There are several instruments in a car, which needs a little care from you, and it just springs back to life, just as new, irrespective of age or accidental damage. You really do not need to visit a mechanic for it. The headlights are one, which with age loses its sheen and a small caring ‘pat’ could just revive it by using the ‘Do it Yourself’ method.
Extensive heat in GCC countries kills the outer plastic of the headlight and with exposure to sunlight, it loses its look and shine. And scratches come by default during the high speed highway drive with free sandblasting session every day. Here are some tips to make the scratches disappear and to remove the yellow shade which appears over time due to polycarbonate clouds, thanks to the UV rays that degrade the outer layer of plastic.
- Formula 1 Scratch Out: This Liquid rubbing compound helps in forming a clear coat on your headlight. Leave it to dry for 30 minutes and then start gently scrubbing applying little pressure in a circular pattern with a dry cloth. Once the dry paste is off, repeat the scrubbing exercise with water but more gently. This rubbing compound comes at a price of 12-15 AED in any fuel station.
- Toothpaste method: Use regular toothpaste, some towels and water. Spread the toothpaste onto the lens, spray water and dry it with the towel. It works.
- Meguiar’s PlastX: This can be used for minor damages or to make the headlight get its shine back. Meguiar's PlastX is easily available in Ace hardware. You will also need Sandpaper grit depending on the severity of the damage and discoloration, but, you have to purchase few sheets of higher grit from the one you choose. So, if you purchase sandpaper with 1000 grit, you will also need to buy 1500, 2000 and 2500. To start with 1000 grit is ideal for severely yellowish lenses. You will also need a few packs of microfiber towels, a flannel cloth, a masking tape and a bucket. Use the masking tape to mask the light you choose to work with and then cut the grit papers into usable size. Soak in water for 10 minutes. Take the 1000 grit paper and sand the lens, vertically or horizontally only, not in circular motion. Keep spraying water on the lens. Now, use the microfiber cloths to dry the lens. Then use the next level of grit and sand in the opposite direction from the previous session, and repeat the process. Then use the next level of grit and repeat all over again in opposite direction. Now, use the flannel cloth and put a small bit of Meguiar's PlastX and apply on the lens firmly in circular motion and allow it to dry. After some time, use the microfiber cloth to remove it from the lens. Try this for a few more times till the clarity of the lens is evident and then remove your masking tape. Then place a good amount of PlastX on your hand and spread it over the lens and allow it to dry. With a microfiber cloth, polish the lens for one final time. Once satisfy take the before and after picture and show off to your friends of your little DIY (Do It Yourself) project over the weekend.
If you need more help, or need specific answer for any question then try the ‘Carnity Forum’ (http://carnity.com/) or find car businesses near you with the Carnity ‘Business listing’ (http://carnity.com/business_listing) section.