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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Let There Be Light!

How Headlight Restoration Can Make Your
Headlights Work—and Look—Like New

by Garrett McKinnon
VehicleMD Staff Writer
Originally published in Winter 2009 Issue

Your car takes a beating. Unless it’s garaged 24/7—and it wouldn’t be something you drive then, would it—your car is under constant assault from the elements. Sun. Wind. Rain. Dirt. Road grime. Salt.

Many drivers will first start to notice this assault taking its toll on their headlights. Most modern headlights are protected by a clear piece of plastic laminate. Unfortunately, this laminate is particularly susceptible to things like ultraviolet rays from the sun, acid rain, road salt, etc. After your car sits outside for a few years, waiting patiently for you while you toil away at work, shop or run errands, this laminate can begin to become yellow or cloudy.
 The difference between an unrestored headlight (above) and one that has been restored (below) is literally night and day.

Not only does this make your car look less than perfect, it also affects how well your car’s headlights work.

Thankfully, there is a new service on the market that can restore your car’s headlights to nearly new condition. It’s called headlight restoration or headlight cleaning, and it works by carefully removing the dull, oxidized outer layer of the laminate headlight cover and then applying a protective coating to seal the surface.

Your automotive service technician will begin by sanding the headlight cover with gradually finer grits of sandpaper, removing the cloudy, yellowed layer of laminate. Once the damaged layer is removed, the technician applies a resin or resurfacing product that restores the lens coating. The final product will appear almost like new, but will cost hundreds of dollars less than replacing the actual laminate cover.

Plus, if your taillights or turn signal covers are yellowed and oxidized, those can often be restored, as well.

Not only will the service make your car look a lot better, but the headlights will work better, as well. Tests have shown that restored laminate covers will shine with 90 percent or more of the headlights’ original candlepower. Compare that with the yellowed lenses your car currently has, which may be shining at less than 50 percent efficiency. Some drivers have compared it to driving in the dark with your sunglasses on. Unfortunately, the drop in efficiency as the headlight covers age comes on so gradually, most drivers don’t recognize it.

With the winter driving season meaning longer nights, it’s more important than ever to make sure your headlights are working at peak efficiency, allowing you to see the road in front of you—and allowing other drivers to see you coming.

In the vast majority of cases, a headlight cover can be restored in about 10 minutes or less, and the cost is nominal compared to the hundreds you might spend on a replacement.

So give your car the once over, and if its headlight covers are yellow or cloudy, ask your service technician about headlight restoration, a service that will make your car look better, and keep you safer.

Miracle Motor Mart, We Have The Best Prices on The Planet!

Terry Marcum
Internet Coordinator
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