Ford Mustang V6 and Mustang GT 1994-2014: How to Clean Foggy Headlights

Don't let foggy headlights cause you to have an accident on the road. Restore your headlights using these simple instructions.

By Charlie Gaston - September 25, 2015

This article applies to the Ford Mustang V6 and Mustang GT (1994-2014).

The headlights on your 1994-2014 Ford Mustang provide the visibility you need to safely and effectively navigate the road at night as well as during times of low visibility, such as before and after a heavy rain or during fog. However, as time goes on, your headlights can become cloudy and ineffectual. If you're considering visiting a mechanic for service work, we recommend considering otherwise. For very little money or time, you can complete this do-it-yourself (DIY) project right from the comfort of your own home garage.

Materials Needed

  • Bucket
  • Car soap
  • Mother's Ball
  • Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish
  • Electric buffing tool
  • Urethane solution
  • Mineral spirits
  • Rubbing alcohol

Option 1 – Use the most affordable method for lighter jobs

  • Using a bucket of soapy water, wet sand your headlights to remove all traces of buildup.
  • It's recommended that you start with 800-grit sand paper and only work your way to a lower grit if necessary.
  • Yellow staining should disappear as more and more deposits are removed from the headlight cover and it returns to its natural, clear color.
  • Your headlights might transition from yellow to white and then clear as the sanding process is completed.
  • Rinse your headlight with water to remove all dirt, debris and old residue.
  • Add a polishing compound, such as Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish, using a clean microfiber cloth or electric buffer with a Mother's Ball attached at the end; you'll want to use the Mother's Ball to protect your cover's seal during the buffing process.
  • Figure 1. This is the "before" picture.
  • Figure 2. This is the "after" picture.

Pro Tip

It's recommended that you mask off each headlight with two to three layers of painter's tape before beginning the sanding process to avoid damage to surrounding areas.

Option 2 – Tackling tougher jobs

  • Starting with your headlights masked off, sand your headlight with 800-grit sand paper.
  • Continue to add lubricant as you remove stubborn deposits from the headlight cover.
  • Switch to 1000-grit sand paper and repeat the above actions, continuing to lubricate the headlight as needed; stick to one sanding direction at a time.
  • Rinse once you are done.
  • Add a polish compound, rubbing it in at a low speed, while you wipe away residue. If you have an electric buffer, use it at this time; be sure to attach a Mother's Ball, if you have one.
  • Give the headlights a once-over with a rag dipped in rubbing alcohol.
  • Combine 1-ounce of urethane and 1-ounce of mineral spirits and then apply it to your headlight cover using a side to side motion, starting from the top.
  • Allow your car to sit for an hour; do not wash it for at least 24 hours, if necessary.
Figure 3. Sand your headlights using lubricated sand paper.

Option 3 – Purchasing new headlights

If your headlights are simply too cloudy to properly illuminate the road at night, it's highly recommended that you purchase new ones. Depending on your tastes, quality headlights are available online as well as through auto parts stores for as low as $100 to $250; more expensive varieties are also available, if your wallet can accommodate the higher price tag.

Figure 4. Accent versions are available.

Pro Tip

Unless you absolutely do not wish to put in the effort, we recommend attempting to clean your headlights before purchasing a new set.

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