What Happens When I Get My Car Headlights Restored

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As any vehicle owner should know, driving visibility is one of the biggest safety factors. It’s the same reason why car manufacturers spend so much money trying to develop headlights that can effectively assist your night time driving. 

When To Have Your Headlights Restored and Why

The typical halogen reflective light is the most common type of headlight available. While effective in its early use, these headlights will accumulate scratches, discolored patches, and dirt. 

It’s a problem that can’t be blamed on manufacturers. Discoloration, for one, is caused by exposure to UV rays which can cause yellowing in the housing material of your headlight. This discoloration is what leads to yellow-ish or cloudy headlights. Scratches, meanwhile, can be blamed on simply using the car. As we drive our cars around we will continuously be subjecting our headlights to dirt and other particulates from the road. While headlights come with a protective layer to prevent these damages, this layer will eventually wear out. 

In any of these cases, it’s important to know when you need to get your headlights restored. You may notice it first when driving one night and visibility seems off. Ideally, you should be able to catch this problem before it gets to that by performing weekly walk-arounds or maintenance checks. After all, your safety is of the utmost priority.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. It might seem like a small thing now, having clear headlights. At first, you might even think that the cloudy headlights aren’t even a problem. The issue here is that leaving this unsolved exposes you to situations where you might have difficulty seeing what’s in front of you at night. 

The consequences are twofold—on one hand, you will have difficulty navigating and are more likely to miss an exit or a turn. On the other hand, you are also less likely to be able to slow down in time should an unexpected obstacle show up on the road. In these cases, it is much better to be prepared and have clear headlights, rather than dealing with close calls or, worse, a vehicular accident. 

The Basics of Headlight Restoration

Now that we’ve discussed why it’s important to restore your headlights, let’s take a look at some of your options when it comes to headlight restoration. 


As with most things these days, there exists a DIY solution. DIY headlight restoration for car owners who prefer getting dirty and are genuinely interested in learning how to do it right. It’s a time intensive process but one that should be fulfilling. 

Generally, these kits will include: 

  • Sandpaper (Multiple grades, increasing order) 
  • Polishing and cleaning cloths
  • Cleaning and polishing compounds
  • Protective coating

Make sure to follow the kit’s instructions to get the best results.

Professional Restoration

Alternatively, you could visit professionals who are experienced with this kind of work. The reason why this is the more recommended solution is the fact that they have a strict process that can be simplified into three steps—cleaning, polishing, and protecting. 

First of all, professionals will have the appropriate equipment for the job. Better cleaning and polishing cloths and machines are good examples. Plus, compared to the available consumer DIY kits, the cleaning, polishing, and protective compounds they use are of a higher strength. 

The combination of experience, better equipment, and better compounds means that your headlights can be cleaned better and will stay clear for a longer time, at least when compared to DIY solutions. 


The bottom line here is that your vehicle’s maintenance should be taken seriously. Most would assume that we’d only be talking about oil and coolant, but the headlight remains to be one of the most crucial maintenance matters. Your safety is the priority here, it won’t make much sense to make compromises in that respect. 

Cen Cal Tinting is Fresno's most trusted auto restyling shop. From window tinting to headlights restoration, we've got you covered. For more information on what we can do for you, visit our website today!

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