If your car headlights are becoming a bit worse for wear, you’ve got two options – replace them or restore them. If they’re both viable options, then how do you know which to go for? Let’s look at the difference between these two processes and how to decide which one you need.

When do headlights need restoring or replacing?

Over time, your headlights can start to become dimmer and mistier, not lighting your way as effectively as they could be doing. This poor quality of light is less about the bulbs themselves and more to do with the lenses that encase the bulb.

Over time, things like UV rays, the light from the headlamp itself, and any debris that scrapes the front of your car as you drive all cause these lenses to become worn and oxidized to form a yellowing, cloudy appearance. You can easily tell the difference between the clear headlights of a new car and the misted headlights of an older car. This results in a duller and mistier quality of light being emitted from your car’s headlights, which can be a safety hazard as well as not looking too good.

When this happens, you have the option of either replacing the lenses of your headlights or having them restored. For a headlight restoration, the lenses are cleaned, polished, and sealed in order to reduce the mistiness and preventing it from occurring again too soon. Cleaning them yourself can provide a temporary fix, but the results are unlikely to last more than a month as they will not have been properly sealed and the cleaning products you use may even break down what protective coating is left on your headlights.

Which one should you have done?

The main consideration when choosing between headlight restoration and replacement is cost. Prices will vary from one provider to the next but the typical price range for headlight restoration is $75 – $150 for the pair. On the other hand, a new headlight bought and installed on your vehicle could cost you $250. And that’s just for one headlight.

So, it’s clear that headlight restoration is cheaper than replacement, but is it more cost-effective? The average length of time a headlight restoration lasts for before the cloudiness and discoloration start coming back is one year, but it can last up to three years if proper care is taken. In contrast, new headlights tend to start going cloudy after two or three years. Again, this will depend on how well you look after them, but the difference is not great between the two, making restoration generally more cost-effective.

If you need headlight restoration or replacement in the Piedmont Triad, then come and visit our auto shop in Winston Salem, or contact us online for more information.

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