NWRA to Develop Headlight Restoration Standard
May 15, 2012

by Erica Terrini, eterrini@glass.com

To date there has been no standard for automotive headlight restoration but today the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) released its plan to develop a standard for what has been a “diversified” procedure, according to NWRA board member Kerry Wanstrath of Glass Technology in Durango, Colo.

According to Wanstrath, the need for a cohesive set of guidelines has been apparent for several years based on his observations of various companies and their differentiating techniques to completing the headlight restoration procedure.

“There’s—I’ll put it as nicely as I can—a diverse opinion as to how the process can be done and should be done,” Wanstrath says. “I think the fact that there’s so much diversity causes some of us that have been in the industry for 10 years, or maybe even 15 years, to question what is the right way. What is an acceptable means of restoring [a headlight] as close to factory specifications as possible?”

Wanstrath says while most believe this to be a purely cosmetic procedure—when it comes to the headlight restoration procedure, the lack of clarity is a safety issue at heart. This is especially true for cars older than five years and additionally with higher-than-average exposure to UV rays, which can deteriorate the clarity of the acrylic causing the lights to become diffused, according to Wanstrath.

Typically there are two different approaches to headlight restorations, according to Wanstrath--quick versus systematic. He says in some cases there can be results that are a temporary fix for diffusing lights. In order to minimize the chances of lights becoming diffused, clarity should be restored to the headlight, he says.

“Those of us who have been in the industry longer than most want to see an industry-wide recognition or standard developed that determines what the results should be and the clarity and so forth to ensure the safety of consumers,” he says.

The standard will likely be developed in a similar style as the windshield repair standard, the Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS™). It also will be created in accordance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guidelines by a committee composed of professionals within the industry on a volunteer basis.

Wanstrath says the headlight restoration standard may take several years to develop, as did ROLAGS. A determining factor could be the availability of committee members but he said he hopes to arrive at a consensus in two years.

“It’s probably not as controversial as windshield repair was because we don’t have influences that have motives to prevent the standard from being adopted,” Wanstrath says. “I don’t see anyone who would resist headlight restoration. It’s a good thing, it’s good for the consumer, and it’s good for everybody.”

The Headlight Restoration Standards Committee will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, September 19, in Louisville, Ky., the day before Auto Glass Week™ begins. Those interested in serving on the committee should contact jmulligan@nwrassn.org.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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