Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are headlight lenses made out of glass or plastic?
A: Headlights were once made of glass; however, using glass limited car manufactures to certain sizes and shapes. As technology advanced in the mid 1980's, automakers began using polycarbonate plastic headlight lenses because it was cheaper, lighter, and had the ability to be shaped to the sleek front end styling of modern cars. Some vehicles such as jeeps or certain trucks and vans still use glass with a simple headlight shape. However, most headlight lenses are now made of this hard shatter-resistant polycarbonate plastic.
Q: What causes lenses to turn cloudy, hazy, or yellow?
A: Although polycarbonate is a very hard plastic, it is very porous. While there are many advantages to using polycarbonate, one major drawback is that over time oxidation can change the physical properties of the headlight lens surface. The lenses have a factory applied UV resistant .03 mil thick silicone coating to help protect and preserve the porous plastic from the environment. Once this protective barrier weakens and wears, the lenses are exposed to many elements. Daily exposure to the sun's harsh UV rays is the biggest contributor to the deterioration (oxidation) and discoloring of the polycarbonate lens surface. However, UV rays and heat from the sun isn't the only culprit; intense heat from the halogen bulb also has a negative effect over time...as does acid rain, humidity, insects, road debris, chemicals, vehicle exhaust, and car wash brushes.
Q: Isn't the foggy appearance coming from the inside of the lens cover?
A: More than likely, no. Only in a very small percent of foggy headlights is the foggy appearance actually coming from the inside of the lens cover. Many people think this but in fact almost all cloudy headlights are a result of the outside of the lens cover being oxidized. In rare occurrences, however, condensation can build up on the inside of the lens cover from rain because of a broken or faulty headlight seal. The good news is that all headlights come with vent holes and when your headlights are on, they generate a lot of heat that evaporates the moisture through the vents.
Q: What is involved in the restoration process?
A: The lens is mechanically wet-sanded to completely remove the oxidation and physical
damage. We then professionally polish out the lens to restore optical clarity and apply our UV resistant chemical clear coat sealant. Refinished lenses will have a deep, wet gloss and protection from the elements. All of our customers can also purchase a small bottle of powerful UV protectant spray (not to be confused with our UV resistant chemical clear coat sealant) and microfiber wiping cloth to keep the lenses looking their best for years to come.
Q: How long will they stay clear?
A: It depends. We guarantee 2 years of complete clarity. If your headlights begin to cloud up within 2 years after our service, we will restore your headlights at no cost. Try to keep your car clean with regular washes, wax your headlights if or when you wax your car, and apply the powerful UV protectant spray we sell every other month and your headlights could stay like new for several years. Even if you don't do any of this, our protective clear coat should still keep your headlights looking new for over 2 years. However, applying the spray we sell regularly should keep them looking new for the life of your vehicle. Do not use window cleaners on your headlights! Those products are made for glass, not plastic. Glass cleaners do more harm than good because they contain alcohols, ammonia, or solvents which will degrade the plastic and speed the cloudy, yellow process much faster.
Q: How does your guarantee work?
A: If your headlights are showing any cloudiness within 2 years from date on receipt, contact
us and we will come out, inspect and redo the work as needed to make them look new again.
Q: Why would I choose your service over doing it myself with a restoration kit?
A: You can certainly do that...and people can also choose to wash or detail their cars themselves as well. You will be the one doing the labor plus the cost of the kit, but just know that these kits must be used correctly for optimum results. If used carelessly, they can leave your lights severely scratched and even looking worse. We actually fix this type of damage often. Most kits are not effective in removing severe oxidation and scratches. The kits are a one-size-fits-all product, but the reality is...every headlight is different based on the manufacturer, type, and particular damage. We adjust to each unique lens based on our knowledge, years of experience, what we see before restoring and what we see during the process. We have more tools and products than what's found in a generic kit to adjust to each headlight accordingly. Additionally, many of the kits don't provide a sealant to protect a refinished lens. The kits that do, use a really inferior sealant that wears off within months leaving your headlights like they were before you spent money and did all of that hard work. Our process offers superior results and protection, and we guarantee it unlike the kits.
Q: Does that wipe-on liquid headlight restoration product in the infomercials work?
A: No. What that product does is wet the lens and fill in some scratches and oxidation like an inferior band-aid to make them look moderately better, only to return back to a haze a couple weeks later. Think of what it's like putting Armor All on the side of your tires, it's similar. Your headlights will still look damaged even right after applying this liquid because the simple truth is, the oxidation is still there. The only way to get rid of the years of oxidation is to completely resurface the headlights like we do. It takes over an hour for us to completely resurface the lenses and there are no shortcuts...if there were, we wouldn't spend the amount of time we do. Do not waste your money on these products.
Q: My car wash/detail shop cleans my lights every visit. Isn't this sufficient?
A: Most shops simply apply some polish, run a buffer over them, and then coat with simple car wax. This offers minimal protection and generally hides imperfections for a few weeks or until your next visit. If the plastic remains without UV protection like the manufacturer applied, the cloudiness or yellowing will actually worsen. Eventually, buffing them will do little, if anything at all. If you are paying extra for this service regularly, how much have you spent? Even though they may charge you less than we would, you will actually end up spending much more than you would with us. So many of our customers tell us they wish they had used us in the very beginning. Spend less ultimately and get it done right the first time with a professional headlight restoration from Headlight Facelift!
Q: How much headlight damage can you fix?
A: We can remove 100% of exterior damage such as haziness, cloudiness, discoloration, yellowing, and scratches. More extreme damage like chips and deep cracks cannot be fixed.
Q: Do I have to take my headlights out for you to restore them?
A: This is a common question we get and the answer is no. Although some of our customers already have their headlights removed, it is not necessary and is in fact, a little more difficult and not recommended. We prefer to restore headlights still on the vehicle. It is helpful if you pop the hood for us and we then tape around the entire headlight before starting our restoration process to prevent any accidental damage to the vehicle's paint.
Q: Can you also restore tail lights, fog lights, side markers, or break lights?
A: Yes we do, and we charge different amounts for these listed on our page.
Q: How long does the restoration take?
A: Each headlight or tail light takes about 30-60 minutes while fog lights and markers take less time depending on their size and oxidation severity. We recommend not driving your vehicle for one hour after we are finished. The lenses are still somewhat damp and tacky for approximately 1 hour after restoration. During that first hour the vehicle should not be driven to avoid road debris or bugs from possibly marking the lenses permanently. You can safely drive your vehicle after an hour but try to keep your driving to a minimum for the first 24 hours after it is fully cured and we always recommend our customers wait at least 3 days if they were planning to wash their cars.
Q: How do I keep my headlights looking new?
A: Regular washes, minimizing sun exposure where possible, and some type of surface protection will extend the life of polycarbonate plastic. We also recommend using the UV protectant spray we sell every 4 to 8 weeks. The spray will block harmful UV rays while also helping to repel dirt and road debris. Although there is no material or chemical that will endure environmental exposure forever, restored lenses can maintain their appearance for several years with proper care. If you are a previous customer and have run out of the UV protectant spray over the years that we had sold you and would like to purchase more...or you never had our restoration service but would like to purchase the UV protectant spray to help prevent your plastic headlight lenses from becoming oxidized, by popular demand you can purchase it from us here.
Q: How should your UV protectant spray be applied?
A: After cleaning the lens with soap and water, simply spray the clean lens with approximately 4 pumps and spread the liquid across the entire surface with a clean cloth until wet and then wipe off any excess.
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