Here are some of the causes for the yellow headlights:

  • Since the headlights are made from poly carbon plastic, they turn porous with time and hence need to be sealed.
  • The accumulating debris on the rod in form of a small stone, rocks, and the debris are usually more of a sandblaster on your headlights. The debris then gets rid of the sealer of your headlights and end up creating some cracks which later collect all the dirt around.
  • The UV rays of the sun, in combination with acid rain as well as the combination of the chemicals from the air. This is why the headlights will eventually appear cloudy, foggy. It is exactly at this point that the restoration process needs to be done. This is ideal since by this time much oxidation will not have taken place.

This is a common problem and should be fixed once it has been noticed. Normally, the main problem is not usually a result of neglect- the UV rays in combination with the acid rain is.

These usually combine with the salt along with the accumulating road debris and everything can become harder if your car has the standard halogen kind of headlights. These beam units normally operate at very high temperatures and the chances are yellowing will finally happen.

What is your first step when you realize your headlights are yellowing?

Well, a short restoration process will do the trick. The headlight restoration process is the only ideal method of removing the damage from the surface of the headlights and bringing the lenses back to their clarity level.

Irrespective of how severe the yellowing has taken place; this process only takes close to 30 minutes.

Ideally, fixing is the only easy process that can be done. During such a process, since the headlights are usually a sealed unit, it means you cannot just replace the external cover. Moreover, this can be a very expensive process if you have an expensive car. The restoration process is much easier and it will also cost you less compared to the replacement method.

The yellow damage can be restored for as long as the right precautions have been followed. When the yellow has not taken the entire part of the plastic, the restoration process will be more than easy.

Here are some of the processes that you need to undertake in the restoration process:

Low Abrasive polish

It all depends on the nature of the damage. When the damage is not severe as such, you can simply use simple plastic polish. Trying out this method is less expensive and you need to use the polish more regularly in order to maintain the kind of lighting that you need.

Low Abrasive polish

Low Abrasive polish

When using this method, it is important to avoid the use of some glass cleaning products that have ammonia as they can react with the plastic and therefore cause yellowing.

In some cases, the polish will not work and in such times. The best you can use is a sand paper that is fine with at least 2000 grit.

You can as well do the re-polishing in order to end up having a clear finish; the sanding process is much quicker and easier.

The sand paper and the polishing method requires the following materials:

  • The polishing towels
  • Soapy water
  • A pair of Latex gloves
  • Plastic polish
  • Wet/dry sand paper
  • Sander For Car
  • Sanding block
  • 2.5″ Velcro backing plate
  • 3″ foam or wool polishing pad

When restoring the plastic headlight lenses, here are the steps that should be followed:

  • Clean the headlight lenses with the soapy water thoroughly as well as the surroundings and ensure the whole place is dry.
  • Use the painter’s masking tape to cover the whole area around the headlights. This is normally important as it protects your car’s paint finish.
  • Each of the headlights needs to be wet sand. Once you have known the damage that is caused on each lens, you can determine the method to use. For instance, if the damage involves a scratch, then you need to begin with the 600 grit sand paper. After you have sand thoroughly, you can then proceed to the 1200 and then finally advance to the 2000 grit. In the first step of sanding, you will need to get rid of the cloudy layers of plastic around the area. The smoother grades of the sandpaper are used to remove any small scratches that have been left on the sandpaper.
  • During the sanding process, the milky appearance normally shows that the area of odd damage is actually being removed. In this case, you are required to use a lot of water. The sanding process should be continuously done till the whole surface is smooth. When the damage is being removed, the dripping usually become clearer.
  • With the 3” polish pad, you will re-glaze the headlight lenses, by simply connecting the Velcro backing to the drill.
  • Apply the polish dabs to the pad and polish the lens as well, the polishing should be stopped when the lens appears much clear. When this has been seen, use the final hand polish with some little polish on a piece of towel.
  • Do the waxing in order to protect, and reseal the area away from the elements.
  • Using good plastic polish, the procedure should be repeated on a monthly basis. When the polishing is done on regular basis, the lenses of your car will not need the restoration process again as this method is perfect!

The cleaning process is quick and easy. You can consider professional help just in case you have no confidence in the DIY in this kind of task.

The idea of yellow headlights is not just about improving the looks of the car. It is also a way of keeping yourself safe on the road. When there are visibility, issues, and chances are that accidents can be caused sooner than you expect.

Such cases are more common for those in rural areas. The headlights are therefore important as they help you to see whenever you are driving. They are much more important at night as they will guide you safely on the way home.

Apart from the cleaning method, there are two more effective and durable methods that can be applied to deal with this problem:

Buffing and sanding

Buffing and sanding

Buffing and sanding

There are some effective brands that are normally purchased with the buffing pad which are usually attached to the drill. This method normally gets rid of any yellow debris along with the plastic lens.

However, this step alone is not effective and this is why it is recommended that buffing should be done along with some rubbing compound in a way that will permanently get rid of the defective coating that can arise with time.

Sealing with chemicals

This is one of the most effective methods. However, the quality of the sealer used is also important. Depending on the kind of headlights you have, it is wise to invest in the sealers that would work much effectively. There are some clear sealers that are usually yellow and therefore take some time to invest in the right type.

Using an automotive-grade clear coat

This is the ultimate way of removing the yellow headlights, the refinishing process is ideal and will also need the chemically-hardened clear coat.

Normally, you have to ensure there is some ideal adhesion since it helps the chemicals to mix well. Once this has been done, there are a few coats that are applied to the original clear coat. The resultant appearance is much durable.

Normally, the process takes 2-3 hours. The refinishing process is cheaper than the cost of replacement. Refinishing is far much better than buffing.

This article has therefore provided some of the main causes of the yellowing of the headlights, some thorough steps when it comes to the cleaning as well as some of the ways through which the restoration of the some can be done.

It is important to consider all the factors that could contribute to the yellowing of the headlights as this is the best way to reduce the losses that you would otherwise have encountered.

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