Since conditions where a car is housed vary so dramatically, there is no blanket amount of time that headlight restoration lasts. That being said, there are numerous factors that contribute to diminishing the longevity of a light, and they directly determine when maintenance will be necessary again. A flawless cleaning can give a vehicle roughly a ten month grace period until the quality of the beam’s visibility should be revisited, but this is best case scenario. Variables that affect the length of efficiency of headlight restoration include:
UV rays are the biggest cause for a headlight’s shelf life to deteriorate, even more than a vehicle constantly driving through dirty conditions. For the most part, debris can be washed and cleared, whereas the damage from the sun is harder to get rid of. The more a vehicle is constantly exposed to the elements, the more frequently headlight restoration should be undertaken. Every make and model is different, using various polycarbonate plastics to create headlights. Because of this it is impossible to pinpoint how long a fresh restoration would procure positive results, but if your vehicle is outdoors all day without any covering, 3 months is a good rule of thumb to follow before giving it an attentive look.
“It is impossible to pinpoint how long a fresh restoration would procure positive results, but if your vehicle is outdoors all day without any covering, 3 months is a good rule of thumb to follow before giving it an attentive look”
What Did The Restoration Include?
The extensiveness to how well your headlights were cleaned will determine when it is time to wash them again. Sandpaper or a rough surface should be used to clear off the lamp initially, as often times foreign elements are embedded into the plastic itself. This is what causes headlights to appear foggy, and is incredibly dangerous to leave untended. Most people that take on this endeavor at home home use a quick spray of the hose and assume the problem has been rectified. Producing a shiny headlight is a far more extensive process. The layer of grime on the plastic needs to oxidize, which allows the impurities to separate and be washed away with ease.
Was Sealant Used?
Just as the name implies, sealant is critical to a headlight’s shelf life because it traps the polish, cleaner, and most importantly UV ray deterrent under a fine film. Unless otherwise directed by your auto
detailer, sealant should almost never be skipped over. A car whose headlights have been restored but does not have a protective shield buffed in afterward will not last more than a few months before it
will start to fade.
Headlight restoration is perhaps the most vital aspect of car maintenance outside of the engine because it is a driver’s lifeline in poorly lit environments. Safety should always be of paramount concern to whoever has access to the vehicle, and because of this one should always err on the side of caution by having a professional headlight restoration on your car every few months by making each lamp sparkle as if they have just been purchased. Auto detailing experts also have access to the most effective polishes, agents and sealants, and are sure to produce strong beams of light illuminating from your headlights to ensure you are never at the mercy of poor visibility.