Frequently Asked Questions

During the 1980s, car manufacturers stopped making headlights out of glass, and began using polycarbonate plastic. This material has many advantages. It’s lightweight, strong, durable, and can be transformed into a variety of shapes. However, polycarbonate is porous and prone to oxidation. To combat this, headlight manufacturers covered them with a protective film coating. The coating works well for a few years, but unfortunately can start to degrade. The main reasons for this are:

Oxidation from UV Light. Ultraviolet (UV) rays and heat from the sun cause the lens to develop micro cracks, which cause them to oxidize and turn slightly yellow.

Damage from Road Debris. Being at the front of your car near the ground, headlights take the brunt of the damage when small rocks and road debris strike them. This creates dents and pits that mar the once-smooth surface, contributing to the development of cloudiness.

Dirt and Chemical Buildup. Road dirt and mud constantly coat the lens. During winter, salt and road de-icing can build up, causing a cloudy film. Even if the car is washed regularly, this buildup can still happen over time.

Acid Rain and Chemicals in the Atmosphere. Chemical pollutants in the air react with water vapor and oxidants, resulting in sulfuric and nitric acids. These acids fall to Earth in rain or snow. These pollutants can cause damage to car finishes and headlights. Acid rain can also break down polycarbonates in auto and headlight finishes, and create cloudiness and blotches.

I charge $80 for both headlights, and $50 for a single headlight. I charge $30 to do both fog lights.

I usually need about 1-2 hours to restore headlights. Depending on the level of restoration required, it may require more time. Similar to painting a house, there is some “prep work” involved, to mask off areas of the vehicle that we don’t want scratched or the compound and polish getting on. I will provide a time estimate when we are looking at your car.

In addition, the UV coating that I apply will need 24 hours to completely cure. You can drive your car as normal, right after I’m done with the service; however it is recommended that the car be in the shade during the 24-hour curing process.

I serve Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties in Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington.

No. Awesome Headlights is a mobile service company. I come to you! Your home is the most convenient location to perform the service; however, I can certainly restore headlights at your work location, as long as there aren’t any rules or ordinances making it illegal. This is for safety reasons.

I accept cash, credit cards, Zelle, Venmo, and (I think) Apple Pay. I can take personal checks from a reputable bank, but I don’t prefer it.

I can guarantee that my service will make your headlights look 100% BETTER than what they currently are. I’m only as good as WHAT I HAVE TO WORK WITH. In most cases I will be able to make your headlights look amazing.

However, if your headlights are EXTREMELY YELLOW OR OXIDIZED, it may not be possible to bring them back to new looking. I may recommend that replacement is a better option. Before I begin, I will determine the level of restoration needed and let you know what you can expect. See my services and gallery pages.

Consider this. YOU’RE BUSY with work, kids, family, friends, errands, etc. HOW MUCH IS YOUR TIME WORTH? Like some things in our fast-paced world today – sometimes it’s so much easier to simply have it done by someone with experience.

***DISCLAIMER***: If your headlight(s) are very old, or there is a break in the seal, this may have allowed water vapor or oxidation to form on the INSIDE of the lens. THIS CANNOT BE FIXED! You will ultimately need to have them replaced, unfortunately. In this situation, I will restore the outside as close to new as I can; but realize that it will only improve so much.

No, I do not replace headlights or perform mechanical repairs. I am NOT a licensed auto mechanic. I don’t want to be responsible for damaging the lights (or something else) on your vehicle.

If required or requested, I use a ceramic (Ci02) coating designed for headlights, which lasts 2-3 years. Nothing is permanent, and in time, the oxidation will eventually return. As part of my service, I can provide recommendations on how to prolong the time before needing to redo the service.

ABSOLUTELY! You can view my Auto Detailing page for more information and prices.

I do NOT need access to power or water for headlight restoration, glass service or black trim restoration. I DO need it for auto detailing, however.

I do NOT the keys for: headlight restoration, glass service or black trim restoration. I DO need it for auto detailing, however.

I don’t have a ‘warranty’ per se, but if you’re not happy with the work, you don’t pay. The first thing I do is make an assessment of the lights’ condition. Sometimes there are areas that can’t be fixed, usually because it’s on the inside. The manufacturer of the coating I use says it lasts up to a year. If something happens before that, you can contact me and I will make it right.

OBVIOUSLY NOT! From the AAA website: “Properly functioning headlights are key to safe nighttime driving. With 50 percent of crashes occurring at night, drivers cannot afford any reduction in visibility. Yet research by AAA shows that deteriorated headlights—found on millions of vehicles on the road today—reduce the amount of light output by nearly 80 percent as compared to new lenses.”

Faded, yellowed or hazy headlights look bad, but they are also a safety concern. The degradation of the headlight causes the light output from the internal bulbs to be diffused. The beam from the headlight is weakened, and results in a reduced area or range of coverage. The less you can see, the more chances there are you could run into something. It has been suggested that as many as 9 out of 10 accidents at night are related in some way to visibility.

Absolutely. However, in AT LEAST 80% of the jobs I’ve done, those kits would NOT have worked. Those kits only work when the oxidation/yellowing is VERY minor and not built up. In a few cases, using the kit made it WORSE because the person didn’t do it correctly.

Don’t EVEN GET ME STARTED on those crazy (and stupid) methods you find online (toothpaste, WD-40, bug spray, etc)…

“Crazing” (not “crazy”) is micro cracking that occurs deep inside the lens itself. It looks like fine cracks or sparkles, and is usually only visible when the headlight is on or viewed at an angle in daylight. It is caused by the plastic in the headlight breaking down over time. In most cases IT CANNOT BE FIXED, as it’s IN the plastic lens itself. I can certainly try to remove any that’s on the surface, but in most cases, it’s permanent.

You sure can… if you don’t mind spending HUNDREDS of dollars! Call a dealership and get a quote to do this. Then call 911 so they can revive you, because you fainted after seeing the estimate. The problem is, you can’t just buy the headlight “cover”. You have to buy the ENTIRE light assembly. On top of that, there’s obviously the labor charge and inconvenience of not having your car. Sure… go right ahead.

I do NOT feel comfortable doing this type of restoration. I don’t have the means to anchor them properly in order to not cause any vibration or damage. I do not want to be responsible for damaging them.

No. Removing the headlights increases the risk of damaging them, as well as changing their focus position. I do NOT provide auto mechanic services, and I am NOT qualified to do this.

The main request I have is that the vehicle is in a safe location, where I can safely and legally work on it. If you live in an apartment, it would be VERY helpful to park the vehicle where there isn’t another vehicle on either side of it. I would also request that if your vehicle has an alarm, for it to be off during the time I’m working on it.