Professional Headlight Restoration
Have you’re faded, fogged or yellow headlight restoration repaired permanently by All About Bumpers.
Acrylic headlight lenses have a UV coating applied to them when produced, it is supposed to protect them from the ultraviolet radiation and scratching.
What causes the problem?
Like anything on cars these days it is not made to last, especially in our climate. Subsequently, I have found that vehicles that are garaged and use high-quality headlight covers are less prone to this problem, but if your car is parked into the sun every day it is more than likely going to happen.
Headlight restoration myths
Okay, this is where it gets interesting, if you look on YouTube you will find hundreds of videos showing you how to restore the lenses. Everything from wd-40, sunscreen and aerogard. Headlight deterioration problems are not always the same. Depending on the manufacturer it can vary. Obviously the better makes handle the sun better.
Top-end manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes, tend to go flaky and peel in patches. I am not 100% sure why but my theory is it starts from stone chips. Over time as more of the acrylic is exposed to the sun, the patches get bigger and bigger. Mid-range cars like Toyota, Honda and Mazda etc, tend to start from the top where they are most exposed, they will start to go milky especially if the top is more horizontal, gradually it creeps lower and lower down the face of the lens as the clear-coat deteriorates. Finally, you get the entry-level cars like Hyundai and kia’s. Now, I have to admit they have lifted their game dramatically over the last decade, but on average they tend to be the worst. The older ones seem to go yellow to the point where you cannot even see in them.
How are they repaired?
On the market, there are tons of products that claim to fix the problem. Mostly polishes and wipe on sealers. If you catch the problem early enough, yes they might work for a little while, but I can guarantee it will return the next summer or possibly sooner. therefore, the only way to repair them properly is to solve the problem or buy new ones.
Cheap aftermarket headlights tend to be around $150 each but can get up to the $1000 mark for more expensive models. Alternatively, the other option is to get them professionally refinished. Firstly this is when the existing clear protection is completely removed along with the oxidization. Secondly, the lenses are then repainted with a UV stable clear-coat. Therefore, giving them a guaranteed never to fade again repair.
Typically this usually makes them look clearer again. Nevertheless not always perfect. Depending, on how long the acrylic has been exposed to the sun, they can start to microfracture inside the acrylic, it is not a huge problem but you can see them if you look hard enough, it is virtually impossible to see them before the restoration, so it can be a bit of hit and miss sometimes, but to be honest, when the customers see them they are never concerned, as the improvement is amazing anyway.