In the past, carmakers designed headlight lenses made from glass so they were limited in the size and shape they could produce. Since then, car manufacturers began designing cars with plastic or polycarbonate headlight lenses. This modification mainly occurred due to the change in the design of cars — cars became lighter and more aerodynamic, and plastic was by far less expensive to produce than glass. Today this plastic material is the chosen material because it is very light and can be transformed into unlimited sizes and shapes to satisfy new car designs.
Polycarbonate has its advantages but also has its disadvantages–namely oxidation/discoloration. To the naked eye one cannot tell that these plastic lenses are actually a porous material that expands ever so slightly when it gets hot. Degradation of the lens occurs over time. Having your headlights on or being exposed to the heat of the day causes the pores to open allowing debris from the road to get in. Debris, together with a combination of environmental factors such as the sun (UV rays), smog, acid rain, car exhaust, and harsh chemicals used to wash you car can cause the plastic headlight lenses to become oxidized.
Plastic oxidation leads to lens discoloration, which transforms new, clear, bright, shiny plastic to a dull yellow tint that appears to be foggy, hazy, or cloudy. This process (oxidation), as described above, not only becomes an eyesore but also is unsafe. Because of the degradation of the plastic lens, less light passed through resulting in diminished visibility during night driving. The car owner either had to deal with these cloudy yellow, oxidized headlight lenses posing serious safety issues or purchase expensive replacement headlights costing hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Autobella can restore, clean, polish, and clear those cloudy, yellow plastic headlight lenses without putting more money into the car manufacturer’s pocket. We can restore headlights to like-new condition by taking off the top layer of oxidized plastic. This can be achieved through polishing, wet sanding, or through the use of chemicals. The top layer of plastic on the headlights contains a UV polymer that retards or slows down the aging of the plastic lens. Therefore, it is important to use a polish (containing UV polymers) or UV coating to slow down the oxidation or discoloration of the lens. Parking your car in the shade or garage, or maintaining the lens by washing, waxing, and polishing a minimum of every three months, could avoid damage to the headlight lens.
Let Autobella restore your head lights for true clarity & safety.
If you’d like to schedule an Appointment with us click HERE. Feel free to text us a few pics if you’d like to 503-335-6969. We will get back quickly.