Headlight Restoration Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the most common questions I get:
In case you might have questions about auto headlight restoration.
Q: Why should I use your service if I can buy a (d.i.y.) kit?
A: Well the evidence is clear that over the counter headlight cleaning kits just don't last very long if they work at all.
Now if you don't mind having to redo your headlights every 2 to 3 months, and if that is the route you'd rather take, then that's fine, because there is a couple of kits out there that can clean your lights rather nicely, given their not in too bad of shape.
However, do you know which kits will work for your particular situation, or will you have to try two or three different kits before you find the right one for you? And do you have the skill-set to get it right the first time?
Also, keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for; so your cheaper kits are not likely to work at all.
Q: When looking for someone to do my headlights, what questions
should I ask?
1. I guess the first thing you should ask is how long have they been restoring headlights?
2. Are they a registered business in the County they are based in?
3. Do they have any before & after examples that you can see before you decide to hire them?
4. Do they offer any kind of warranty, or at the very least a satisfaction guarantee?
5. Once they restore your headlights, how long will it last?
6. Will your lights require any special maintenance after restoration?
7. And I personally would ask if they plan to buff them out and add a sealer? If this is the case, I can pretty much guarantee they won't last 3 to 6 months. And if they say they will add a UV coating after buffing, then UV coatings will not adhere well to smooth surfaces and will peel or wear off in short order.
Q: I've been approached by someone offering to do my lights for a lot
less than you charge; why shouldn't I just hire them?
A: If someone offers you a deal that seems too good to be true, then it probably is!
And if they say it will only take less than 30 minutes, then they couldn't possibly do a good job!
Again remember that you usually get what you pay for!
It's your call.
Q: What is resurfacing?
A: Resurfacing is when you have to remove the layer of oxidation and what's left of the factory UV film. This process always involves having to sand the headlight lens using one to several different grits of sandpaper. This is the case in about 90% of the cases I deal with because most people just wait too long before having their headlights cleaned or restored.
Q: is simple oxidation removal the same as resurfacing or restoration?
A: No, simple oxidation removal only works when the signs of headlight hazing is just starting to show.
Before the factory, UV film is damaged.
I can only speak about my process, that involves removing the headlight oxidation with a chemical designed specifically for removing oxidation from acrylic / polycarbonate plastics.
But simply cleaning the oxidation off of auto headlights will not prevent oxidation from reforming. Although I will also apply a conditioner that will help in slowing down this reformation of oxidation; it can wash off in time and will need to be reconditioned about every 3 months to be effective for the long term.
Note: This does not apply to boat windshields because there is no halogen or xenon light bulbs to accelerate the oxidation process. Boat windshields develop a different type of oxidation than automotive headlights. See "About Oxidation" for more info on this.
Q: How long will simple oxidation removal last?
A: As I stated above, simply cleaning the oxidation off of auto headlights will not prevent oxidation from reforming. Although I will also apply a conditioner that will help in slowing down this reformation of oxidation; it can wash off in time and will need to be reconditioned about every 3 months to remain effective.
Q: What restoration options do you offer and how long does it last?
A: The actual resurfacing process is basically the same for all applications; the key is in the finishing stages. I have 2 options available:
1. My 1-year warranty UV coating (this product is still available but I no longer promote it) will last at least 1 year with proper care; in other words you cannot just let your headlights go and never wash them. And you can ONLY use mild soap & water, no other cleaning agents or abrasive products such as cleaners or rough towels or bug sponges.
2. This is my Premium UV Coating that carries a warranty that will last for as long as you own your vehicle. This product does not require any special care or maintenance, except of course when your headlights get dirty, you should always wash them to get the maximum light projection for your safety and visibility. And of course, bug debris can eat through anything if left on long enough; so you should always keep your headlight free of this.
Q: do you charge a "service call fee" for coming to my location?
Q: I have water or moisture inside my headlights; can you fix that?
A: I do not currently offer this service, but I can offer some DIY solutions to help you resolve these issues.