With darkness setting in by 4:30 pm in December and January in Chicagoland, you’re probably among the majority who drive home in the dark. And with more time on the clock between dusk and dawn, this means you’re using your headlights a whole lot more.

If your car is more than a few years old, your headlights may not be as bright as they used to be because the headlight lens has become cloudy, foggy, hazy or yellowed. And this means you’re likely straining to see what’s on the road ahead, especially on some of these two-lane roads north and west of Libertyville as you head toward Mundelein or Grayslake.

Why So Many Cars Have Cloudy Headlights

With the average age of cars today hitting an all-time high of 11.6 years, yellowed and hazy lenses are more common than ever before. Just look around the parking lot the next time you’re at the grocery store. You’ll be surprised how many headlights are long past their prime. And according to a March 2012 Consumer Reports study, your headlights’ effectiveness could be reduced by up to 80%, posing a serious threat to safety.

This happens because the UV coating on modern vehicle lenses absorbs sunlight, rather than allowing the sun’s harmful UV rays to pass through. The lenses degrade over time, and that deterioration can be more pronounced in cars parked outside or cars used primarily in sunny climates.

What We Do To Restore Headlights

headlight_befor-aftThe good news is that, at Auto Lab, we have a process called headlight restoration, which brings back that ability to see through the night when slippery leaves cover the pavement or deer unexpectedly cross the road.

What is headlight restoration? A sanding disc and special abrasive are used to remove the clouding, discoloration and surface defects from the lens. After buffing and polishing multiple times, the lens is restored, drastically improving visibility. In our video, Kevin walks you through the steps for a headlight restoration and shows you the clear before-and-after difference.

The process is quick and often can be performed in an hour or less. At $150+*, it’s also far less expensive than replacing the entire headlight assembly. We can bring back the clarity and crisp lighting you depend on for safe, secure driving.

And then you can enjoy those beautiful fall colors and relax, knowing you can head home with the ability to clearly see the road, wherever it takes you.


* Price is subject to change but is current as of July 2022.