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How Long does Headlight Restoration Last? (Duration & Maintenance Tips)

Headlights are the lamps attached for focusing light and aiding in driving during dark hours. It is important in every vehicle to prevent traffic accidents and their impairment, thus ensuring safe driving. Headlights in vehicles become cloudy and foggy, causing interruptions in driving due to environmental factors such as oxidation, dirt and water vapor. It causes poor light output during driving in dark hours. Hence, headlight restoration is vital for all vehicles for proper functioning and safe driving. This article speaks on the importance of headlight restoration in the vehicle, cycles of restoration, factors affecting the longevity of the restoration and how you can extend the lifespan of the restoration.   

What is Vehicle Headlight Restoration?

Vehicle headlight restoration is also referred to as plastic headlight restoration by some Authors.

It is the repairing process of removing the surface layer, applying a preventive sealant layer over the headlight, and eliminating the damaged parts of the headlight called a lens, keeping the other undamaged parts remaining to maintain the light output quality.

Headlight restoration can be done with home appliances such as toothpaste, baking soda, distilled water and dish soap. But it can only restore headlights temporarily. The permanent restoration with available restoration kits is effective.

It requires a series of procedures, including sanding. Headlight restoration includes washing with warm soapy water or plain water with a soft dry cloth, masking with painter’s tape, sanding with sandpapers, polishing and applying Ultra violet ray resistive sealant.

Is Headlight Restoration Worth It?

Headlight restoration is extremely worthwhile compared to cleaning or replacing the dirty layer over the headlight or replacement.

Cleaning the dirty layer removes the cloudiness and fogginess over the headlight. It doesn’t significantly improve the light output quality appropriate for driving in dark hours. Sometimes, cleaning fails to remove the dirty layer on the headlight.

Further, Headlight restoration is more cost-effective than headlight replacement and maintains the vehicle’s functionality. It absolutely works, producing visibility and comfort for the driver for safe driving. It also facilitates the vehicle for resale with proper headlight restoration.

How Long does Headlight Restoration Take?

There are different types of headlight restoration kits available in the market. Some of the best headlight kits are the Sylvania headlight restoration kit, Mothers NuLens Headlight Renewal kit, 3M headlight Lens restoration system, Cerakote Ceramic headlight restoration kit, and Chemical Guys Headlight restorer.

The time for the restoration depends on the types of kits used, size, nature of the headlight and the degree of oxidation over the headlight.

The procedure in each kit may differ, and sanding is time-consuming. Restoration of large headlights takes 40-60 minutes, and smaller ones need 10-20 minutes.

Overall the headlight restoration takes an average time of 15-60 minutes. If the nature of the headlight is hard, sanding needs more time.

Commonly the temporary headlight restoration is manual, and the permanent restoration is performed with machinery. The restoration with machinery is quick and finished within 20-30 minutes.

How Often should you Do Headlight Restoration?

Temporary restoration with home appliances needs frequent headlight restoration monthly or twice. Permanent restoration with wet or dry sanding procedures requires only longer cycles as the sanding process is the most aggressive.

You can perform headlight restoration at unlimited times. But the longer cycles of restoration for every 6-24 months are effective. The longer cycles with the reduced number of sanding minimize the damage to the headlights. How often you should do the headlight restoration depends on how long the restoration lasts.

How Long does Headlight Restoration Last?

Temporary restoration lasts a very short time, like 4-5 weeks, whereas permanent restoration of headlights lasts for comparatively longer periods, like 1-2 years. On average, headlight restoration may last from 6-24 months.

It depends on the types of kits used, types of lenses, types of sealant, environmental conditions and proper care and maintenance made on the vehicle before and after the restoration. Maintenance of the restored headlight is easy and can be followed with simple steps.

Factors Affecting the Longevity of a Headlight Restoration

Factors Affecting the Longevity of a Headlight Restoration

As mentioned above, oxidation is the main factor affecting the longevity of headlight restoration.

The type of material used to make the headlight causes different degrees of oxidation. It may be a severe, moderate or mild yellowish foggy appearance over the headlight. Severe oxidation causing fogginess is prominent on headlights made of polycarbonate plastic.

A dirty and chemical environment causes accumulation over the headlight and a cloudy or foggy appearance quickly.

A harsh climate leads to cracks over the headlight and poor visibility. Sunlight exposure easily damages the headlight due to Ultraviolet radiation.

Increased water vapor settles over the headlight, and time and weather conditions also affect the longevity of headlight restoration.

Overuse of vehicles for driving leads to damage to the headlight with road salts and stones. Above all, the quality of the restoration process, including the type of sealant used and the type of headlight and the subsequent maintenance and care of the vehicles after restoration, would mainly affect the longevity of the restoration.

How Can I Extend the Lifespan of a Headlight Restoration?

You can extend the lifespan of the headlight restoration with the proper maintenance of vehicles. You can follow these simple tips to preserve the restoration.

You can use an appropriate polish to keep the headlights better visible for driving. You can perform sanding over the vehicle headlights periodically to remove the cracks and accumulations on the headlight.

You can park the vehicle under the shade and prevent the vehicle from exposing heavy sunlight. You can prevent the vehicle from exposure to heavy rain and wind which may wear off the restored headlight. You can choose a suitable kit for the restoration of the headlight.

When you extend the lifespan of headlight restoration, you also extend the lifespan of humans by preventing traffic accidents.

Hence, the safety of driving during dark hours is concerned with headlights. Headlight restoration with an appropriate kit and its proper maintenance determine the longevity of headlight restoration.

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Video Credits – Ratchets And Wrenches

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