Most car owners take decent care of their car’s engine, braking system, transmission system, and heating and cooling system. But there is one part of the car that is often missed out because car owners never think about maintaining it. This part is the headlights.
Headlights are extremely important for safe driving. They help illuminate the road ahead of you and ensure you have the right amount of visibility to see other vehicles and pedestrians when driving. Hence, it is important you properly maintain your headlights to reduce the risk of accidents. If your car’s headlights, turn cloudy, it can result in poor illumination. This will pose a problem when you are driving, particularly during night driving. Poor illumination means poor visibility.
So here are some critical headlight maintenance tips that you should be aware of as a responsible car owner.
Finding Problems with Your Car’s Headlights
Since most of us don’t bother checking the headlights on a regular basis, we never spot a headlight problem until it is too late. To avoid this from happening, make sure you do the following:
- Regular Headlight Checkups: Remember it really isn’t easy to identify a problem with your headlights while you are driving. So, make sure you check your headlights each time you change the oil or fill gas in your car. This simple habit will allow you to spot headlight problems early and take remedial measures.
- Clean Your Headlights Regularly: If you ensure you clean your car’s headlights on a regular basis, you will be able to spot problems before they compound. When you go to the gas station to fill up your car, get your headlights cleaned thoroughly. Also, make it a point to clean the headlights at home when you are cleaning your car.
How to Maintain the Headlights of Your Car
Car headlights can develop many problems, but thankfully with the right maintenance tips most of these problems can be resolved. Here are a few maintenance tips for you:
- Fogged or Yellowed Lenses: Most cars have lenses made from polycarbonate. When this material is exposed for extended periods to the UV rays of the sun, polycarbonate tends to oxidize and turn yellow or cloudy. If this happens with your car lens, first polish off the colored outer layer of the lens. Be gentle yet firm. Once it has been polished off, it is time to apply a protective coating on the lens that is UV-resistant.
- Misaligned Car Headlights: This occurs when you constantly hit potholes or go off-roading. The frequent jerks and bumps dislodge the headlights from their original position, causing them to be misaligned. You would need to visit a professional car repair shop to determine whether the headlights are out of position. If yes, the technician will fix and put them in their original position.
- Dimming Headlights: This is a sign that you need to replace your car’s headlights. It is best to replace both headlights even if one has a problem. If you replace both, you will even illumination while driving.
- Flaking of the Lens Surface: With regular use, the outer surface of the lens can peel and flake. If you don’t take remedial measure, gradually the peeling and flaking will become so bad that the bulbs of the headlights will be exposed. This can cause damage to them, resulting in expensive electrical repairs. Make sure you get the surface replaced the moment you notice it is peeling or flaking.
- Scratches on the Lens Surface: This usually happens with wear and tear. However, it is not a cause for concern as using coarse sandpaper and fine grit sandpaper can resolve the problem. The coarse sandpaper smoothens the scratches and the fine grit helps to polish the surface, thereby ensuring the scratches are not visible.
- Crazing: This refers to deep cracks developing on the surface of the lens. This will not affect the functioning of the headlights, but will seriously affect the aesthetic appeal of your vehicle. So, it is best to get the lens replaced if it develops deep cracks.
- Condensation: If condensation occurs inside the lens of the headlight, it will have a serious effect on the electrical wiring of the headlight. Fixing condensation problem is an expensive repair, but it will save you lots of money for electrical system repair.
Why should You Focus on Headlight Maintenance?
There are many benefits of headlight maintenance. Some of these include:
- Lower auto insurance premiums as it reduces the risk of meeting with an accident
- Higher car resale value
- Better visibility while driving and therefore, you will be able to react if you have to stop or brake suddenly
Remember, if your headlights are not working as it should, you will not be able to see other cars and pedestrians on the road. This increases the chances of an accident and you will be at fault for this dereliction and clear negligence. So make sure you also maintain your car’s headlights, just like you would maintain other parts and systems of your car. At the very least, if you drive at night regularly, you will certainly increase your chances of receiving a fix-it ticket and being lectured by a police officer on the side of the road.