How-to Fix Foggy Headlights
How-to Fix Foggy Headlights<< Back
Your vehicle’s headlights can become clouded and foggy for a number of reasons. Whether you live in coastal areas with salty maritime air, or simply because of the passage of time, fixing foggy headlights makes for safer driving. Here are some ways to restore your headlights so you can reduce hazards and let that light beam through once more.
Clean and Wax
A simple step to determine the best remedy is to thoroughly clean the headlights of the vehicle and wax them as well – counterintuitively, this can actually help with the fogginess in some instances. If the haze on the headlights does not improve, it’s time to take further measures.
One of the main culprits of foggy headlights can be found with the UV protective clear coat that vehicle manufacturers set onto headlights. The coating can wear off over time and require treatment, namely to clean away the old layer and spray on a new protective clear coat. This process can be tedious, using solutions first and then moving to abrasives. There are even some household solutions like using toothpaste to polish headlights (yes, really), and it may be worth trying a few different solutions to see what works best for your vehicle.
Inside and Out
If damage or fogginess appears to be on the outside of your headlights, you can try cleaning the lens with a glass-cleaning solution like Windex. The next option would be to use one of the many cleaner kits available. Consumer Reports has a great list of inexpensive options, ranging from $9 to $21. If the lens isn’t completely yellow from losing its UV coating, you can also try an acrylic lens deoxidizer. Pollutants, debris and UV rays can cause oxidation of headlights, so this can help remove those.
If these don’t work, you can try a more time consuming process of sanding and buffing them (remember to wear protective gear like gloves and goggles and follow any product safety precautions). AutoWise also has a complete guide that might be useful for those going this route -- but then again, it might just be time to replace them. Consider your course and stay safe on the road.
TIP: Use the WD-40 Specialist® Industrial-Strength Degreaser to clean your car and engine parts. It’s safe to use on most surfaces, including metals, plastics, rubber, glass and aluminum.