Starting to have problems seeing at night even if your headlights are turned on? If that's the case, this is a sign that your headlight lens needs to be replaced quickly. Failure to do this will result in bigger problems for you in the long run. First, your headlight's brightness will be greatly compromised, making it difficult for you to see the road at night or under harsh weather conditions. This can happen once the lenses become yellowish and foggy. That's the last thing you'd want to happen because it can ruin your driving vision and compromise your overall safety. Second, if the quality of your headlight lens is starting to deteriorate, its overall toughness comes into question as well. See, this component is responsible for shielding your headlight bulb and other parts connected to it from being hit by road debris. Without a working lens shielding them, these components are bound to get hit, causing further damage and driving problems for you. It will also be a hassle financially since you'll have to shell out money for repairs and replacement. If you want to avoid encountering any of these problems, make sure your vehicle's headlights are equipped with a clear headlight lens. This will enable you to enjoy better road visibility and make driving at night easy for you to do.
Choosing the Right Headlight Lens
Headlights act as your car's eyes. Without them, you'll literally be driving blind along the highway. But no matter how good your headlights are, a foggy headlight lens will still result in blurred vision while on the road. This reduces the effectiveness of your headlights by up to 80 percent. To avoid selling out your car's headlights, always choose the right kind of lens for your driving lifestyle. Here are a few things you have to consider when shopping for new lens for your headlights.
Material: Plastic vs. glass headlight lens
When choosing a headlight lens' material, it is usually a choice between convenience and durability. Headlight lenses made of glass are very hard and can virtually last forever. THey are also very easy to maintain since they are more susceptible to climate and environmental contamination. The ease of cleaning is also another good trait of glass headlight lenses. However, glass is also very brittle and can shatter during a collision, which makes it very inconvenient to replace. Plastic headlight lenses, on the other hand, are safer than glass. Instead of shattering upon impact, they simply break or bend. This material also offers more variety when it comes to shapes and sizes. So for drivers who are always on the road and are exposed to different kinds of weather, a glass headlight lens would offer an extended lifespan for your headlights. But if you want something more flexible, go for a plastic or acrylic headlight lens.
Location: Passenger and driver's side vs. outer and inner light lenses
The location of the headlight lens you want to replace is also a big factor when shopping for a new one. The size and shape of lens varies according to where it is located. Although the form and size will largely depend on your car's make and model, passenger and driver's side lenses are usually rectangular in shape. Outer and inner headlight lenses, on the other hand, are smaller, more circular, and are roughly the same size throughout car models. It is important that your lens is perfectly fitted to your car. So if you want to replace your passenger or driver side lens, get something that's longer and more rectangular. But if you need new outer or inner lenses, the headlight lens should be smaller and circular in shape.
Quality: OEM parts vs. aftermarket products
Just like in any replacement auto part, always choose OE manufactured parts over aftermarket ones. This ensures that you get exactly what you're expecting. Just remember that with OEM headlight lenses, there are no wrong fitting lenses, no substandard materials, and-most importantly-no loss of money. Aside from the quality that original equipment has, they also almost always offer good warranty coverage. So as a rule of thumb, go for trusted OE brands to get good quality headlight lenses.
Headlight Maintenance: How to Clean a Foggy Headlight Lens
Foggy headlight lenses are mainly caused by their constant exposure to ultra-violet (UV) radiation. Though acid rain, salt grime, extreme temperatures, and other factors can also lead to lens degradation, the sun's UV rays are the biggest culprit. Since you can't stay away from the sunlight, you have to look for ways to clear up the lenses' hazy appearance and make your headlamps look brand new without spending much time and money.
Difficulty Level: Easy
What you'll need:
- White toothpaste
- Several dry soft cloth
- Carburetor cleaner
- Buffer (optional)
Step 1: To reduce condensation, drill a hole on the bottom of each lens.
Step 2: Apply white toothpaste around the headlight with soft clean cloth. Rub in small circular motions until the dirt comes off. Before the toothpaste dries, rinse the lens with water and wipe with a wet cloth. Repeat the steps as needed until the lens is free of foggy residue.
Step 3: Spray carburetor cleaner on another dry cloth and wipe the lens thoroughly.
Step 4: If the headlight remains hazy, apply polish to the lens and buff with a buffer or a separate dry clean cloth. Alternatively, you can try to apply a mist of cooking spray onto the headlight and allow it to sit for around 10 seconds. Using a clean rag, rub the lens thoroughly. This will restore the lens' shiny look and help minimize fogging in the future.
Step 5: After cleaning, don't forget to protect it. Apply sealant or headlight protectant product on a clean cloth and wipe evenly onto the lens.
If these steps are carried out properly, there will be a night-and-day difference on your headlights' appearance. To maintain good looks and ensure maximum visibility, it's wise to defog your headlights once every year.