Why Are Your Headlights Foggy?

foggy headlightsDo your headlights appear cloudy? This not only affects the car’s appearance but also substantially reduces the light’s brightness. This can be a safety hazard during nighttime driving. So, what are the causes of foggy headlights and what can you do to restore them?

What Causes Foggy Headlights?

Headlights become foggy over time as a result of weather exposure. Most headlight lenses are made from acrylic, which oxidizes when exposed to UV rays. Newer cars have a coating over the lenses to prevent oxidization, but the coating eventually wears off.

Flying debris in the form of road salt, dirt, and gravel smacks against the headlights. This contributes to the coating’s wearing out. Debris also causes scratches and pits that contribute to the faded and clouded appearance.

Headlights these days are also made with a watertight seal. The seal can eventually break, leaving an opening that causes condensation to form inside the lenses. The water scatters the light beam, diminishing its brightness.

How to Prevent It

Prevent as much sun exposure as you can. This means parking in the garage or in the shade. If neither option is possible, then park with the headlights facing away from the sun. You should also wash the headlights with every car wash. Polish afterwards using a non-abrasive polishing solution.

How to Treat It

Some people wash with baking soda or toothpaste to un-fog the headlights. This removes the oxidation but does not prevent future clouding. A professional cleaning is necessary to permanently restore the headlights.

We’ll Make Your Headlights Look Like Brand New

Bring your car to Bellingham Detail Auto Glass to give it a touchup. Our auto detail covers a full cleaning inside and out. Foggy headlights are not only an eyesore but also pose a potential safety hazard for nighttime motorists.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Full Headlight Restoration and Cleaning

Expert auto detail, auto glass and car wash in Bellingham, Ferndale, Blaine, Fairview, Deming, Lynden, Lummi Island, Sudden Valley, Laurel & Everson

How and When to Apply Car Clay

car clayMany car owners are familiar with polishing and waxing a car. However, not many know how to apply car clay, or have even heard of the concept. We’ll explain how car clay works and when and how to apply it.

What Is Car Clay?

Car clay resembles standard sculpting clay. You apply it to a vehicle to remove surface contaminants after washing a car. This creates a smooth surface, resulting in a better finish when polishing the car.

Claying a car is similar to buffing, but is generally considered a safer option because it’s less abrasive. The clay is also safe for use on auto glass and headlights.

When to Apply Car Clay

Apply clay after washing the car but before applying wax. It’s not necessary to apply clay every time you decide to polish. A clay session every six months will usually suffice. We recommend more frequent sessions, however, for those that use their vehicle for off-roading. You might also use it during the winter when the car surface comes into contact with road salt. Continue Reading →

Washing a Classic Car

washing a classic carWashing a classic car isn’t a whole lot different than washing any other vehicle. You want to take a few precautions, however, to ensure you don’t leave behind any scratches, watermarks, or those dreaded swirl marks. This is especially the case if you will enter your vehicle in a car show soon.

Classic Cars Require Additional Precautions

Dirt and grime accumulation can leave marks that degrade the paint and cause the car’s value to drop drastically. We recommend a weekly cleaning if you regularly drive the car. Also clean it right after using a professional auto carrier to transport it. Of course, some collectors just let their classic set of wheels sit in the garage. In this instance, frequent car washes aren’t necessary.

We recommend engaging a professional team to wash your classic car. Homeowners are often not privy of the many hidden factors that can damage a car. The H20 coming out of your hose, for example, may be full of deposits. This can lead to watermarks if you don’t immediately wipe away the water.

Speaking of wiping, are you using a plain towel or even an old t-shirt? These have rougher surfaces and can leave markings. Instead, use a cotton chenille washing mitt or a sheepskin cloth. This is especially important when cleaning the windows and headlights. Continue Reading →

Handwashing A Car Vs. an Automatic Wash: Which Is Better?

Handwashing a CarHandwashing a car vs using an automatic car wash both have their respective pros and cons. Obviously, we’re a bit biased in favor of the former, since we employ live people to perform the cleaning. We don’t believe in automated machines. It just makes the job feel industrialized and impersonal. Nevertheless, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each.

Handwashing and Automated Car Washes at a Glance

The biggest benefit of an automated car wash is the speedy process, often completing the job in no more than five minutes. This makes it the go-to choice if you’re strapped for time.

Beyond the time factor, we recommend car washes by hand in almost every other instance. Most automatic car washes use a touchless system. This means there are no brushes that make contact with the car. This reduces the possibility of scratches and swirl marks, but it may also result in completely missing some obscure spots. Continue Reading →

Types of Car Air Fresheners: Keep Your Vehicle Smelling Fresh and Clean Between Auto Details

car air freshenerIt’s easy for unpleasant odors to accumulate in an enclosed space like a car cabin. We have cleaned thousands of cars, and quite a few had interiors that smelled like cigarettes, old laundry, or dirty pet fur. We recommend that clients top off their car wash or auto detail with a car air freshener. This way, the vehicle smells just as clean as it looks. Fresheners come in different styles, some of which we will review.

