Have your HID headlight giving off cloudy, hazy and a yellowish light lately? Well, it’s about the time that you restore them. HID headlights can get damaged due to constant exposure to environmental pollutants. Further, the constant heat produced when they are powered on can result in discoloration and degradation of plastic headlight lenses. HID or High Intensity Discharge beam units always operate on a very high temperature and this intensity can easily result in degradation of the interior coating. Additionally, road debris, harmful UV rays from the sun, acid rains and toxic pollutants in the air can enhance the problem. In many cases, HID headlights can become unsafe for the road wherein you encounter an extremely low visibility condition.
While the way out will be to take proper care of the HID headlights after they have been installed, sometimes, you also need to go for a restoration. Following very simple steps, anyone can do a HID restoration within minutes.
It is important to note that HID headlights are very expensive and unless you happen to be a millionaire, restoration sounds easier compared to complete replacement. The plastic casing itself costs a couple thousand dollars. Restoration on the other hand can save you as much as $1000, depending on the severity of damage, the make of the HID headlight and the car model.
Just follow these easy steps:
HID headlight restoration can get your lights to normal functioning conditions. The restoration process is meant to fix all the surface damages and increase the visibility through the plastic. Even with serious hazing and abrasion of the plastic, restoration can be of good use.
In case the damage is minimal, the problem can be fixed by polishing the headlight plastic casing. This should wipe out all the pollutants that have been deposited all this time. To start off, test a part of the plastic with plastic polish. To do so, dab a soft cloth in tartar control toothpaste (readily available in some households) and apply on the plastic. Note that regular toothpaste will be more abrasive. If you find that the process is actually working, go on to the other areas on the plastic casing. You may also use other polishing materials like the Meguiar’s PlastX.
(Never use products/cleaning solutions that are meant to use for glass windows. They will enhance the damage and the plastic will turn more yellow)
In case, toothpaste doesn’t work, you might want to try with a sand-paper polish and subsequent re-polish for a clean smooth surface.
Step 1: Always wear latex gloves before taking out the HID headlight carefully from the case/socket and clean it gently by rubbing alcohol. Always make sure that the bulb is cold before you apply any alcohol (the car should have been powered of for sometime).
Step 2: Clean the headlight case using soft cloth dipped in soap water.
Step 3: Cover the headlight lens with painter’s masking tape to ensure that no damage comes to the car’s paint.
Step 4: Apply soap water to your headlight lens and depending upon the intensity of the damage, clean them with ‘2000 grit sand-paper’. If the damage is excessive, you might have to use ‘600 grit sandpaper’. It is important that every HID headlight owner keeps a range of sand paper in the garage. These products are cheap and come in quite handy.
Step 5: Re-glaze the surface with plastic polish using foam or wool.
Step 6: Apply seal wax to finish off the process.