Virtually all headlight covers these days consist only of polycarbonate which is extremely resistant to stone chips. But what if a hole appears after all? Seal it immediately otherwise the damage will get even greater. At a pinch, chewing gum or band-aid from a first-aid kit will help.
Sometimes an audible thud makes you notice the disaster. You stop and immediately see what caused it: a stone chip which has hit the headlight cover pretty hard. Or you only discover the damage after arriving at your destination.
Repairing it is expensive, but good advice on how to avoid even higher costs isn’t. Today you normally have to replace the whole headlight housing, even if only the front part, which is still often referred to as a diffuser, is damaged. But for some headlights there are repair kits. They consist of an empty housing in which the old projection module is then installed. That saves a lot of money. So make sure to ask at the garage if you’re not sure.
For such a repair to be successful, the insides of the headlight itself must not be damaged though. No water or dirt must get inside the headlight through a hole or crack. So the motto is: seal it. Duct tape and adhesive foil are good for that. If you have neither, chewing gum works too. Another remedy can be found in the first-aid kit: band-aid. It’s not quite waterproof, but you can use it to attach a piece of plastic foil which is definitely waterproof. The latter you can get from a shopping bag.
That way rain, snow and dirt will not ruin the precious insides for the time being. But avoid using the headlight washer system. The high pressure of the “shower”, the cleaning agents and, above all, antifreeze can quickly dissolve the glue from adhesive tapes and band-aids. If you want to be on the safe side and need the coupled windshield washer system, you should take out the fuse for the shower. The technically adept can also unplug the connector to the high-pressure pump.
Overall, holes and penetrating cracks in the polycarbonate covers don’t occur as often as breakages in the old diffusers made of glass. In the case of most stone chips, the cover simply curves inward a little, but then returns to its original position straight after. Unfortunately it’ll leave behind a bit of a blemish, for example because it cracks the coating on the surface. That’s similar to stone chips on the paintwork. No car is immune to that. And no headlight.