Car Air Freshener Types at a Glance

Hanging cardboard

This is the most basic car fragrance and often included as a complimentary gift after a professional auto detail. These are the ones often in the shape of a fir tree that you hang from the rearview mirror. While they’re inexpensive, the scent only lasts for about a week. This is why they’re often sold in bulk. Continue Reading →

The Importance of a Winter Car Detailing

Winter Car DetailingPeople tend to get a car detail in the spring and summer, since the sun provides a nice shimmer on the fresh coat of wax. However, we also strongly recommend a winter car detailing for reasons we are about to explain.

Why a Winter Car Detailing?

Two words: road salt.

Bellingham isn’t the coldest region in the country by a long shot. Nevertheless, it’s often still cold enough for the roads to require salting. Road salt is abrasive and will exfolitate the paint from your vehicle and cause the metal surface to corrode.

It’s not just road salt you need to watch out for. Natural elements like ice, snow, mud, and other debris can cling to your car. This traps moisture against your car’s finish, once again leaving it vulnerable to corrosion.

It’s important to frequently wash your car during winter to remove the salt and other debris. You should also engage a professional to detail your vehicle. This process includes applying a sealant that acts as a protective barrier. The sealant fills in the pores, scratches, and pits on the car’s surface. This makes it perfectly smooth, preventing dirt, oil, or water from adhering to the surface.

What About the Interior?

The car interior is just as susceptible to the winter elements. All that salt, mud, and water can also cling to your shoes and clothing. The debris is then transferred to the upholstery when you step inside the cabin. If not regularly cleaned, the upholstery can begin to stain and emit a foul odor.

We’ll Detail the Exterior and Interior

Winter is here; be sure to give your car the care it deserves during this time of year. Contact Bellingham Detail & Auto Glass for a thorough winter car detailing; our car protection package will ensure a clean car safe from the harsh weather.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Full Interior and Exterior Auto Detailing

Expert auto detail, auto glass and car wash in Bellingham, Ferndale, Blaine, Fairview, Deming, Lynden, Lummi Island, Sudden Valley, Laurel & Everson.

How Dangerous Is a Cracked Windshield?

Cracked windshieldSome people don’t bother to fix a chipped windshield, especially if the damage appears minor. However, there are hidden dangers in a cracked windshield. What appears as just a small spider web crack can actually compromise your safety in the event of a collision. This is why we recommend auto glass repairs on even seemingly negligible cracks.

Why Is a Cracked Windshield Dangerous?

A windshield with an existing crack is far more vulnerable to completely giving way and shattering in a collision. A shattered glass leaves the driver vulnerable to severe injury or even death.

1. Vehicle Ejection

The seat belt is your main line of defense. It keeps you from being ejected from your car. The windshield, however, provides a second line of defense should the seat belts fail. Continue Reading →

A DIY Guide for Water Spot Removal

Water Spot RemovalH2O can be your car’s worst enemy. Factors like rain, sprinklers, and even an improper car wash can leave behind those dreaded water spots. To be clear, it’s not the water itself that causes those spots. The visible markings are caused by calcium and other mineral deposits found in hard water. Not to worry, though; we’ll show you an easy method for removing water spots and restoring your car’s natural finish.

Water Spot Removal Guide

Prevention is the best measure. That means there should be very little time gap between washing and drying your car. If it’s raining and your car is parked outside, then have a squeegee and towel ready the minute the rain comes to a halt. Continue Reading →

Common Windshield Hazards in the Fall

Windshield HazardsFall is the time to really pay attention to hazards that can damage your windshield. Debris is especially commonplace in the Bellingham area during this time of year. Be mindful of windshield hazards that can cause a crack or chip. Many of these hazards are seemingly benign, everyday objects that may do more harm to your vehicle than you realize.

Top Windshield Hazards in Bellingham

Acorns! Yes, those little nuts that squirrels can’t seem to get enough of is a top windshield hazard. Acorns grow on oak trees, which are aplenty in the Pacific Northwest. If it can be helped, try not to park adjacent or directly under one of these trees. If you have a garage, then fall is definitely the time of year to use it for its designated purpose. A fair-sized acorn can land on the windshield with enough impact to cause a small chip.

Other road debris like rocks and branches are also common in the fall. These can be kicked up by the tires from cars ahead and strike your windshield. Debris being hauled away in trucks can also fly out of the cargo bed and hit your windshield. Continue Reading →

5 Traits of a Quality Auto Detailing Shop

5 Traits of a Quality Auto Detailing ShopIf your vehicle is in need of quality auto detailing, car wash, auto glass or headlight restoration, choosing the right auto detailer is important. Luckily, selecting a trustworthy auto detail and glass shop is easy enough when you know what you should be looking for.

5 Signs of a Quality Auto Detailer

1. All the Special Touches

Anyone can vacuum and wipe down a car or truck, but a true auto detailer cleans every nook and cranny. Does the auto detailer use interior shampoo and conditioner? Do they offer O-Zone odor treatment? Do they hand wash and polish your interior and exterior? These questions reveal how expert your auto detailer is.

2. Customer satisfaction

Beyond services offered, it’s beneficial to check the shop’s Better Business Bureau rating (BBB) for customer complaints and see if past customers are happy with their services. Continue Reading →