By now, you already know how much damage yellowish or foggy looking headlights can have on your nighttime visibility. Reduced viability can result in various unwanted traffic violations and accidents such as collision, ramming, slipping, off-road driving, and more. If you notice that your headlights appear hazy or yellowish or your nighttime visibility doesn’t exceed 50 meters (150 feet) from your car, that means you need a headlight restoration kit to restore your headlights back to its original state. But then, how long do headlight restoration kits last?
The question of how long do headlight restoration kits last is a popular one among new automobile enthusiasts and DIY lovers. As a rule, the lens of a restored headlight should stay clear and sharp for about 9 months to 2 years before becoming oxidized. However, depending on the headlight restoration kit used, type of lens, vehicle maintenance, environmental condition, weather, and the method of headlight restoration applied, we have seen restored Headlight lenses go back to becoming foggy within a week or a month.
Why headlights become oxidized after restoration
One thing you should know is that headlight oxidation is inevitable even after carrying out a complete headlight restoration process. That’s because headlight lenses are made from polycarbonate plastics that react to certain factors such as UV rays, air pollution, grits, and debris e.t.c, turning the clear coat of the headlight lens to a slightly yellowish color. While this transformation is expected to happen after 9 months to 2 years from the date of the restoration, here are four reasons why headlights can become oxidized shortly after a headlight restoration.
Use of homemade DIY solutions
You probably must have heard of home made DIY solutions like vinegar, toothpaste, and baking soda in your search online for the best DIY headlight restoration method. While the application of these mixtures work, the results are only temporary. That’s because vinegar, baking soda, or toothpaste can only remove stains from your car headlights but can’t fix it with a protective coating against UV rays and other conditions that cause oxidation. Which is why it’s highly possible that your headlights lenses would return to being hazy before your next car wash.
Use of beverages or WD-40
Because of the citric and phosphoric acid contents of beverage drinks like Coca-Cola, it is able to dissolve and remove stains and rusts effectively from surfaces including metal, tiles, alloys, and even plastics. Here is how to clean headlights with Coca-Cola.
In the same vein, the WD-40 spray lubricant can also be used to clean headlights and get rid of yellowish discoloration.
However, like the home made solution above, the restored headlights can only stay shining for a very short period of time usually till your next car wash is due.
Lack of maintenance
Improper maintenance is one of the major reasons why car headlights go back to being foggy. Just as you would check the oil level, fuel gauge, and brakes for your vehicle, cleaning or washing your car headlights with automotive soap before driving out is very important. Cultivating a consistent headlight maintenance culture would ensure dirts don’t remain on your headlight lenses long enough to form build-ups. In addition, regular maintenance would help you detect on time when any of your headlight bulbs is faulty and due for a replacement.
Use of wrong headlight restoration kit.
With so many headlight restoration kits online promising permanent restored lenses it’s very easy for a person to purchase the wrong product. Headlight restoration kits differ. While some would require you to perform extra techniques like sanding and buffing before and after applying the headlight restoration solution, others are simply in liquid solution and do not require sanding. No matter the condition of your headlights, if you would like your restoration to last, then you must pick the product that comes with a protective coating.
How to maintain your car headlights restoration so it lasts for a Long Time?
While the above factors which lead to a quick oxidation after completing a headlight restoration process can be controlled, other factors like air pollution, UV rays, harsh weather conditions, and bad roads cannot be controlled.
So, how do you maintain your restored headlights to withstand these factors that can’t be controlled so it lasts for a very long time?
- Use the right headlight restoration kits
UV rays emitted from the sun is basically the major cartalyst in the aging process of headlights. In addition to other environmental factors such as road dirt and debris the process of oxidation tends to accelerate during the summer season. In order to get rid of oxidation and avoid recurrences during this weather condition, you need to restore your headlights with a restoration kit that comes with a protective coating. Headlight restoration kits like clear light tech comes with a special protective wipe that helps protect your car headlight lens from ultraviolet radiation. Thus, ensuring your headlight restoration lasts for another 3 years period.
To get started on your headlight restoration, here is how to prepare your car headlights for the summer.
- Pack under a shaded area or in a garage
Straight out of the manufacturer’s warehouse, your vehicle’s headlights are protected with a coated film layer against sun rays. But unfortunately, even this expertly placed protection against ultraviolet lights can fade and cause the headlights to develop yellowish discoloration if the car is exposed to constant direct sunlight.
To prevent this from happening, try as much as possible to park your car under a shaded area or inside your garage whenever you are at home.
In case you don’t have a shaded garage or you are out for work or shopping, you can invest in a car cover to ensure your car headlights aren’t exposed directly to UV rays.
- Wax your car headlights
After you are done cleaning your headlights with a headlight restoration kit, the next step is to apply a coat of wax on the surface of the headlight lens for an additional layer of protection to prevent premature oxidation and fading.
To wax your headlights, you need to park your vehicle in a well shaded area to prevent the wax solution from drying up quickly. Grab a clean rag or a soft microfiber towel and apply a moderate amount of wax to your headlight lens in a gently circular motion. After the wax is completely dry, wipe the residuals with a clean towel. Ensure the wax doesn’t stay too long before wiping it off to prevent uneven finish or streaking.