Jiffy Shop Talk #1: Headlight Restoration and Bulb Know-How
Hello everyone, welcome to Jiffy Lube Ontario’s first article in our series: Jiffy Shop Talk, where we share some automobile knowledge with you: the person who knows everything about the latest iPhone; the person who knows 18 different uses for avocado in salad – but pretty much nothing about vehicles. And we get it – it can be a tad intimidating: so many letters and numbers, a giant vehicle manual that remains curled up in your glove box until the engine light turns on and you flip through the pages in a panic (note: why are the manuals always awkward rectangles?)
But never fear, Jiffy does more than just oil changes, and we’re here to help you steer through the noise (prepare for vehicle-based metaphors) and let your vehicle know-how start to shift gears (told you so).
This month’s topic: the headlight.
Why start here you may ask? Why not the engine, or gasoline, or tires for the first lesson? Well, for starters, headlights are an easy first lesson. Secondly, headlight restoration is not something most people think of when they think of vehicle maintenance. But they need love just like any other aspect of your vehicle, and you’ll need those little guys to be shining at full strength to properly light up your path!
Headlight Bulb Types
If you have a burnt out bulb, and were considering the difference between halogen and LED bulbs, here is a quick rundown:
- Standard bulb found in most vehicles
- Cheaper option
- Bright white light emitted
- Sensitive to outside materials (i.e. your sweat)
LED: Light Emitting Diode (remember that for your next cocktail party and impress your friends)
- Uses semiconductors to emit light, not gas
- Is more energy efficient
- More expensive
- Not as sensitive
- Can generate large amounts of heat
- Will require a fitting device for Halogen bulb mounts
If you would like a great guide on what headlight bulbs your car already uses, check out this bulb search engine!
Unfortunately, no matter what kind of bulb you use for your headlight, it is only going to be as bright as the lamp will allow it to be. And sadly, after a few years of use, the protective film on the clear plastic headlamp wears away under the constant pressure of heat from the bulbs, UV rays from the sun, and chemicals on the road. Eventually, the plastic becomes exposed and starts to look foggy or sometimes even yellowish. This can create a diffusion of light so that the headlights will not be as effective no matter how new your lightbulbs are.
Bad News: you can’t buy just the plastic covering. You would have to buy the entire headlight unit to replace.
Good News: you won’t have to buy any new parts!
How you ask? Well for a start, a simple plastic or aluminum polish using a microfiber cloth will show improvement. However, if you really want to make your headlights as bright and clean as possible – and prevent future aging – take it in to us! We can remove the entire headlight unit and restore it for you while you sit in the waiting room for a few minutes scrolling on your social channels – just make sure your local garage offers that service before you drive in – check our service page.
Do you have any car care tips that’d you’d like to share? Tweet us about it at @JiffyLubeOn with the hashtag #JiffyShopTalk!