Many nighttime car accidents are caused by failure of the driver to recognize road conditions. If your car’s headlights aren’t shining as brightly as they should (even on the high beam setting), you’re inviting danger. Or rather, danger’s inviting you – and with poor visibility, it may be too late to avoid an accident.
There are two main causes for foggy headlights. The first (and most common) reason is due to protective film on most car headlight assemblies. These days, almost all car manufacturers use hard, clear plastic for the headlight lens. To combat wear and tear – from bad weather, bugs and other foreign objects – a protective film covers the lights. This film breaks down after normal use.
The second way your headlights can become foggy is due to structural failure. A headlight assembly is designed to be moisture-free, but if the surrounding gasket becomes worn, or your headlight is cracked, water seeps inside. Most times, the water accumulates at a very slow pace, but it’s still enough to produce that cloudy or foggy appearance.
Depending on the cause of your light’s problems (interior H2O or exterior wear & tear), you can try the following fixes.
Foggy Headlights from Lens / Exterior Issues
The Perfect Polish: there are specific chemicals designed to restore your headlights to their former clarity. This involves a high-speed buffer (or polisher), which you can do yourself or take to the shop. Afterwards, your headlights should appear less foggy.
Bug Spray: some people have success using standard bug & pest spray to clean their headlights. While not highly recommended, the compound does temporarily remove cloudiness.
Toothpaste: in keeping with the “standard household items fixes,” try giving your headlights the Colgate or Crest treatment (any brand of toothpaste will work). Apply a small dab of paste to a rag and gently wipe the headlight surface. Then, wipe the light again with a clean, damp cloth. You’ll be amazed how effective this method is! (The jury is still out on whether this method reduces car headlight cavities.)
Foggy Headlights from Water / Interior Issues
This one’s pretty straightforward. You’ll have to replace the entire assembly with a new one. This is regarded as an expensive project, but a headlight assembly from Buy Auto Parts is very affordable. Plus, you’ll save significant labor expenses, too! And the best thing about this fix is your headlights will perform exactly as they’re designed. This is the most time-intensive foggy headlight fix, yet also the most comprehensive. You’ll probably only have to do this once.
A clean line of sight is essential for safe driving. To put your car’s headlights back on the bright path, Buy Auto Parts stocks OEM- and OE comparable headlight assembly kits. If the “quick fixes” aren’t working out, it’s best to simply replace your old headlight with a new one. We recommend immediate action – after all, the perils of driving “in the dark” are too severe to risk!
If you have any questions about our headlight assemblies, speak with a BuyAutoParts.com expert at (888) 907-7225. We’ll help you source & select the right headlight assembly for your car. And once you’ve completed your DIY headlight project, you’ll literally be able to see the difference, especially driving your car at night.
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Written by Dara Greaney