You spend your Sundays lovingly washing and waxing your car (ok, so you cheat and take it to the garage, but whatever) and you yell at the kids for covering the backseat in crumbs and wrappers but do you ever give your car bulbs a thought? How about your headlights which are such an integral part of your vehicle and contribute directly to you and your passenger’s safety?
If that’s a ‘no’ then read on as we’ve got the lowdown on looking after the unsung heroes of road safety.
It goes without saying that your headlight bulbs, whether they’re Xenon headlights, halogens or LED bulbs are crucial; lighting your way at night or in gloomy and adverse weather conditions, but what if, thorough plain old neglect they’re not functioning properly or shining as brightly as they should?
That’s where you need to step in and take preventative measures that could mean the difference between a safe journey and one that is putting you at risk.
If your car was manufactured after 1990, the lenses of your headlights will most likely be made from polycarbonate which, with time, can turn cloudy and yellow.
1) To remove lens discolouration, polish and buff lenses with a specialist cleaning product such as ‘Wolgang’ or ‘Diamondite’ – both of which are readily available from online stores
2) To remove car wax from lenses, use a mixture of hot water and normal household detergent. Rub with a sponge until clean then rinse with a high-pressure jet of cold water
3) Replace dull car bulbs at the first sign of poor performance. You could even consider upgrading from halogen bulbs to HID lights or LED bulbs – both of which are brighter, longer lasting and more energy efficient
Ideally, try and build your headlight-cleaning efforts into your regular maintenance routine and aim for a once-a-month lens clean. Having crystal clear lenses and bright headlights are a must for any motorist, whether you drive a car, van, truck or bike.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Headlights:
· Safety first: it’s stating the obvious, but properly functioning headlights mean that not only can you see where you’re going but you’ll be more visible to other road users, especially at night or in adverse weather conditions
· Money matters: cleaning your headlights might feel like a pain but it’s much less hassle free and way cheaper than replacing them!
· Money matters II: selling your car? No potential buyer is going to consider a car with dull, cloudy headlight lenses. Pay attention to the details and you’ll get a better price
· Hey, good-looking: bright beams and clean lenses will look, and make, your car feel like a million dollars. In a manner of speaking…
If this has made you realize that you haven’t been anywhere near your headlights with a damp cloth since…well, ever really…then, what are you waiting for? Log off the PC and get out there now with your sponge and bucket! And for a real, professional clean, don’t forget to take a look on the web at all the different lens cleaning kits that are out there - and make your next journey a safer one.