If you drive a Ford F-150 (or any of the Super Duty vehicles, such as the F-450, F-350, or F-250), you might notice that after a few years, the headlights start to fade or take on a yellow tint.
In this article, you will find out how to properly clean out your headlights so they look brand new.
Cleaning F-150 Headlights: Key Takeaways
- Step 1. Buy a cleaning kit
- Step 2. Put the masking tape around the headlights
- Step 3. Start sanding with wet sandpaper
- Step 4. Clean up and polish the headlights
- Step 5. Buff the lights
Step-By-Step: How To Clean F-150 Headlights
Even though it could be simple to immediately go online and get a new set of F-150 headlights, you can save money by using this quick method for cleaning headlights, which explains how to make them appear lovely, fresh, and sparkling once more.
Keep reading to find out what the steps are!
Step 1. Buying A Cleaning Kit
The kit 4×4 off-roads suggest is the Flitz Kit, which is sold on the Amazon website.
You will need a cleaning kit to achieve the goal, but it will be far less expensive than buying a new set of lights. The Flitz Kit includes a tube of Flitz Metal and Plastic Polish and a ball that attaches to a drill piece so you can buff correctly.
After you have this kit—or something close to it—you may start to work as described in the next steps.
Step 2. Put The Masking Tape Around Headlights
Over the surrounding area’s paintwork, a mask is placed around the headlights.
Use masking tape that is lightly abrasive and won’t harm the paint. By covering the area, you can avoid scratching or damaging it while polishing.
On a Ford F-150, scratch repairs can be pricey, so wait until you’ve gotten this section correct before moving on.
Step 3. Start Sanding With Wet SandPaper
Be sure to soak the 1500 gradient sandpaper included in the Flitz Kit in a pail of warm water. After letting the material soak for approximately 30 seconds, you may begin to sand over the headlight’s plastic.
Be careful not to press too firmly; use a circular motion that feels almost caressing. Then, change to 2500 sandpaper and continue the procedure. Do this for about five minutes.
Note: Don’t allow the sandpaper to dry out; it should constantly be moist.
Step 4. Clean Up & Polish The Headlights
After sanding, you must use a dry cloth to dry the headlights and a microfiber towel to polish the finished product.
Like how you worked the sandpaper, apply a pea-sized quantity of the Flitz Kit polish on the towel and repeat the process in circles.
Step 5. Buff The Lights
You may buff the lights after you are satisfied that they have been polished sufficiently.
Place the buffer ball on an electric drill bit and secure it. Any speed higher than 2,600 RPM might harm the plastic, so keep the drill’s speed set to that amount.
After only sixty seconds of buffing with the drill, you will notice a remarkable improvement in your headlights, which should be restored to their former splendor.
What Causes Foggy & Yellow Headlights?
When exposed to UV radiation, acrylic headlights oxidize. To aid with this, headlight lenses are provided with a clear top coat, but with time, the coating wears off, and sunshine causes the hard plastic to become yellow.
Flying debris is another reason. When you drive along the road, gravel, salt, and other material are kicked up, damaging your headlights. In addition, your headlights’ top layer becomes worn down, and this causes pits and scratches that accentuate their hazy appearance.
Also, a thin coating of dirt and chemicals forms on the lenses after several years of driving. This thick, opaque covering makes your headlights’ beam appear less bright.
And lastly, water vapor. Headlights have a watertight seal, however with time, this seal may get worn. Condensation then forms inside the lens, where it cannot be removed with a wipe. It is significantly more difficult to observe at night because the water droplets disperse the light beam.
How To Keep Your F-150 Headlights From Turning Yellow?
If at all feasible, park your automobile in the garage or beneath a shaded tree. If you can’t do that, turn your headlights away from the sun when parked outdoors to lessen UV exposure and decrease the oxidation process.
Moreover, every three months, wash the headlights with vehicle soap to get rid of dirt and chemicals that promote fogging.
And lastly, to keep your headlights from turning yellow, polish your headlights. To polish your headlight lenses and remove any fading early on, use a non-abrasive polishing liquid and a microfiber cloth.
Luna Meschiari is a full-blooded car nut who is well known to local garages, as each article is meticulously researched and peppered with the latest piece of information. Guess what car she’s driving right now? A RAV4 2021 Hybrid. But her heart also sleeps for pickups like the F-150. Get to know Luna better on the about us page.