Under reliable armor: applying a protective film to car headlights
The headlights of a car can be safely called one of the most vulnerable elements of the body. They are constantly exposed to ultraviolet radiation, suffer from snowfall in winter and are damaged during cleaning. But the very first enemy of car headlights is small pebbles that fly out from under the wheels. Scratches, scuffs and chips greatly worsen the appearance of the car and the quality of road lighting at night. The recently popular film for booking headlights helps to solve the problem in many ways. It is glued to the entire surface of glass or transparent plastic, thereby protecting it from minor damage. This film has several varieties and characteristics, and can also be used for other purposes. About how to properly apply the film on the surface of the headlights of a car and what it happens, read on.
Types of films for booking
There are two main types of films on the market that are used to protect the optical devices of the machine. The first type is ordinary vinyl film, which is completely transparent and is not very effective in protecting glass from strong impacts. Its use has become popular due to its low cost, in addition, this option protects well from minor scratches and scuffs that appear during the operation of the car.
More reliable protection of car optics can be provided with a special polyurethane film. This material has a multilayer structure, due to which the impact force from the pebbles is evenly distributed around the circumference, as a result of which the impact from a point turns into a scattered one.
Such material usually consists of 4-8 layers, which effectively absorb the energy of mechanical impact. Polyurethane film is suitable for armoring headlights with a curved surface. It is worth noting that such a film is much more expensive than ordinary transparent vinyl, but its price justifies itself.
In addition, the film for armoring glass on the headlights varies in thickness. Thin materials are much easier to apply to the surface, and this becomes especially important when the optical device has a complex geometry. However, such a film has less resistance to strong impacts. A thicker polyurethane film for armoring optics protects the headlights much more effectively from mechanical stress. It is more difficult to properly apply to glass or plastic, and is most often used only on elements with a simple geometric shape.
Advantages of headlight protection material
Both options for armor films have several additional advantages:
- ease of application;
- easy film removal;
- the material does not become cloudy over time and thus serves to protect the headlights from the effect of attrition;
- the film is not prohibited by applicable law;
- does not weaken or distort the light beam;
- in the event of a complete destruction of the headlight, it holds the fragments;
- material and labor will cost much less than a new headlight.
In this case, it should be taken into account that the effectiveness of protection of optical devices largely depends on the quality of the film. Cheap fakes will not be able to fully guarantee the above advantages, so you should not save on film. In addition to the lack of the desired effect, after removing the cheap material, it will be very difficult to remove the adhesive.
Additional use of armored film
In addition to protecting optical devices, armor film is often used for pasting other elements of a car. The following body parts also need protection, which can be easily secured using the material in question:
- front bumper;
- radiator grille;
- rear view mirrors;
Also, the film for booking can be used in everyday life, for example, it can extend the life of household appliances, furniture and other surfaces.
Headlight booking procedure
In order to qualitatively protect the headlights of the car from damage, you must strictly follow all the rules for applying the film. For this work, you will need the following tools and materials:
- stationery knife;
- soapy water sprayer;
- means for cleaning and degreasing;
- construction or household hair dryer;
- film for armoring of appropriate thickness;
- rubber or silicone spatula.
It is necessary to start work by preparing the surface of the headlights. On modern cars, in most cases, these elements are made of special transparent plastic, so cleaning and other operations should be carried out very carefully and carefully so as not to cause scratches and scuffs.
The preparation of the headlights includes their thorough washing with the use of detergents and degreasing with alcohol or another agent that is safe for glass and plastic.
When booking optics, it is important to properly prepare the premises, since it is highly recommended not to do this work in the open. On the street, it will be very difficult to avoid dust and other debris that is carried by the wind on the surface. Booking headlights is best done in a well-cleaned and lit garage. At the same time, the temperature in the room should be normal - ideally, if this indicator is in the range from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.
A few words should also be said about the fact that it is not necessary to remove optical devices for applying an armored film. Firstly, such material adheres quite firmly to the surface without additional gluing to the back of the headlight. Secondly, after the completion of the procedure, most likely, you will have to go to the service to adjust the position of optical devices.
After preparing the headlights and the room for work, you need to do the following. The film is superimposed on pre-wetted optics. When the material is fixed, you need to make markings along the edge of the element with a special or regular marker. At the same time, a margin of five millimeters is left along the edge of the film. During marking, special attention should be paid to ensure that the film does not move, since after erroneous cutting it will be possible to say goodbye to expensive material.
After marking, the film for armoring the optics is cut out with scissors, while proceeding with extreme care and avoiding damage to the edge of the material. After the headlight is abundantly watered with soapy water, the substrate is removed from the film. During removal, it is advisable to spray the material itself with soapy water. The cut film is applied back to the headlight. In this case, special attention should be paid to whether it is applied by the correct side. After that, the film is placed on the surface of the optics and carefully smoothed out with a spatula. The main task of this procedure is the distillation of water and air to the outside.
Further, the material is slightly warmed up with a building or household hair dryer and smoothed over the surface in accordance with the shape of the optics. In this case, you need to try hard and not overdo it. Overheated material can crumple and not fit at all. It is better to warm up gradually, periodically smoothing the film. Heating with a hair dryer allows the film to take on the shape of the optics. Finally, you need to trim the edges along the contour of the headlight.
After applying the material, it is advisable not to operate the car for at least a day. For the next five days, you should avoid aggressive washing and cleaning the headlights from dirt.
When the film is sufficiently dry and hardened, the machine can be operated normally. If, over time, scratches and scuffs appear on the surface of the headlights, they can be easily sanded.