Life hacks are an ever popular list of cool tricks that will make your life easier, and there’s LOTS of life hacks that apply to used cars and trucks. We decided to focus on the two best hacks: Removing Headlight Haze & DIY Dent Removal.
Headlight Haze: Removal & Prevention
They might look good right now, but as the clear plastic in your headlights gets older, fine scratches and wear can lead to a haze that makes headlights look yellow/grey and old.
Getting rid of Headlight Haze
If you Google a bit you’ll find that there’s more than one way to skin this cat. Essentially what it boils down to is this :
“almost anything you attempt is better than the haze that forms on headlights”
Some headlight haze removal tips to remember:
- Use soft non-abrasive materials:
Newsprint is often selected as a polishing material because it’s very low abrasion.
- Use a gentle polish:
Toothpaste is both cheap and easy for polishing headlights gently. Avoid polish with added ‘grit’.
- Avoid heavy pressure:
You want to making light polishing swirls that don’t leave any patterns.
- Take your time:
There’s no point to over-polishing your lenses. Once the haze is gone, further polish isn’t likely to help.
When you are done, even if you are tired, take a photo of your headlights while they are sparkly clean. Share with friends & shame them with how much cleaner & newer looking your headlights lenses are. You worked hard, enjoy it!
Preventing Headlight Haze
The first thing you want to do to your new sparkly clean headlights (after taking a photo) is cover them up!
Automotive wax or a similar plastic sealer will protect the surface and slow down the hazing effect that will quickly reclaim your headlights if you don’t bother.
A good commercial grade clear plastic sealant can easily buy you an extra 6+ months of haze-free-headlights. Most brands are relatively inexpensive (under $20), and a small bottle can last for years of cleanups.
Some folks still swear by clear headlight film protectors but even the best 3m brand clear headlight film will eventually start to haze just like the plastic in the headlight lens. On the ‘bright side’ these protectors can save you from rock dings, chips, and scratches. The best of these are custom shaped to fit your exact make/model so it’s best to shop around and look for a brand with solid feedback/reviews to ensure you’re getting the best fitment/quality.
DIY Dent Removal
Your high beams are spectacular but your body work looks like you commute through bat country? Well keep on reading, we’ve got some life hacks for dents too!
Most small dents, where there is no paint damage or wrinkles, can be fixed without major effort. In fact some basic divots can be fixed quickly at home with little tools/supplies.
Removing dents with a toilet plunger
This topic has blown up on reddit after some videos of successful dent removals were posted.
Caution needs to be applied with this process since a cheap plunger may be too stiff and will simply damage the body work as the user is attempting to apply pressure to create a seal.
Also if the paint surface isn’t warm/heated first it’s entirely possible that the paint will be too brittle to survive the dent repair and you will get some paint damage that is often more expensive to fix than professional paintless dent repairs.
Dent removal with a hairdryer & canned air (Hot/Cold)
This process is not perfect, and often leaves some of the dent behind. It also doesn’t seem to work very well on small divots, but on larger dents, especially on flat surfaces, this is a very easy DIY trick!
Here’s a video of a pretty smooth dent being removed from the rear quarter panel of an RX7:
You can hear it pop right after the 1min mark in the video.
Essentially what you are doing is causing a decent portion of the body to heat up and then when you apply cold to just the dent it will flex in the opposite direction of the hot body panel and try to pop back out.
This method usually gets most of the dent removed quickly/without tools, but there is a risk of paint damage due to the hot/cold shift. There’s lots of examples online where this has varied success. Most of the time the process doesn’t damage the paint, but when there’s a crease it’s risky and unlikely to work.
No DIY Skills? No Problem!
Removing headlight haze is just one of many things the Galaxy Motors detailing crew can tackle for our customers!
Want the full treatment? Bring your car or truck down to us and we’ll take care of your headlights, give you a full detailing, and we’ll get the paintless dent repairs done at the same time in one visit! Galaxy Motors also has full service automotive repairs and maintenance for all makes and models, plus we give a %10 discount on labor for booking automotive service online.
Making easy to drive a great car
Galaxy Motors also has a great selection of used cars & trucks that are in great shape with 155 point mechanical inspection point inspections and CarProof vehicle history reports. So if you want to skip the DIY life hacks you can just trade up to a newer vehicle! Not only does Galaxy give the best prices on trades, we also take leased vehicles that aren’t yet paid off!
There’s no reason to be stuck in a vehicle lease with the wrong car or truck. With 16 lenders to choose from, and an unbeatable 4.45% APR, Galaxy Motors can give you the best automotive financing options to make sure you drive away with a big smile on your face and a vehicle that matches your needs. Come see us today!