When the headlights on your car or truck start looking cloudy or dull, you should look for the right headlight restoration kit. These kits make it easy to maintain bright, clear-looking lights for improved safety and cosmetic detailing. Along with spray car wax, restoration kits can be an easy way to get an older vehicle looking like new again. Find out why the condition of plastic headlights tends to degrade over time and what you can do to restore these parts.

What Causes Clouded Lenses?

Most vehicle headlights were glass until the 1990s. The acrylic and plastic headlights used since have a clear top coating to limit damage from road debris and ultraviolet rays. As this coating wears down, plastic headlights often sustain surface damage. Failed watertight seals, oxidation from sun exposure and built-up dirt and road chemicals may lead to further damage. Most headlights sustain some wear over time.

You can enhance the brightness and clarity of the headlights on your car or truck by using the right headlight restoration kit. Leading automotive and electrical brands sell kits formulated for most light materials. These kits improve vehicle appearance and increase visibility for road safety. If you are taking the time to restore lights, you should also make sure that you have helpful emergency supplies such as a battery booster pack on hand.

Softening the Lens Surface

Many headlight restoration kits start with activating or lubricating treatments to soften the surface of plastic headlights. Follow the instructions that come with any kit when applying preliminary treatments prior to abrasion. Removing the damaged or scratched layer is an essential step toward restoring headlights.

Resurfacing Lenses

Once the surface of a plastic headlight has been softened, some form of abrasion is typically used for resurfacing. This may involve sanding off scratches, stains and other flaws that diminish clarity and brightness. Once the damaged or dirty lens surface has been removed, headlights can be finished and sealed to prevent damage from reoccurring.

Finishing Lenses

A new clear finish helps to protect plastic headlights from immediately sustaining more damage from road conditions, ultraviolet rays or daily wear and tear. Skipping this step may result in the same time of damage reoccurring within a short period of time, or lights that do not appear fully restored.

Lighting Up

Headlight restoration kits are designed to improve the condition of automotive light assemblies and lenses. If you still feel that your headlights are not bright enough, you may want to switch out halogen bulbs in favor of Xenon HID or LED lighting. Increasing the color temperature may change the quality of the light beams headlights emit. Advanced modifications may be necessary for a successful conversion to Xenon or LED headlights.

Sometimes headlight troubles indicate other electrical system issues. An obd2 scanner can indicate underlying problems. If a headlight bulb or any other automotive light has burnt out, you should purchase a replacement. Bulbs may be sold in packs or separately.  Most headlight restoration kits are universal based on materials and do not contain make- or vehicle-specific components.