Headlight covers, also called headlight protectors, are a cost-effective way to add beauty and protection to any car or truck. Ranging from transparent vinyl film to rigid plastic shields, these easy-to-use protectors provide a barrier over the headlights, helping to reduce damage to the glass while also enhancing the overall appearance of the vehicle. With so many brands and styles available, consumers must carefully consider their requirements and purchase the headlight protectors that are the most suitable for their needs.
The purpose of headlight covers
The main purpose of headlight protectors is to provide protection against day-to-day wear. However, some protectors also enhance a vehicle's appearance.
The headlights are exposed to dust, stones, and bugs. Even if collision with these materials does not crack the headlight, there is a risk of small chips and scratches. Over time, minor abrasions result in fogging, reducing the efficiency of the headlights and ruining the appearance of the vehicle.
Applying headlight covers reduces the risk of damage and is a cheaper alternative to replacing or repairing broken lights. Such protection is particularly important for anyone who enjoys off-road driving or hunting in the outback, where there is a greater risk of damage.
Headlight covers allow a vehicle owner to get a cool, custom style. Tinted film, clear guards, and smoked taillight covers offer different finishes that create a visual impact, especially when combined with other automotive accessories, such as decals and alloy rims.
Choosing headlight covers
Headlight covers are not universal and only fit specific makes and models, so a vehicle owner must take care to purchase covers that fit. Additionally, he or she must decide whether to have tinted or clear covers and whether to purchase vinyl headlight film or rigid plastic protectors.
Legal and safety issues
The majority of headlight covers are clear, making them safe to use on any vehicle under any lighting conditions. However, it is also possible to purchase tinted headlight film. A film that restricts too much light is potentially dangerous, as it reduces the visibility of the car and other road users. For this reason, tinted headlight covers that restrict more than 15 per cent of a headlight's beams are banned in Australia, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Benefits of headlight film
Headlight film is available in pre-cut vinyl sheets for specific makes and models of vehicles. They adhere to the headlight and need to be replaced with new film if they are ever removed.
Headlight film absorbs the impact from minor debris, such as dirt and bugs, reducing scratches and nicks that may lead to headlight fogging. While the film does reinforce the glass, it cannot withstand the impact from larger items, such as rocks, making it less suitable for vehicles that frequently go off-road.
Headlight film has an attached adhesive. To install the film, the user simply pulls off the backing sheet, and then places the film over the headlight. The 3M headlight covers are a popular choice because the special adhesive does not create a strong bond until firm pressure is applied, allowing the user to reposition the cover multiple times to reduce the risk of air bubbles and creases.
Installing the film is relatively straightforward, but does require some care and patience. A squeegee is a useful tool for smoothing the film to remove bubbles.
Benefits of plastic covers
Plastic covers are usually made of high-density polymers that are rigid and strong. They clip into place and they are easy to remove and reinstall as many times as required.
Plastic covers offer better protection than film and they are capable of deflecting large stones, sticks, bugs, and gravel. The covers also help to block mud that may otherwise stick to the light and reduce visibility.
Installation of a plastic headlight cover is easy and does not involve any tools. Each cover clips into place over the top of the headlight, providing an instant protective barrier that does not damage the vehicle's bodywork. Some vehicle owners do not like the additional bulk added to the car by the plastic protectors and prefer the sleek style of vinyl film covers.
How to buy headlight covers on eBay
Whether you want some clear vinyl headlight covers or some plastic headlight covers to shield your lights when you take your truck off-roading, you are sure to find what you need on eBay. Simply enter a search criterion, such as "headlight film", into the search field available on every page, and then apply filters to refine the results. When buying automotive parts and accessories, such as headlight protectors, always read the lot descriptions carefully to ensure the products are compatible with your vehicle.