Thursday, September 8, 2016

Cleaning Your Car's Headlights

Have you seen that tip online that recommends cleaning your car's headlights with toothpaste?  The one that looks like this?

Or this one?

Or possibly even this one?


I mean, I think you get my point. There's a lot of pins that suggest trying this trick if you have the dreaded headlight haze. Deputy Dad and I are a three-car household. The car I think of as mine is our 2013 Kia Sorento. It's our kid hauler. It's got all sorts of fun bells and whistles, it's got 3rd row seating, plenty of room to haul three kids and three dogs, and no headlight haze to speak of. The car I think of as Deputy Dad's is his Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. This is his marked patrol car that we are lucky enough (or unlucky enough, sometimes) that he has as a take-home vehicle. I actually have a key for this car on my keychain, but only because there's a small chance he may have locked himself out of this car. On more than one occasion. Maybe. Hypothetically speaking. This car isn't that old, and doesn't have too much headlight haze. Then there's the third car. The dreaded third car.

When I went back to work, we needed to have the kid hauler left at home for whichever parent was home that day. So, I guess technically, the third car is really my car. My back-and-forth to work car. We bought it in desperation because we were in a time crunch and a budget crunch. We really didn't want to have payments and had a $2,500 budget to work with. So, we ended up with a 2002 VW Cabrio that a former co-worker of mine was selling. We talked ourselves in to it because we thought it would be a cute little fun car to tool around town in. And this car has the dreaded headlight haze (along with a whole host of other issues, but we won't focus on those right now).

Deputy Dad took on this project one day while I was inside doing dishes, so bear with me and my not-so-amazing iPhone pictures here, okay? Pretty please? Basically, you take some toothpaste and rub it on the headlight.

Then your blogger wife realizes what you're doing and runs outside to take action photos of you rubbing the headlights.  See that nasty haze on there?

Here's what the rag looked like mid-rub partway through the first headlight. These rags were just some shop rags from Home Depot that we bought in a big bulk pack when we first moved in to our house. They've been amazing. We seriously use them for pretty much everything.

This was the other headlight, post rubbing. I was pretty disappointed at this point and tempted to call this Pin a solid fail because there was still a serious haze left behind. We got distracted playing a game with the kids and came back 15-20 minutes later to a small miracle.

I know it's hard to tell the full impact because I didn't get a good before photo, but just glance back at the first photo where you can get a good look at the yellowish fog on the headlights. Don't they look so much better?! I ended up giving this a solid 7/10. Definitely not the miracle some of the pins made it look like, but a serious improvement over what it was. Some of the pins I saw later recommended adding baking soda to the toothpaste, so maybe we'll give that a try on the patrol car and see how that works.

Also, please note, our house is not a house divided. Our house is solidly in the Gamecock camp, with some strong cheering for the Big 10 Badgers as well. This plate was left on by the former owners :) GO GAMECOCKS!!!  GO BADGERS!!!

And that's how a car I hate became a car I hate a tiny little bit less. Deputy Dad just fixed the spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, and the ignitor, so all that's left is the brake light switch and the radio and hopefully I won't hate it quite so much anymore. 

I know, I'm a diva. I'm sorry. 

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