Ron's Headlight Restoration
What causes a yellow or cloudy headlight?
If polycarbonate headlight lenses are exposed to acid rain, humidity, insects (lovebugs),road chemicals, cleaning chemicals, road debris,road salt and the intense Florida sun, then the OEM (original equipment manufactures UV (ultraviolet) resistant coating will eventually deteriorate. This will result in a yellow or cloudy headlight from the oxidation of the exposed polycarbonate.
How much does headlight replacement cost?
Headlight replacement costs vary from $150 to over $1000 for each lens from the dealer. The installation costs for removing the old lens and installing the new one will vary from $50 to $200 or more for each assembly.
How does a cloudy or yellowing headlight affect performance?
Damage caused from UV (ultraviolet) light and oxidation results in a cloudy or yellowing headlight lens. This diminishes the headlight's ability to project its beam of light during severe weather conditions and at night.
Will the headlight cleaner from the auto parts store restore my lens?
Probably Not! There are several headlight lens cleaner type products available that claim to restore your headlights; however most of them fall short in delivering a good solution. Most of these products are usually an abrasive polish or rubbing compound mixture that will remove fine scratches from the plastic and give it a little gloss; however it will not remove the heavy oxidized layers on the headlight lens.
Headlights were once made of glass; however using glass limited the car manufacturers to certain shapes and sizes. As technology advanced, automakers began using polycarbonate headlight lenses.
While there are many advantages to using polycarbonate, one major drawback is that over time oxidation can change the physical properties of the headlight lens surface.
Restoring headlights to their original clarity not only improves the vehicle's appearance but increases the resale value. More importantly, it provides safety for the vehicle's occupants by restoring the headlight's ability to project light properly.
There are many "do-it-yourself" products that claim to restore hazy headlights that have yellowed or oxidized; however most come short of delivering a quality solution and do not provide a long lasting finish. They're about as effective as using toothpaste on a headlight. And the haziness returns within a few weeks; causing the process to need to be repeated over and over again.
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I use a multi-step process involving different grades of wet/dry sandpaper mounted in a powerful but low speed drill,. No hand sanding, which can be very inconsistent. After sanding down the lens to remove all the oxidation and yellowing, I then follow up with a polishing compound to bring back the clarity the lens once had. Then a final UV polish and protectant.
Ron's Headlight Restoration