How to protect car headlamp from the sun?

Hello everyone!

So, I’m just here thinking of the best way(s) to protect the headlamp of a car while it sits outside in the sun.

I have no choice where I park my car. I don’t have a garage. And the sun :sunny: shines on it all day.

The headlamp is crystal clear still as the car is just 4 years old and I know the headlamp will start clouding and yellowing up eventually.

I read somewhere on google to cover the headlamps with aluminum foil to protect the headlamps when the car isn’t in use. Is this legit? Will it help preserve the headlamp lens longevity?

How about a piece of cloth over the headlamps?

I don’t want to use a complete car cover as I use the car pretty often, and removing the cover every time I need to drive will be tiresome.

Thank you :pray:t3:

Those ideas might help. I have heard waxing the lenses every six months is beneficial.
I have done none of the above, my 2013 lenses are still clear.

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I’d advise you to worry about something else.

Good luck and happy driving.

Do a web search for headlight preservation and you will find some products that advertise for this. I don’t know how effective they are, but that’s worth a shot.
I personally just wait until they are clouded and then use 3M Headlight Restoration System. It does a perfect job. Another mechanic told me they have some other type of sealer to put over it when you’re finished, sold separately but I haven’t looked into that yet.

Although I haven’t waxed them for a few years, my 2011 headlight lenses are still clear.

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The sun will hit when you drive so this is one of those don’t worry about it and drive on . A cloth or tin foil will need to be taped on or the wind will just blow it off.


If you insist on covering the headlights when you are parked…

Buy a flexible strip magnet, sew it into a towel large enough to cover the light. Stick it to the hood with the towel draped over the headlight lens. It will stay put and protect the lens. This won’t work, of course, if your hood is fiberglass or aluminum.


I just thought of the solution to this keeping the sun off the headlights problem . Just sell the present vehicle and buy a nice semi-restored C4 Corvette with the fun to watch headlights raise up when you need them .


When you can, park the car facing north. There will be a lot less sunlight hitting the headlights. (In the southern hemisphere, facing south.)

The farther you are from the equator, the more effective this will be.

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Probably the best protectant is polyurethane clearcoat. I don’t use it because when it eventually starts to blister or discolor, it is a real pain to sand off.

I have a 2004 BMW that has been parked in the California sun every day since it was new. When I bought it, the headlights were white and opaque. I took off the worst of it with a 3M kit and a drill. They don’t quite look new, but they look pretty good.

Now I maintain them by polishing with 3M Hand Polish each time I wash the car, followed by Plexis or ArmorAll to seal the surface. The Hand Polish leaves a smoother luster than commercial headlight restoration compounds.

Two small towels with weights or magnets to hold them in place should do the trick. Or – assuming you are located in the USA or Canada — just park facing North.

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Do you park outdoors facing away from the sun? I would expect that you parked in a garage.

The sun rises and sets in the north, I don’t think parking direction matters much.

[quote=“Nevada_545, post:12, topic:184603”]
The sun rises and sets in the north, I don’t think parking direction matters much[/quote]

Really? I always thought that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. And that the suns arc across the sky only comes as far as 2327’N latitude or the “Tropic of Cancer. So to park facing north anywhere north of that would put the headlights facing away from direct sunlight. Also the farther north your location is the greater the effect. This all would opposite if you were in the Southern Hemisphere with the Tropic of Capricorn being at 2327’S latitude.


Yes, I park in a garage, but then there is the case of my friend’s Rav-4, which was always parked outside. When he got rid of it after 12 years, the headlight lenses were still clear. Sometimes, there is no logical explanation.

Hmmm… around here, it rises in the East and sets in the West.

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North of Due West, has anyone traveled south of the Mason-Dixon line? The sun does not arc solely over the southern sky.

I live below the Mason and Dixon line, which is considerably north of the Tropic Of Cancer.
Since even the southernmost tip of the contiguous U.S.( the island of Key West, Florida, at 24 degrees 32 minutes north) is still north of the Tropic of Cancer*, I posit that even at the summer solstice the sun rises just south of due east and sets just south of due west. The only state in the U.S. where the sun would rise just north of east and set just north of west is Hawaii, and that would only be for maybe a couple weeks each year.

  • The Tropic of Cancer, which occurs at the latitude approximately 23°27′ N of the terrestrial Equator, corresponds to the northernmost declination of the Sun’s ecliptic to the celestial equator.
    Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
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Well, there’s no explanation if one assumes it’s really caused by the sun.

I suspect the heat from the lamp filament is a factor.

Yes that is a possibility, and there also seems to be some variation from one make/model to another. Perhaps differences in the type of plastic used by various mfrs could explain the difference. I have noticed that every older Mercedes (E-class, I think…) sedan with the bologna-sliced headlights had badly-fogged headlight lenses after just a few years. If you see an old E-class sedan nowadays, its headlights will probably look like completely opaque white ovals.

I think that is possibly the biggest difference as why some seem to fade faster than others.


This is the headlight on a 2013 Lexus ES350, the deterioration is not caused by the HID bulb or German plastic.