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Foggy Headlamp Fix

Rain, road grime, dirt and debris are all abrasive to the front end of your vehicle. Most notably on many vehicles, the headlights. Foggy or scratched headlights can cause a dim light at night and that means poor visibility. The good new is fixing this is very simple. Many parts stores sell kits for you to clean the headlamps. 3M and Mothers both make great kits. These kits come with sandpaper, compound and an attachment that you can use on the end of a cordless drill. You can pick up one of these kits for about $20 and get started. When purchasing one of these kits pick up some masking tape as well.

To begin you want to pop the hood and use the masking tape to outline the light. Place the tape on the fender and bumper to protect from a runaway drill or unwanted scuffs and scratches. Once you have taped the painted surfaces surrounding the light, you will install the part on the drill and use the heavier grit (400 grit) sand paper to start. Make sure the drill is on the 1 or low speed setting. Use constant pressure when sanding the surface and go in circles. Try not to stay in one spot too long to avoid burning the surface or causing excess heat. I usually like to add water to the light for wet sanding. It gives you a better idea of what has been sanded properly and limits dust. After thoroughly sanding with the heavy grit you will wipe off the light and transition to a lighter grit (1000 to 1600 grit). This will finely scuff the light and take down the heavier scratch marks from the other sand paper. Similarly using the same constant pressure go over the whole light. Once that is completed, you move on to the buffing stage. Install the buffer end on the drill and put about 10 dime size spots of compound on the light. Before starting the drill wipe the light down with the buffer. Then start the drill and with constant pressure move around the light slowly. You should start seeing the headlight clear up and the haze disappear. If you see some deep scratches still in the light you can sand with light grit sand paper and repeat the buffing process.

The entire process will take you about 20 minutes and you should have ‘Like New’ headlights again.

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