waxing headlight?

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5,903
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Take this bit of information at face value and make your own decisions. A car guy I know says that taking your cars through commercial car washes accelerates headlight aging. Could be the chemicals they use, could be the mechanical brushing, who knows. I can't really judge since even thought I don't get headlight fogging my car stays in a parking garage (when I'm actually at the office) or in my own garage at home. I do periodically apply Meguiar's Headlight Protectant, but I don't know if that changes anything for me.
 
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It's both. Auto washes use harsh alkaline soaps and the brushes, even if brand new, are abrasive by nature.

Auto washes are not for any car you care about.

Yep. Just one run through a scratch-a-matic wash will swirl the glossy black trim if you have it. Just imagine what it does to those headlight lenses, especially since they are first to get the brush treatment.
 

bonjo

Thread starter
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183
Location
UK
Thanks guys
the general consensus seems to be, good quality wax would not have detrimental affect on the lens clarity if anything it keeps it may slow down ageing
I’ll check out meguire lens care products
ps we are talking about an 18 year old car! Well past ppf 🙂
 
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192
Location
Newington Connecticut
Here's a picture of the products that I use for a 2013 Toyota Tacoma four by four TRD ,
never in a garage, wash maybe once a month, however I do use these two products approximately every two weeks .
I also use them on my motorcycle windshield and motorcycle has over 60,000 miles on it and it still looks optically clear.

Truck has 67,000 miles on it works for me just my two cents worth of info.

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1,979
Location
Cincinnati, USA
I've been using a cleaner (aka polish) wax, then moved to synthetic wax/sealant for decades, ever since vehicles switched from glass.

It does not last as long as clearcoat. The ease in application and no degradation of clearcoat later, more than makes up for it IMO.

No problem from heat, natural wax will get much softer, I suppose in theory it might pick up more road grime in very hot weather but if you have the road grime, and you are waxing the rest of your paint too, the whole vehicle needs washed at the same rate. I'm not implying to use (same) cleaner/polish wax on the whole vehicle if you have a pristine clearcoat on your paint, no benefit then to abrade the clearcoat, unless it's got residue you can't get off otherwise.

A strong wash solution, whether at a carwash or DIY, can strip off headlight wax, or your entire vehicle wax for that matter. Fortunately it only takes a minute to put more wax/sealant on headlights. Rewaxing the entire vehicle again, not so much.

When I go to a self service car wash, I take a bucket and tiny bit (just enough to get the job done) of car wash soap with me, only using their rinse setting to make a wash solution, not using their foam cannon. Automated car washes with the rotating brushes, only for my older vehicles that have no shiny (especially not piano black!) plastic to swirl up and if you put clearcoat on your headlights it's not good for that either. It's not even good for a bare, new headlight with nothing on it. Abrasive cleaning anything that doesn't need it, is bad for the surface... though in some climates, it beats having salt sit on the vehicle if you don't want or have other ways to get road salt off.
 
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23,375
Location
CA
It's both. Auto washes use harsh alkaline soaps and the brushes, even if brand new, are abrasive by nature.

Auto washes are not for any car you care about.
But don’t most of us pre-soak the front end of a car with APC or bug remover before washing? If a car is very dirty, it is safer to soak with chemicals than to risk inflicting swirls/marring from scrubbing.
 
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1,979
Location
Cincinnati, USA
^ It takes what it takes to get it clean, but if you have wax on, bugs come off much easier. Granted, most things that dissolve bugs, strip wax off too, but it's better than having bug or acidic pine tar, etc, eating away at paint or metal without. Depends on the region, what environmental problems you'll have. Here, my greater problem is timely detection and removal of bird guano. I'll spray mild soap water on it and let it sit soaking first, or on vertical surface, put a scrap of paper towel on it while doing that. Technically, it would probably be better to put some baking soda in the water too, to neutralize the guano while it dissolves, but there is only so much I'm going to do. If I leave the baking soda out then my spray bottle is more versatile for other uses.

I really don't have much of a bug problem except on long summer road trips, and then I do wax the front right before the trip, in the whole checking tires/belts/wipers/fluids/etc regimen. I recall back in the day, when my father took us on long road trip vacations, he'd fasten a piece of metal window screen to the back of the grill, to keep bugs from getting past and lodged in the radiator fins.
 
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Look up Headlight arrmour on Goodle. These are easy to apply coverings that are die cut specifically for your vehicle. The are UV blocking and prevent pitting or sandblasting your plastic headlamps. I got somefor my GTO since headlamps are more than $1000 a set if you can find them, and the aftermarket stuff is pure junk.
 
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