Your headlamps are the most important lights on your car. Not only do they light your way so you can see where you're going, but they allow you to be seen by other drivers in the dark. However, dust, grit, grime, and even sunshine can all negatively impact how your headlights perform.
While most people know how to change a headlamp bulb, it's the plastic covering that often goes overlooked. Most headlights are coated with a clear topcoat to protect the plastic underneath. Subject that topcoat to dirt and debris, and it will eventually come away, leaving the plastic exposed. Once the plastic is vulnerable, grit and stones can cause scratches, leading to compromised visibility. over and above, plastic exposed to UV rays will eventually oxidise, turn a yellow colour, and prevent the bulb from shining through clearly.
It is possible to give your headlamps a quick clean but for professional and long-lasting results, it’s best to book your car into a headlamp cleaning service. What’s the difference? Let’s have a look.
The temptation for DIY-ers is to remove the headlamp and give it a wipe-down. A professional headlight cleaner is more likely to leave the lamps in place and, instead, mask around them to keep your paintwork protected.
The initial layers of oxidisation and any scratches are initially tackled with sandpaper of varying grits. Car headlight cleaning is an intricate process, and the sanding will be done gradually to ensure that the finish is uniform and precise.
The next step is to clean away any residual dust left by the sanding process. Typically, this involves using water and a microfibre cloth to ensure that all specks are picked up. At this point, the headlamp will feel smooth but is still likely to look translucent rather than transparent.
Polishing headlights is best done with a rotary tool and a specialised rubbing compound designed for use on plastic. Using these helps eliminate any opaque areas and removes scratches, restoring the headlamps to showroom standards. A UV-resistant sealant or wax is then applied to prevent further oxidisation and protect the cover against scratches and dirt.
The restored headlight is then buffed with another microfibre cloth. This ensures that any excess sealant or wax is removed and leaves the headlamp sparkling and clear.
Once your service provider is satisfied that the headlights have been cleaned as thoroughly as possible, the protective tape surrounding them is removed.
While buying car headlight cleaning kits is possible, getting the job done correctly is best left to a professional. The car headlight cleaning staff at Al-Futtaim FASTFIT are fully trained and use pro-standard equipment to give your headlights a flawless finish.
If your headlamps are yellowing or you’ve noticed that they illuminate the road less, then it could well be time to book your car in for a headlamp cleaning service. Contact your local Al-Futtaim FASTFIT service center to find out more.