How to fix dull and scratched headlights? (updated 2022)

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How to fix dull and scratched headlights

In the dark and when it’s raining, the headlights of vehicles are a source of safety. They have the potential to lose interest over time.

The smooth surface of the headlights is susceptible to being scratched by physical impacts such as hail or other debris.

You will learn when it is necessary to repair your main headlight and the steps that need to be taken in this article.

How to fix dull and scratched headlights

When should you think about getting your headlights fixed?

Every person who has ever owned a motor vehicle has learned, through many years of experience, that the headlights on a car gradually lose their power.

It is not always necessary to replace the light source to get the machine back into perfect working order. When the headlamp becomes dim, it will no longer produce enough light.

A straightforward cleaning will not be sufficient to solve this issue.

As a result, you ought to give significant consideration to the scratches and incredibly dull surfaces that are present on your headlamp.

They reduce your safety when driving at night and when it rains because the light beam from your headlight can no longer illuminate the road as it should.

On the other hand, they increase your safety when driving during the day. On the other hand, cracks and scratches that are more substantial impede the dispersion of light and have the potential to blind other drivers.

Simply switching out the lights won’t be enough to eliminate the danger caused by the vehicle on the road.

When you notice that the light output of your headlights is not as bright as it used to be, you should think about getting them fixed as soon as possible.

In addition, oncoming vehicles will signal to you with their warning lights by shining brightly in your direction.

They will mistakenly believe that you have the high beam on when, in reality, the light from the low beam is scattered unfavorably due to the scratches.

In either case, you should not carelessly adjust your headlights.

Observations to make regarding your vehicle’s headlights and the MOT

Even if you disregard the damage to your main headlights, it will become an issue at the very latest during the next general technical inspection (MOT).

During the technical inspection of your vehicle, it is essential that the headlights have a perfect adjustment and that they function correctly. To evaluate the strength and spread of the light, specialized measuring instruments are utilized.

The inspection sticker might not be given out if there are obvious problems. This could happen if the vehicle fails to pass inspection.

In most cases, the inspector will advise getting new headlamps rather than repairing the old ones. As the vehicle owner, you will want to put money aside for the possibility that the repair will cost more than one thousand dollars.

This will depend on the manufacturer as well as the construction series. You can improve the quality of the main headlights so that they comply with the roadworthiness test requirements if you polish and prepare them.

It is essential to note the significance of a precise and professional execution in this context because it is essential to improve the condition of your headlights and prevent the light from becoming even more scattered.

A step-by-step guide to polishing headlights that are cloudy and streaked

If the headlights on your vehicle have streaks or look milky, the time has come for an upgrade that can be done quickly and professionally. You don’t necessarily need to take your vehicle to a repair shop to do this, though. In addition, the condition of your headlights can be improved with a few straightforward steps. Please carefully read and adhere to the directions.

How to fix dull and scratched headlights

1. Ensure that the headlights are spotless

Sometimes it is difficult to discern whether a headlight is filthy or hazy at first sight.

Over time, headlights build up a layer of dust that is marked by mud, insects, moisture, and other environmental factors.

We recommend using warm water mixed with a classic car shampoo when cleaning the headlights to ensure a thorough cleaning.

It is not necessary to use a window cleaner, as was common in the past because all modern headlights are made of durable plastic.

After carefully cleaning and drying your headlights with a cotton cloth, you will be in a better position to assess their condition.

2. With great care, polish the headlights

The next step is to polish your headlights, which you should do if they have any dull spots or minor scratches.

You must exercise extreme caution and select the appropriate polish to accomplish this. Sandpaper with a grit size of 1,500 to 2,500 is the kind of fine sandpaper we recommend.

Before polishing, using standard insulating tape, you should seal the area between the headlights and the bodywork.

If you do not take this precaution, you risk scratching the paint on the car if you make an error while polishing the headlights.

Sandpaper that has been allowed to dry out should not be used because the fine grit could result in additional scratches.

Wetting it and passing it over the affected area multiple times after each pass is best. Starting with the coarser grit papers and working your way down the scale, we advise using two or three different grit papers.

After each polishing procedure, the headlights may still contain some good dirt, but this residue is easily wiped with warm water.

3. Polish the headlights to a mirror-like sheen and apply a clear coat.

The condition of your freshly polished headlights should last as long as possible once you finish the work.

For instance, I’m polishing my aluminum with a product I got from a specialist store like Hella.

If you follow these instructions, you should be able to successfully remove the most acceptable surface defects, which will also improve the headlights’ appearance.

It is important to note that at this point, treating the various headlamp components with the highest care and attention to detail is well worth your effort.

If you can polish them in a short amount of time, your work isn’t exceptional.

We advise using plastic-specific agents in dummy headlights that have been chased by the merchant specializing in vehicle accessories.

However, use only products designed to work with the primary headlights.

A protective layer is formed on the headlamp by applying the sealing agent gently, which prevents the brightness of the headlamp from being affected.

As soon as you turn on the headlight and illuminate a smooth and flat surface, you can determine whether or not you have worked cleanly.

More advice for getting your headlights ready to go

Repairing headlights that scratch have been damaged is a sensible and cost-effective alternative.

On the other hand, even the most potent brightener will not be able to perform miracles on a headlight that has sustained significant damage.

It would help if you were practical while fixing your headlights. If the plastic surface has developed sizable cracks that can be seen with the naked eye, polishing the headlights is no longer an option; in this situation, new headlights must be purchased.

If your headlight exhibits flaws, you should not continue with the abovementioned steps.

Because of this, it is strongly suggested that the primary headlights be meticulously cleaned at regular intervals to get the most out of the illumination on any trip.

A responsible driver will naturally prepare his car for winter by thoroughly cleaning the headlights. Even if there are no apparent nicks or scratches on them, the light output may already be compromised.

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