It is a fact of automobile ownership that certain parts of the car will be taken for granted. These are what can be considered the old reliables. They don’t make any strange noises and the car doesn’t start behaving oddly when problems arise. This does not mean that they are without difficulties which can affect the performance of the vehicle. Headlights operate ordinarily without much problem but they can turn yellow and foggy without you noticing the change.
The headlights are external fixtures and that makes them susceptible to any environmental assault. The outside factors are more serious on cars today because the headlights are no longer made of glass. Instead, these fixtures are made of hard plastic that is covered with a clear coat to protect the porous
surface. It can be road salt or pollution, but sooner or later the clear coat on the headings is going to start fading away. The summer time in particular can be rough because of the sunlight. Even if there is UV protection it is good for only so long. That clear coat also can be affected by the type of cleaning agents used. All of this results in the plastic eventually becoming oxidized and a foggy appearance is the consequence This adds up to a situation where headlights can get worse for wear and need to have some work done on them.
You may think that this is not anything more than a cosmetic problem, and you would be more than wrong. People don’t seem to notice during the summer time because daylight hours are long, and the folks who live in dry climates may not immediately see a problem. When headlights become foggy and oxidized it affects the light output. The beam that should come from the headlight is weakened and will not cover as much ground in front of the automobile. That gradually becomes an even more serious problem as the days grow shorter in wintertime. It also is true that in stormy or wintry weather, when vision is naturally reduced, the smaller lighted area is an invitation for accidents. The headlights need to be worked on before winter starts taking its toll.
There are ways to prevent headlight problems but you have to be cautious. Be careful about polishing the headlights because it can wear down that clear coat. There should be no grit at all in the polish and the soft polish medium can remove early signs of yellowing. If possible, the car should either be parked in a garage or having the headlights face away from the sun. This prevents the damage that can be caused by ultraviolet light. If you wish to wash the headlights, it should be done with an automotive soap every quarter. This does have an advantage because the washing can prevent the buildup of acids and dirt that promote the yellowing. Should it appear that the yellowing is too advanced, the old clear coat is going to have to be removed with sandpaper and a new coat of protective film applied.
That standing work ought to be done by a professional. The work can be done by buying a kit from a retail store, but an amateur might make a mistake in doing the work. That generates extra cost, which ought to be avoided. The professional can also recommend the right type of clear coat to produce the best results.
A headline turning yellow is not as serious an emergency as worn brake pads or pistons starting to malfunction. In fact, you can drive for weeks without noticing there may be a problem. Taking care of the headlights is not something that should not be put off indefinitely. Anyone who is driving in a winter storm late at night is aware of the dangers and safety hazard of dim lights. This is a time of the year when the headlights can be inspected and fixed if necessary. Any lingering problems can also be corrected without the great sense of urgency. Procrastination does have its price and you have to be aware of it. Making sure that there is no hazy obstruction to the light is simple precaution and safety. It can save you from a nasty accident some dark stormy night.