Frequently Asked Questions

How do you polish a tarnished car headlight?

Headlights are essential for driving comfort and safety: they provide visibility at night, especially when the street lighting isn’t good enough. Over time, some headlight lenses can become dulled by the effect of the sun’s UV rays on the polycarbonate. The light then loses its sharpness and power. Your vision and visibility, and therefore your safety, are reduced. That’s why you need to polish the headlight from time to time, to make sure that it’s in the best possible condition for driving. How do you polish car headlights? Can you do it yourself? Glassdrive helps you see clearly!


What is a headlight lens?

The headlight lens is the transparent polycarbonate surface placed over the headlight, to protect the bulb and the lighting network. This lens allows the light to be spread out efficiently and gives it a specific colour. It also plays an aesthetic role. By extension, the term headlight lens is also used to designate the whole headlight unit.

As with any part of your vehicle, it needs to be cleaned from time to time: Polishing a headlight is essential.


Why is it essential to polish the headlights?

The polycarbonate used to manufacture headlight lenses is tougher than glass, but it tends to lose its transparency over time. When the surface is frosted, tarnished or scratched, the light beam is diffracted, reducing the headlight’s range and therefore your visibility.

A headlight with reduced efficiency can be a safety issue, especially when you’re driving on a poorly lit (or unlit) country road. What’s more, a car with faded, yellowed or scratched headlights might not pass its MOT.

The solution? Polishing the headlights. But how do you polish a headlight?


How do you polish a car headlight?

To polish a car headlight effectively, you need to take the condition of the headlight into account:

  • If the surface is only tarnished or faded, a simple polishing is sufficient. Use a soft cloth soaked in soapy water or washing-up liquid (but absolutely not alcohol) to clean, and then a whitening toothpaste to rub, the headlights. A coat of polish on the headlight can also do the trick.
  • If the headlight is very opaque, or even scratched, the car headlight should be polished with fine sandpaper (grain size: 600-800 mm) or an abrasive cloth (using a drill with a rotary pad), then polish.

Before polishing your car’s headlights, remember to protect the painted parts of the bodywork with masking tape.

However, to give your headlights back their full power, it’s best to contact a professional.


Can you trust Glassdrive to polish your headlights?

As a specialist in your vision and visibility on the road, Glassdrive has added headlight polishing into its range of services. In our centres that offer this service, our fitters have been trained to restore the original transparency and efficiency of these parts. To do this, we polish the surface of the headlight using special products and increasingly fine or soft sandpaper, and then we varnish it, to protect the plastic from the harmful effects of UV rays. This procedure requires a certain amount of technical skill, and the result is outstanding.

However, if your lens is too damaged to be polished, or if it’s broken, we can replace it: your safety on the road is at stake!

Still have some questions?