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How to Stop Car Headlights from Fogging and Yellowing

car headlights

While there are parts in your automobile that make unusual sounds, odors, and even alerts when they are worn and in need of replacing, there are also those that most of the time end up being neglected. Unfortunately, the headlights are just one of those. They don’t actually behave oddly when a problem is on the rise, unlike other car parts. But being one of those doesn’t really mean that they aren’t of any importance. Sadly, car owners and drivers only notice that they are in need of extra attention only when the light seems weak. And so now they all ask, even with regular car washing and cleaning of headlights, why do they still turn foggy, hazy, or yellowish?

Rapid Car Removal is one of the pioneers in the car wreckers and cash for cars Melbourne industry. We are also suppliers of top-quality replacement car parts. Having said that, we are here to give you a clearer picture of why car headlights end up that way and what can you do in order to stop or prevent it from happening.

Why do they turn yellowish and cloudy?

Our car headlights end up that way mainly because they are made from plastic. Because plastics are porous, carmakers cover them with a protective film. These protective films are of course effective for a certain number of years; but they are still due to wearing out after some time. More specifically, because they are exterior car parts, their wear is greatly affected by environmental elements such as:

  • Oxidation – when the polycarbonate lens is exposed to the air and UV rays
  • Road Damage – small rocks and other debris get inside the lens
  • Dirt & Chemicals over time, all the dirt, pollution, sand, as well as road salts accumulate and form layers on your lenses
  • Water Vapor – it is created inside the headlights because of the moisture content in the trapped air

In a nutshell, here’s what happens:

HEAT from the bulbs + UV rays + harsh external elements = foggy & yellowish headlights

So what do you do?

A sad reality is, some car owners only see this as a problem because they don’t look good. Which shouldn’t be the case. It is actually a safety problem. Clouded and yellowish headlights reduce your light’s strength and area of coverage – making it hard or rather impossible to drive in dark, snowy, and stormy places. And because the culprits are things we couldn’t really control, here are some of the things we can do on our part.

If you see your car headlights still in good condition, you may do this to prevent them from clouding and yellowing sooner:

  • Be extra careful in polishing them. If you polish them too hard, you might just easily break its clear protective coating.
  • When cleaning headlights, make sure to use ONLY automotive soaps. And note that you must clean them not too often though. Cleaning can reduce dirt layers and chemicals that make them yellow, but the suggested frequency is to do it every 3 months or just when you see it’s really needed.
  • Always have it parked and rested in your garage. Should you need to park somewhere in the outdoors, if possible, position your car in a way that it’s not facing the sunlight.

If in case you already see them turning foggy and yellow, take the time to address them immediately to avoid worsening the case and ending up in buying replacements sooner. You may:

  • Invest in headlight restoration kits. Many kinds are available online and in your local auto stores. Just research which ones fit your budget and needs.
  • Should you prefer to DIY, wet sand and buff them carefully. Some even have them waxed after buffing for extra protection.

In conclusion, it is really wrong to think that there are parts of your car that can be neglected. Just like our bodies, every single part is significant. If you are that kind of car owner or driver who always choose to put off or delay maintenance jobs like taking care of your headlights, always remember that procrastination has its price. So if you don’t want to deal with it now, better be prepared for a more serious car trouble in the future.

If you have done all the aforementioned tips but your car headlights are still foggy and yellowish, your last recourse is to replace them. And as we mentioned, Rapid Car Removal has been in the car wreckers Melbourne and “sell my car” industry for two decades. We are the company you can trust if you need quality car parts, including headlights. Our wide inventory boasts of interior, exterior, and engine parts for cars of all brands, makes, and models.

Call 0438 942 754 to enquire.

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