Open Road

Here's how you can restore your headlights

With summer behind us, the fall season is in full swing. This means there are multiple factors that come into play when considering safety behind the wheel of your car. The sun is starting to go down much earlier than it did during those long summer days. The weather also starts to get much milder – rainy days are much more frequent, and soon we'll hit the snowy season. This kind of weather mixed with darker days means that when you're driving, you need as much visibility as possible. When's the last time you check out the clarity of your car's headlights? Here's how you can restore your headlights at home.

1. Tape Your Headlights off with Painter's Tape

Before you get started with your at-home headlight restoration, tape your headlights off with painter's tape so that no sandpaper scratches your vehicle.

2. Apply Water and Sandpaper

Use a spray bottle to spray water directly onto the headlight as well as the sandpaper. Start with 400-grit sandpaper going in circular motions and then in horizontal lines. The water will help prevent the scratches from going too deep, and the horizontal lines will help keep the clear coat in place at the end. Repeat with 600- and 2000-grit sandpaper as well.

3. Wipe It Down with Rubbing Alcohol

Make sure to use a lint-free paper towel when applying the rubbing alcohol. This will help keep any residue off of the headlight.

4. Cover It with a Trash Bag for Protection

Cover the surrounding area of your vehicle – or the entire things – with trash bags. Cut out wholes for the lights and reapply painter's tape to keep the bags in place. Give the headlight one last wipe with rubbing alcohol and leave it for about 5 minutes to dry afterward.

5. Apply the Clear Coat

Read the instructions on the clear coat before you start. To keep it from dripping, apply the coat in thin, even sprays. You'll want to apply 3 coats total, and leave about 5 minutes in between each coat so they can fully dry.

6. Wax It

Wait a day or so for the headlight to fully dry, and then you can finish off the restoration by applying a coat of car wax for some extra shine and clarity.

A Note on Safety

According to car accident lawyers at Millar and Mixon, chain reaction auto accidents can often occur in fog, rain or snow. Make sure you have full visibility when driving in bad weather, especially at night, to help avoid an accident.

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