The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting longer. If you have been putting off getting those foggy headlights taken care of, there is never anytime like the present.
There are many ways to restore headlights, though many are incorrect. I want to give the final word on how it works and why you need to do it my way. Here is how you can repair your foggy Toyota Prius headlights for $12 and a little bit of elbow grease. Little hacks like this make owning a Prius that much better.
Why Toyota Prius Headlights Turn Yellow
The Toyota Prius is not the only car that this happens on. It happens to any vehicle that has plastic headlight housings. For this discussion, though, we will focus on Prius, as that is the car we are discussing. Though Prius has had a class action lawsuit with headlights.
When plastic headlights become exposed to UV light for extended periods, the protective layers begin to oxidize and get cloudy. This reaction is entirely reasonable for any Toyota Prius or other cars that have these type of headlight housings.
When this occurs, the UV has penetrated through the protective layer on the lens and caused it to fail. Oxidation is terrible for your vehicle on many levels. The light transmittance becomes reduced, and your visibility becomes massively diminished.
We use plastic on cars like the Toyota Prius these days to help reduce the amount of weight to increase fuel economy.
So getting away from using plastic lenses is unlikely.
What To Do About Oxidation On Prius Headlights
The oxidation that embeds itself in the lens can be stubborn. Merely polishing the headlight will do little to correct the actual root cause of the problem.
This process that I use is time tested and proven to get the results we are all looking to achieve. I use the 3M kit found here on Amazon. This kit is impressive. It does a smashing job at removing all the oxidation from the lens and restoring it to a like-new condition, as you can see from my picture here.
The process is quite simple, but the magic to getting this kit to work for you is to take time on each step. Each step in this kit builds on the next. Meaning that if you do an outstanding job initially with the first step, the second one will turn out even better.
The final result is a clean, bright, and new looking headlight that shines. The process does not end here, though. For the restoration process to be lasting, you need to cover the lens with a coating to protect it from the UV light. For this, I recommend Blue Magic Headlight sealer. Just spray wipe and let it sit to dry. It will protect for about 2 to 3 months, depending on where you live and how much sunlight you see.
If you still really want to change out the existing units for new ones, you certainly can. Check out my article here about some options that can make your Prius stand out.
No one has time for cloudy headlights. This process is 100 percent effective and long-lasting. If you want to see how I do it, check out my 3 part series on headlight refinishing here on YouTube. It explains everything from the kit and all the steps in the process.
Be sure to check out my other story, three best battery repair options for your Toyota Prius.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting