Why Are My Headlights Foggy?

June 27, 2019

Have you noticed your vehicle’s headlights have grown foggier over time, even though you’ve kept up with car washes and other general maintenance? Are you having difficulty seeing the road in front of you at night or are worried about your visibility to other drivers? Foggy or yellowed headlights are a fact of life for many drivers, but they don’t have to be for you and your vehicle. Read on to learn what you need to know about headlights and the headlight restoration process from our experienced auto technicians.

What Are Headlights Made Of?

Headlights were originally made with glass, but this fragile material made them prone to cracking and shattering. Over the years, auto manufacturers have moved to making headlights from polycarbonate — a hard type of plastic that’s been specifically tempered to resist shattering. While this type of plastic is strong, it is notoriously porous and can collect dirty and grime easily, so a UV film was added to protect the lens and extend its life. This coating works well for a few years but begins to degrade over time. From the direct heat of the bulb, to constant exposure to UV rays and the harsh chemicals and debris a vehicle encounters on the road, your headlights are constantly being worn down, discolored and scratched which creates the foggy or yellowed look.

Why Are Foggy Headlights an Issue?

Cloudy lenses are not just a cosmetic concern; it can also be one of safety. Foggy headlights can greatly reduce the overall light output and road coverage of the bulbs. They can also reduce your visibility to other vehicles on the road, not to mention pedestrians. The less you can see at night, in fog or in harsh weather means more accidents, as foggy headlights can reduce the light output by as much as 50 percent.

Headlight Restoration is the Answer

If you’re ready to get your headlights back to their fresh-from-the-dealership sheen, there are a few options to consider, but none are as effective as headlight restoration performed by an experienced professional. DIY kits are available, but most are just a film of wax over the old coating that’s only likely to last a short time. There’s no quick fix that will be as effective as a quality headlight restoration job. It can even save you money as a new set of headlights can be upwards of $500.

The headlight restoration process includes sanding the surface of the lenses to remove any discoloring, polishing to remove any scratches that which diffuse the light from the bulbs, re-sealing the lenses to protect from future damage and fixing the water-tight seal of the headlights so that water can’t condensate inside. This procedure is relatively easy and can be performed quickly — all you need is the right tools and experience.

Don’t suffer with headlights that are foggy or yellowed. Not only are they an eyesore that which can reduce your vehicle’s resale value, they are a serious safety concern that can cause accidents. at some of the most inconvenient times. If you’re ready to start the restoration process, contact a certified auto repair shop near you and feel confident again in your headlights!

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