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Headlights play a big role in every car, and as such, they should be properly maintained. Their failure doesn’t just affect the appearance of the car but also your safety. Even though they’re some of the smallest components in the vehicle’s structure, they can be fragile and need to be handled carefully during replacement and repair. The following collision repair tips can help you to care for your headlights.

Assess The Damage

The first essential step in any collision repair is assessing the damage to determine its extent. Minor damage, like a very slight crack on or around the headlight, doesn’t warrant replacement and can likely be easily repaired. Although, if the crack is too large, you will have to buy a new headlight. If you determine that a repair is the best option, you will need a sealant, car polish, masking tape, paper towels, and a washcloth. Collect all the items you’ll need for the repair. Be sure to also include any items you usually use for washing your car.

Remove The Battery

Before you start the repair process, you must remove your car’s battery to prevent any injury from electrical issues. Even though such issues are rare, there’s still a chance of them happening. So, you should practice safety by disconnecting the battery’s negative terminal if you don’t want to remove it completely. After this, you can proceed to remove the trims to gain better access to the headlights. Be careful to avoid breaking the clips because they’re usually made with plastic.

Unplug The Pigtail

The connector, called a pigtail, is made with several wires that are connected to the headlights. Removing them is easy, but you should still be careful to avoid damaging any of the wires. Look for the release, which is usually made of a small plastic button. Pressing it will disconnect the wires and allow you to inspect them. Check for any burn marks or burning odor. The presence of either may indicate that the electrical system also needs attention.

Remove Headlights

Once you have total access, you can twist the headlight in a counterclockwise manner as you pull it outwards. You don’t need too much force for this. If the headlight isn’t coming out easily, you should leave it and seek professional assistance.

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Repair Damage

Start by cleaning the headlight to remove the dirt and grime, but be careful not to scratch the plastic. Once it is clean and dry, rub in the car polish using circular motions. Be generous with the polish, especially on the cracked area. Cover the areas around the lens with the masking tape then apply the sealant on the damaged area. Wait for the sealant to dry and then apply another coat of car polish. Use car wax for additional protection, then buff the area to make it shinier.

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Ask a Professional

Although these collision repair tips can help you solve minor headlight problems, you should seek professional assistance when dealing with bigger issues, such as electrical problems. California Collision is here to take away all the stress that comes with such repairs. Find more information on our site, or call us today. We look forward to serving you.