How to Fix Foggy Headlights | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

How to Fix Foggy Headlights | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

Murky or foggy headlights aren’t just a cosmetic problem for your car. They're also a hazard waiting to happen.


You're flirting with danger if your car’s headlights aren’t shining brightly. With poor visibility, it may be too late to avoid an accident.

There are two main causes for foggy headlights. The first and most common reason is caused by the protective film that forms on most car headlight assemblies. Currently, most car manufacturers use hard, clear plastic for the headlight lens. To combat wear and tear from outside elements, a protective film covers the lights. This protective barrier eventually breaks down after continued use.

The second reason is due to structural failure. A headlight assembly is designed to be moisture-free, but if the surrounding gasket becomes worn, or your headlight is cracked, water can seep inside. Often, the water accumulates at a very slow pace, but it’s still enough to produce that cloudy or foggy appearance.

Regardless of the reason, try the following fixes:

Reason 1 - Foggy Headlights Caused by Exterior Issues

Polish: There are chemicals designed to restore your headlights to their former clarity. This involves a high-speed  polisher, which you can do yourself or have your local auto body do for you. Your headlights should appear back to normal.

Bug Spray: If you're a DIYer some people have found success using standard bug spray to clean their headlights. This method isn't high on our list, but the spray can temporarily remove cloudiness.

Toothpaste:Apply a small dab of toothpaste (brand doesn't matter) to a rag and gently wipe the surface of the headlights. Then wipe again with a clean, damp cloth. This method is surprisingly effective.

Reason 2 - Foggy Headlights Caused by Water

This one’s pretty straightforward. You’ll have to replace the entire fixture with a new one. This fix will allow your headlights to perform exactly as intended. This fix is the most comprehensive and hopefully you'll only have to do this once.

When you're on the road, a clear line of sight is essential for safe driving. If the “quick fixes” aren’t working out, replace your old headlight with a new one. Take immediate action since your life and the lives of those on the road are too severe of a risk to not do anything. 

Penney Auto Body & Glass, Vancouver’s Auto Body Collision Repair Shop, is an expert in paint and body repair and cares about the welfare of your car and your personal safety. If you get involved in an automotive accident or you're a victim of a vehicle break-in or theft be sure to contact Penney Auto Body for your auto body, collision repair, and car painting services.

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