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Restoring and Polishing Your Headlights to Keep you Safe on the Road in Winter

Wear and tear can have a dramatic effect on your car’s headlights. At worst, the bulb could be burned out, but even if it’s not, scratched lenses can cause them to become cloudy and dull which can seriously impede your visibility at night on the road. It’s not only other cars that you need to take into account, but many hazards such as deer jumping out in front of your vehicle, fallen trees, or warning signs by the side of the road can also be difficult to see if you don’t act fast. Take these tips from JD’s Auto Repair to make sure you get your headlights looking like new!

Check out the damage

You should make sure you don’t neglect your headlights – especially in winter when the days are shorter, and you are more likely to be on the road at night. To ensure they’re durable, car headlight lenses are made from polycarbonate material. However, this material can get easily damaged by sunlight – which can make it cloudy and less transparent. In addition, sand, gravel, and winter chemicals like salt in the grit on winter roads can all erode the lenses further.

If you think your lenses are getting cloudier, it’s time to act! Don’t wait until an accident or near-miss forces you into action. Luckily, you can do this yourself at home.

Fixing your damaged headlight lenses

  1. Start by taping around your headlights to ensure the paint on the body of your vehicle isn’t damaged when you’re polishing the lenses. You’ll also want to give them a good brush and then a wipe down with warm soapy water.
  2. Use fine, mild abrasives to softly smooth down the lenses. Do this in small, circular motions being very careful when you get to the edges as you don’t want to damage the paintwork!
  3. Finish with a fine polish compound using an orbital buffer. Make sure you are careful with buffering around the edges where the light meets the paintwork of the car because you may buffer through or under the tape, causing damage.

Once you have done this, you should be able to see clearly through the lenses, and the light from the bulbs inside should shine through without any problems. You may be surprised at how bright it is now!

Once you’ve done the front, make sure you don’t forget to do the backlights which are also important to ensure other cars can see you on the road.

Driving at night with damaged, cloudy, and opaque headlights is a real hazard, and if you’re unlucky, you may end up in a serious road accident as a result. Make sure you check your lights and take action if you think they are looking on the cloudy or damaged side. If you aren’t sure about doing the job yourself or if you just don’t have the time, head down to JD’s Auto Repair where we will make your old damaged lights look brand new. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

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