If driving with fogged or dirty headlights sounds like a good idea to you, then be prepared for the unexpected when you hit the road – or a tree – at night. Doing so simply isn’t wise. Not only that, however if condensation and grime are allowed to sit inside a headlight for a long time period, the possibility for headlight failure increases. This in turn makes it much more likely that you’ll be caught with a “fix it” ticket from law enforcement. Thankfully, it isn’t difficult to deal with this small problem before it becomes a larger one.
When car headlights go south
Popular mechanics suggests that National Aeronautics and Space Administration technology has made this startling discover: water will enter the headlight assembly of your vehicle. When the mercury falls, the surfaces of your automobile collect water condensation. Cool air gets in through the factory vents, which are there for pressure equalization so the plastic doesn’t crack. Typically it is not a problem, however; the morning sun burns off the moisture. But in instances where the car is within the shade, additional steps may be needed to keep your car headlights clear.
Here’s what you need to do with foggy headlights
If you’ve a fancy car, just hit the headlamp defogger button. But let’s assume you’re like the rest of us.
Popular Mechanics says you should discover out if a Technical Service Bulletin exists for the model and make of your auto. That bulletin will reveal whether there is an upgrade available to replace the factory headlight housing (which is generally cheap and inefficient at venting the lighting unit).
Is there an upgrade? If not, it’s simple to check this on your own. If there’s only a small amount of condensation inside the headlight fixture, leave the headlights on while you drive for a couple of hours. It’s a great excuse to take the scenic route. But what if the headlamp’s a gusher? Then you have to take out the fixture. Within the cleaning process, deal with any mud, hornets or death-dealing spiders that may cross your path. Dump out any water and bug genocide backwash, and swab it all down with alcohol. Then let it dry in a well-ventilated place, preferably with some sun, for a couple of hours. Finally, Popular Mechanics suggests that you park your automobile facing south whenever possible to help reduce the amount of condensation that accumulates.