XPEL Headlight Film Installation


           

            One of the many downfalls of living in Michigan is putting up with the damage to your car caused by winter and terrible roads. A trip down the highway blasts your car with salt, sand, brine, ice, rocks, and the occasional rusted part falling off a truck. All of this abuse leaves the front of your car looking pretty rough. One part that is very susceptible to damage is the headlights. They are on the front lines of battle, and after a few winters, they deserve a purple heart and a desk job. Sadly, that doesn’t happen. To help protect the lenses from sand/rock abrasion and chips, I installed headlight protection film from XPEL on my 2011 Ford Fiesta.

            The XPEL Headlamp Protection Film is a multi-layered clear film that is composed of a scratch resistant top coat, 27mil polyurethane film, and a special adhesive. The film is much thicker than the body protection films, which helps dissipate energy from an impact. The film has exceptional levels of gloss, which is nice since most headlights turn dull and yellow over time. The film can be ordered in either clear, smoke, yellow, or blue. I picked the clear since I want to be sure to have the most amount of light placed on the road when driving in the winter. Since the Fiesta lacks fog lamps, I didn’t want to dim the only lights I have.

            The kit arrived with 2 precut sheets for the headlamps, and 2 for the LED parking lamps. Also included is a squeegee and instructions for the installation. I started by cleaning the headlamp to make sure it was free of dirt, wax, oils, or dead bugs. Before peeling off the backing, I double checked the fitment of each sheet to be sure they were going to fit. Sure enough, everything looks to be cut right to size. I then mixed a solution of 10% rubbing alcohol with water and used a spray bottle to soak the headlamp. I also sprayed down my hands to make sure I did not leave any fingerprints on the film. The next step is to remove the backing from the adhesive, and spray the backside of the film with the solution. With everything coated with solution, its time to place the film on the headlamp.

            With the film resting on the headlight lens, I used the squeegee to start displacing the solution from the center of the headlamp to the edges. The film slowly starts to adhere to the lens at this point, but a heat gun helps to get the film to conform to the very complex headlamp. Using the lowest heat setting, I gently heated the film until it began to flex. At that point, the squeegee comes back into action to displace more solution. Continually working from the center out, pushing away the bubbles, the film begins to adhere to the headlamp. The film looks cloudy once installed, and a few pesky bubbles existed in a few spots. This is normal, and after a few days in the sun, the film is clear the bubbles are gone. I did end up with a few fingerprints on the backside of the film as the solution dried on my hands and I went to reposition the film. They are slight, and I doubt anyone can find them.

            I was very happy with the quality of the XPEL film and the ease of installation. I had some help from my dad, and he was so impressed with the film that he ordered a set for his Fusion. For any climate, protecting your headlamps is a must. Every winter when I vacation in Florida, I am amazed at how many new cars have yellow headlamps. They may not get the rock and sand abrasion we get in Michigan, but they could surely use something like the XPEL film to keep the lamps from yellowing. The installation was easy, and it is a must for anyone who wants to protect their car and keep it looking great!

Gallery of installation pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brgt350/sets/72157624638294413/

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  1. #1 by 13u.de - July 14th, 2015 at 20:01

    With how your bad weather is at this time,
    i really think such things as this unique will be in progress a greater number of
    often.

  2. #2 by Air Compressor - July 17th, 2015 at 07:11

    I discover that retaining all your tools organize in different situations is
    the strategy to use.

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