What to do if your car's headlights are starting to dim

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Of all of the tests that Consumer Reports performs at its auto test track in Connecticut, this one might be the most unusual. Consumer Report tests the headlights, analyzing things like brightness indoors and how well they light the road ahead on moonless nights.

"We're looking for things like - how do the low beams and high beams give you visibility straight ahead? Are they bright enough? Is the pattern uniform or streaky and will they cause glare to an oncoming driver or someone that you're following?" says Consumer Report car expert Jennifer Stockburger.

But if your car isn't new, you might have realized your headlights aren't in tip-top shape.

Sun and the UV exposure can cause the plastic coating to become clouded or yellowed, giving off far less light that they had when you first bought the car!

"You may find cars are more susceptible to this clouding if you are in an area where there is a lot of sun - a hot state," adds Stockburger.

So, what can you do?

"You have kind of two choices. You can replace the headlight."

But it can be expensive - it would cost over $200 per headlight for some cars.

"A more temporary fix - you can use headlight restoration kits. They kind of use different levels of abrasive that clear that clouding off of the lens," Stockburger says.

The restoration kits restore brightness for about a year but most kits are less than $25.

And Consumer Report says all that light will make you a whole lot safer on the road.
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