Nighttime can be a very dangerous time for driving. It is estimated that when it is dark, there are about 60% fewer cars on the road. Despite this, nearly 40% of all accidents on the road happen at night. Every year, 2,300 pedestrians are killed by drivers who cannot see well while driving at night, according to research done by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Proper headlight maintenance can help with that. There are a number of things people can do to help keep their headlights in the best shape. From using some home products such as toothpaste to buying headlight restoration spray, you can stay safer by keeping your headlights in the best condition.
How to tell when it is time to restore your headlights:
The plastic lenses that cover headlights are prone to wear and tear. They are damaged by anything from the UV rays from the sun to the debris that hit them as you drive down the road. Wind, rain and snow can also impact this part of your car. One way to tell if you need to pick up some headlight restoration spray is to pay attention to your headlights. When your car and your lights are off, check out the look at the lenses. If they appear cloudy, scratched, dull or have become yellow, it is time to try a DIY headlight restoration project.
If you notice the lights are not as bright as you think they should be, before you rush out and get new bulbs, it is worth it to try a home remedy or get some headlight restoration spray first. The problem may not be the bulbs but the lenses. You can end up spending and wasting a lot of money and time to fix the wrong issue.
- Try toothpaste. This may not be what you think of when you think of headlight restoration spray, for example but if the lenses on your headlights have only minor damage, toothpaste can work wonders. It has some mildly abrasive properties to it that can remove some of the damage to your headlight lenses. What you need to do is use a toothpaste that does not have whitening properties or any kind of crystals. Take some of the toothpaste and put it on a clean cloth or rag. Use circular motions to polish the lenses of your headlights until you get the results you want. Clean the lenses with some water and another clean rag or cloth when you are done.
- Try vinegar and baking soda. There are a nearly endless list of things that both vinegar and baking soda can do around your home. This is a great solution to try on your lenses on your headlights. Mix the two together and dip a cloth or rag in it. Use a firm touch to polish the lenses until you get the results that you are looking for. You should do this on a headlight lens that is totally dry. Wipe it all off when you are done.
- Try a headlight restoration spray. If you try the tooth paste and the vinegar with baking soda and you still think your headlights look dull, you may want to try a headlight restoration spray. You can find these at any auto supply store. If the damage is not too severe these can be very useful.
- Try a headlight lens restoration kit. If you do not get the results you want with the headlight restoration spray, toothpaste or your vinegar solution, you may want to try a headlight cleaning kit. There are a number of these that are on the market and can be used to restore your headlight lenses. Some do require the use of a drill to get rid of the deepest scratches that you may have on your headlight lenses. Most kits have various abrasive discs, masking tape, a compounding pad and a spray bottle for water. You can also use a headlight restoration spray with the kit to get a great result.
Your headlights are important to the safe operation of your vehicle. If you try these DIY methods and your headlight lenses are still cloudy, you may need to seek out some professional work to restore them properly.