Causes of headlight damage
The headlight cover is usually made of plastic. Stone chips, insects, UV light, road salt or weather influences are possible causes of scratching or yellowing of headlights. Yellow headlamp lenses result in poor light output and increase the risk of accidents. In addition, the headlamp would not pass a TÜV-relevant safety check. Here you can find out how to avoid the expensive exchange.
Repair the headlights yourself
Modern headlights are made from one piece. It is not possible to change the yellowed windscreen, so replacing the headlight is very expensive. Depending on the equipment, the costs here are around 1,000 euros per headlight. The cheaper option is to fix the headlight. To do this, you need a repair kit that you can purchase in stores. It contains everything you need for repairs: silicone remover spray, adhesion promoter spray, and 2K spray headlight clear coat for cleaning the headlight. The set also includes a sponge, waterproof sandpaper P800 and P2000 and a masking tape with a width of 19 mm. A handle that turns the spray can into a spray gun is also included.
Here’s how it works:
- Sand down the yellowed or scratched protective layer of the headlight with sandpaper of grain P800. In between, you should always clean the headlight with plenty of water.
- The cover plate is given the final touch with the P2000 grit sandpaper. Now polish the headlight for about a minute until the surface is really smooth and the glass is nice and clear again. Grinding is always done in a circular motion and with light pressure.
- Use the masking tape to carefully tape the headlight of the adjacent surfaces. The cleaning agent or the two-component clear coat must not get onto the neighboring painted parts, because cleaning would be very expensive afterward.
- Now clean the headlight surface with the silicone remover. This gives you the surface free of grease and silicone and ensures optimal adhesion of the bonding agent. Shake vigorously beforehand and then apply evenly.
- It is best to attach the handle to the can for better handling and dosing. The adhesion promoter offers an optimal basis for the 2K clear coat. Otherwise, it would not adhere properly to the surface.
- The coupling agent is dry after about 30 minutes. Now you can apply the 2-component clear coat. First, you have to release the hardener contained in a cartridge in the spray can at the push of a button. Shake the can for three minutes to mix the two components optimally. Now you put the handle back on the spray can and spray the clear coat evenly thin on the headlight. Then let it dry for about five minutes. Then spray on a thicker layer of clear varnish. Make sure that the paint does not run off or forms drops. Now the headlight is like new again and has passed every safety test.
Although cleaning the headlamp is quite complex, you save a lot of money compared to buying a new one. Refurbishing the headlamp is a good alternative to complete replacement. The same applies in most cases to car preparation.