Why polishing your headlights is worthwhile
Polishing headlights is not just important from an aesthetic standpoint, but first and foremost for safety reasons. During driving, headlights quickly become dull and their optical quality is severely affected, even if you look after your car with the utmost care.
Headlight defects caused by scratches, microcracks, chips, yellowing and haze which considerably reduces visibility, especially during the night and can endanger the driver and all other road users. Consequently, fatigue results because the driver must constantly keep a close eye on the road, because the headlights are constantly getting dimmer and dimmer over time. Reduced visibility due to poor light transmission can increase the risk of accidents.
There are a variety of reasons why vehicle headlights can become dull. The main ones are:
- Exposure to the sun, weather, fluctuations in temperature and improperly selected car care products can cause the headlights to go yellow and fade;
- Failure to wash the vehicle properly;
- Adhesion of insects when the car is driven at high speed;
- Exposure to sand, salt, gravel, dirt, water and small objects discharged from the vehicle’s wheels;
- Headlights that are not sealed;
- Use of dry and dirty cloths to wipe the headlights.
All of the above factors will sooner or later result in your car appearing less attractive and the visibility on the road deteriorating. For this reason, it is imperative that you clean and polish your car headlights in a prompt manner to avoid negative consequences.
Furthermore, the appropriate technical and optical specifications for headlights are required for the technical inspection of your vehicle. Headlight checks are compulsory at an inspection and the correct parameters are checked with a special device, so it is absolutely crucial that the headlights are in good condition before an inspection is carried out.
The advantages of having your headlights polished at our service centre:
- the headlights are restored to their original clarity, visibility and light transmission is improved;
- the quality of driving is improved, the driver’s fatigue is reduced. Since the light is no longer refracted, you can see better and the headlights will not dazzle oncoming drivers;
- the appearance of your headlights is significantly improved. Your headlights look aesthetically appealing and combined with them your car generally looks well-maintained and attractive.
A great alternative to replacing damaged headlights on your car with new headlights is to polish the plastic headlight lenses. That’s why we recommend having your car’s plastic headlight lenses professionally polished. Ultimately, performing the correct headlight polishing steps will help you avoid unnecessary costs and restore the technical properties of your vehicle’s headlights with safety in mind.
What are the steps involved in polishing a car headlight:
Generally, headlight polishing involves several stages.
- At the initial stage of preparing your car headlights for polishing, our service technicians need to prepare all the necessary materials and equipment for polishing. Therefore, first an expert of our service will examine your car, will consult you on any issues. All areas around the headlight are then covered with a special protective masking tape, or, if necessary, certain elements can be removed. The purpose of this procedure is to protect the paint, other vehicle components and the headlight from possible damage during the cleaning and polishing process.
- The second important step is considered to be the complete cleaning of the car headlight. Performing this procedure is imperative to remove all dirt from the surface of the headlight. Headlights are thoroughly cleaned from dirt, and then a specialist performs a headlight washing with special headlight cleaner, which not only removes the most ingrained dirt, but also other dirt, such as insect deposits and grease stains;
- The next stage after a complete cleaning of a car headlight from dirt is to conduct the main phase of polishing. For this purpose, a specialist performs the first stage, the so-called rough work with a grinder, using coarse-grit sandpaper, which allows removing the old plastic layer and major defects on the upper surface that appeared on the headlight as a result of car exploitation. These could possibly include chips, micro-cracks, deposits and so on. Once the surface has been run through with rough abrasive sandpaper, it is treated with a finer sandpaper. The polishing process must be done with the utmost care, which is why it is important to have a competent and experienced technician perform the polishing process. Otherwise, there is a high probability that the headlight will be damaged, which will inevitably lead to its unserviceability for further exploitation. Performing the polishing process yourself without the proper skills and experience can cause damage to the headlight by not following specific polishing instructions and improperly increasing the friction on the headlight surface and excessive heat build-up on its surface. This step is referred to as the headlight surface cleanup phase, during which white grit is removed from the headlight surface and the surface becomes matt;
- Next comes the technological stage of polishing the headlight, which includes further treatment, which is carried out with the help of a soft polishing pad, an application to be put on the grinder and the use of special abrasive paste with fine particles. During this stage, the technician applies fine paste to the polishing pad and starts to work on the entire surface in a gradual circular motion until the headlight surface is no longer matt and perfect smoothness is achieved. Once the matting has disappeared from the headlight surface, the headlight surface is treated with a soft fibre;
- The final stage of the headlight polishing process is the process of achieving perfect translucency of the headlight. The technician applies an abrasive-free paste to the cleaned headlight surface and gives a final polishing treatment with a soft pad. Afterwards the remaining paste is removed from the headlight surface, the headlight is washed thoroughly and the specialist checks the quality of the work performed. Provided the headlight surface is not requiring any touch-up work, the quality of the work is perfect and the desired result is achieved, the expert dries the headlight and covers it with a special hydrophobic compound to preserve the effect of a headlight polish for a longer time. Manual polishing enables the technician to restore the optics of your headlights to their optimal factory specifications.
Headlight polishing takes approximately from 20 minutes to 1 hour, up to 3 hours for complicated cases. The result of headlight polishing lasts for two to three years. After polishing, the transparency of the headlight lenses increases by approximately 30% to 50%.
It is noteworthy that there is no clear-cut criterion for when to re-polish headlights. It depends on various driving conditions and the factory quality of your car headlights.
Our specialists use professional polishing materials from 3M.
The cost to polish a headlamp depends on the initial condition of the headlight, the complexity of the work and usually starts at €20 per headlight. Following examination, our specialist will advise the customer and recommend the best solution.
We also repair and replace plastic car headlight parts at our car service.
Please contact our car service! Our specialists are always happy to help you and answer any questions you may have about polishing, repairing headlights and replacing plastic headlight parts of your car.