Shedding Light On Headlight Restoration

Classic cars can remind drivers of a simpler time. Many people enjoy restoring cars that were popular in their youth, or vehicles that have a sentimental meaning.

Sourcing parts for a classic car restoration project can be a challenge. The delicate nature of headlights means that these parts must usually be replaced or updated when restoring an older vehicle.

When you are able to understand how the restoration process works, you can successfully install attractive and functional headlights on your classic car.

Start by determining the severity of the damage.

Before you invest in a replacement headlight, it's important to determine if you can repair the existing lamps on your classic car. There are two types of damage that can plague a headlight, interior damage, and exterior damage.

Interior damage can be spotted by checking for moisture condensation on the inside surface of the glass or plastic. You may need to replace the housing or install a new glass or plastic shield to prevent interior damage from fogging up your classic car's headlights in the future.

Exterior damage includes visible cracks or dents to the frame holding a headlight in place. If the damage is severe, it will be more cost effective to invest in a new headlight. Minor damage can be eliminated by a reputable body shop.

Clean and polish the headlights.

Once you have determined that the damage to your existing headlights can be repaired, it's time to clean and polish the headlights to ensure you are seeing all of the damage that exists.

Use a tartar-fighting toothpaste and a soft rag to clean a small area on your headlight. If dirt and debris come off and the protective covering appears clean, continue polishing the rest of the headlight. If the toothpaste does not affect your headlight, you will need to use a sander to eliminate caked on dirt and debris.

Prevent the oxidation of your new headlights.

Many of the classic car replacement headlights available on the market today are made from plastic. Plastic is more durable than glass, which was originally used in the construction of automotive headlights.

Although plastic will last longer, it is susceptible to oxidation. To prevent your headlights from becoming discolored in the future, install a deoxidizer in each light. The deoxidizer will remove pollutants, debris, and any UV rays that might oxidize in your headlights, compromising your night vision and detracting from the appearance of your classic car over time.

For more information, contact a company like Octane Lighting.