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Americans are keeping cars longer than ever these days, which means there are a high number of blurry auto headlights out on the road. Bad news, folks: if your lenses are plastic, as most are, then they'll inevitably develop a yellowish haze over time. This isn't just aesthetically unappealing; it can also be dangerous. But it doesn't have to rain on your parade. Instead, follow this handy guide dealing with cloudy headlights, which should help you understand and mitigate the problem.
Causes for hazy auto headlights
Plastic doesn't like heat or humidity, and headlight lenses get bombarded with both. In fact, there are a lot of elements that can transform clear auto headlights into distorted foggy headlights. There's heat from the bulbs inside, heat from the engine bay, and of course, heat and humidity from the atmosphere, depending on climate and season. Another culprit is UV damage from direct sunlight. Road salt is also a yellowing agent, and you can't discount the effects of years of high-speed collisions with dust, dirt, and insects.
Driving dangers with cloudy headlights
Not surprisingly, cloudy, yellow headlight lenses make the bulbs' job a lot harder. Accordingly, your nighttime and bad-weather visibility will steadily degrade as your lenses age, especially in low-beam mode, which is crucial for urban and winter driving. On top of that, if it's harder for you to see the road ahead, it's also harder for other drivers to see your car. Foggy headlights aren't just a cosmetic issue; they're a safety issue. Be cautious when dealing with tainted auto headlights.
Clear solutions for foggy headlights
Cleaning foggy headlights can be a hassle. If you've got a serious case of yellow haze, one option is to head to your mechanic to get it sorted out. They'll offer professional headlight-cleaning services, even if they're not devoted primarily to the art of de-hazing those lenses. Or, you can simply go to Advance Auto Parts to invest in a headlight restoration kit. With a restoration kit, you can properly restore clarity to your lenses by sanding away the outermost layer. For further info on these kits and other quality auto parts, click here.
There are many concerns when it comes to cloudy headlights. Short of permanently storing your vehicle in a vacuum-sealed display cube (hey, it's probably been done), there's nothing you can do to stop plastic from degrading. But, you can certainly slow the process down by avoiding salted roads and prolonged sun exposure whenever feasible. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to rub down your lenses with one of those at-home cleaners on a semi-regular basis, and some companies even offer clear protective films that provide a buffer between your lenses and the elements. Such measures do more than just promote safety— they give your resale value a little boost as well.
Let Advance Auto Parts steer you in the right direction for cleaning foggy headlights today.
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