We all take our headlights for granted, and many of us spend the majority of our driving life with them turned on. With new EU laws it’s now a requirement of all new vehicles to have some form of daytime running light, on at all times.
What you probably didn’t know is that the build-up and abrasiveness of salt and debris on our roads, plus intense or harsh weather and driving conditions can degrade the face of our headlights so much that they can (in some cases) be only half as effective as a clean headlight.
Tests conducted in Canada, where driving conditions tend to be consistently treacherous throughout winter concluded that a driver travelling at 50km/h (31mph) would have an additional 4 seconds to react to a situation when their headlights were clean and in good working order.
Now imagine driving down a dark country road in the middle of the night and an animal jumps out on you; those extra four seconds could mean the difference between one dead animal and a heap of costly repairs to your damaged vehicle. No imagine it’s a residential area and another human steps out on you and the costs and implications are potentially much higher.
It is a really easy task to see whether your headlights are up to standard and you should be checking your headlights and more importantly all of your cars bulbs (brake lights, head lights and repeaters) on a weekly basis.
To check the state of your headlights during the day you need to look for lenses which look foggy, milky or even yellow, any of these and they need restoring. You should also be able to see the headlights bulb through the lenses and the lenses shouldn’t be overly scratched or scarred.
Restoring your headlights to close to their original state doesn’t need to be an expensive job and it can be done at home while you wash the car. Most hardware stores which sell car cleaning products will also sell car headlight restoration kits and they have been shown to restore lenses back to 95% of their original clarity. If your headlights are heavily damaged then you will want to consider seeing a body repair shop or garage that will be able to do a more thorough job.
If you are not happy with the headlights that come with the car then you can always check out a site like www.xtralights.com and buy a replacement set that will enhance the look of your car.
Remember, we not only rely on our own headlights, but also the headlights of everyone else so make sure others can see you by making sure yours are up to standard.