Cleaning A Car’s Headlights
The headlight is the eyepiece of a car especially at night or other poor visibility conditions like a snow or sand storm. The bulb of the headlight produces a beam that travels through the transparent outer protection or lens, and onto the road.
If it happens that this lens becomes translucent, the direct consequence is that fewer rays of light are beamed onto the road. This constitutes a road hazard to other drivers as they may not be able to see your vehicle or adequately evaluate the position of your car.
Your regular home toothpaste (not gel) which has some abrasive properties, in addition to a toothbrush, water in a spray bottle, as well as wax and a clean microfiber cloth will do the trick. A foggy headlight either needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Since cleaning your headlight is the wiser decision, the following points will ensure a successful cleaning procedure:
A. A microfiber cleaning cloth is recommended.
B. Ensure you have a generous amount of Lacquer thinner.
C. Gently clean the lens in one continuous swipe and do not clean the same spot until the solvent evaporates which usually takes around 30 seconds.
D. Use a hand glove, you don’t want to deal with the terrible effects of exposing your skin to solvents.
Headlight cleaning (the basics)
You need to decide if you want to clean your headlights while it is still fixed to the car or you wish to remove the headlight and clean. If you choose the former option, you must tape the area around the headlight to prevent paint damage during sanding. On the other hand, the removal of the headlight before cleaning means you will have to deal with its reinstallation. After making up your mind, remove as much grime from the headlight; you can use your normal glass cleaner or soap and water.
Your cleaning medium has some abrasion, and you should use it with a sand paper to remove all those yellowish haze. If done properly, your headlight will be clean and bright but you will be left with a rough surface.
Polishing (just a little shine)
The roughness of the sanding process needs to be polished off to ensure you have a smoother and cleaner surface.
Apply UV sealant (protection)
Although, the most important procedure in cleaning a headlight is the sanding process; it, however, leaves you with a rough surface that has to be polished.
Secondly, the sanding process also scrubs off the protective layer of the lens. If you only sand and polish a headlight without applying a protective sealant, you should expect to have a yellowish headlight again in a matter of weeks. Search for quality UV sealant in the market and apply it over the polished surface.
How to Aim your Headlight
In case you remove your headlight during the preparation phase, well, it is time to put them back on. However, you do not want your headlight to be pointing in the sky or pointing on the floor or anywhere else away from the road ahead, and that is why you should follow these stepwise procedures:
A. Remove all external loads from the vehicle so as to balance the vehicle.
B. Park the car a few inches from a wall on a level surface.
C. Identify the center of your car headlamp. This center is a usually the small bright dot or circle when you flash the headlight.
D. Mark this center with the letter “X” using any available marker.
E. Put your car in the reverse gear and move backward for up to 25 feet, use this distance unless otherwise specified by your car manufacturer. You can use a meter rule for a more accurate measurement.
F. If the center of the beam is still pointing within a few inches of your initially marked point in B, your headlight is aligned. If this is not the case, adjust the headlight with two set screws until the desired result is achieved.