How to Repair Cloudy Headlights on Your Car

November 5th, 2014 by

You may not think about the cleanliness of your headlights much. After all, they just need to put out enough light; they don’t have to look pretty. But over time, UV rays, oxidation, salt and other elements can cause the headlights to become yellowed or cloudy, which can impair their performance. You will find it a lot harder to see when you are driving at night because your lights will be much dimmer.

When you shop for a car from McCluskey Chevrolet, one of the best Chevrolet dealers in Cincinnati, Ohio, you will get a vehicle that has been thoroughly cleaned and is in top condition. However, because you are buying an older car, you will need to pay close attention to your headlights over time. Older plastic can quickly become clouded thanks to the interplay between it and the sun, heat and humidity.

Here are a few things you can do to clean or repair your headlights if they become foggy:

Use a Special Solution

Many specialty cleaners are available for clearing the glass or plastic on your headlights. Look for cleansers that say they can deoxidize the glass or plastic since oxidation is a common cause for the cloudy surface.

You may be able to clean the headlights from the outside, which will save you a lot of work. If you need to clean the inside, you will have to remove the lens (the outer covering). Refer to your auto manual for instructions.

Sand the Headlights

Tougher stains and oxidation may require more work to remove. Tape off the edges of your headlights with masking tape then sand the lenses with a fine grit sandpaper dipped in water and soap. Use circular motions to prevent scratching. Dry the lens and apply a plastic polish or compound.

Repeat these steps, alternating wet sanding with plastic polish, until you get the results you want. Finish by waxing the headlights and sealing the lens with a silicone caulk if there are any leaks.

Clean with Toothpaste

Toothpaste won’t just get your teeth clean; it can also work as a powerful abrasive cleaner. Add some toothpaste to a soft cloth and rub it on the headlight in a circular motion, as if you are polishing it. Add more water or toothpaste as necessary to finish the work. Wipe it clear when you’re finished, and wax the headlight.

When you shop used car dealerships in Cincinnati, your car will be in top shape. However, once you drive off the lot, it’s your responsibility to keep it that way. Use these tips to keep your headlights clear and make sure they keep lighting a clear path for you.