Lifting the fog

Mobile headlight restoration service makes night driving safer

Photo by Ken Smith

Night driving, for those who enjoy it, is singularly awesome—mysterious, romantic and meditative, a great way to induce deep introspection or imagine yourself living in a Bruce Springsteen song. However, the sometimes transcendental experience can be completely dimmed and downright dangerous with aged and/or foggy headlights. That’s where Peggy McConnaughy, who recently returned to Chico from the L.A. area, comes in. In addition to her day job selling car parts at AutoZone, she is the owner of Restore N Renew, a local mobile headlight restoration service. In an hour or less and for under $50, the former car saleswoman can visit your home or place of work to reinvigorate your set of lamps. To get a quote or make an appointment, call 680-9384 or find Restore N Renew on Facebook.

How did you start doing headlight restoration?

My nephew suggested it to me a few years ago. He knows I’ve always done arts and crafts and suggested this might be something I’d be interested in learning how to do. Then, I decided it might be a good way to make a little extra income, so I contacted the owner of the auction yard in Orland [Orland Public Auto Auction] and he let me come practice on all the cars he has in his yard so I could get good at it.

How is the business going?

Pretty good. In the past year since I started, three different automotive services have let me come do headlights for them. Daniel Oliveras at Guido’s Auto Precision sends me the most business. He does BMWs and Mercedes and runs a high-end auto repair shop, which is neat because I end up doing some nice cars … Lexus, Mercedes, and I did a Porsche Cayenne. It had a cracked lens, and the clear acrylic spray I use actually gets inside the cracks and seals them. People are ecstatic because of the cost savings and because of the difference it makes. New lenses are very pricey; they can cost around $1,500 each.

How exactly do you do it?

First, I cleanse the lens completely. Then, I tape it off and make sure I protect the car so that overspray doesn’t get on anything. After scrubbing it, taping it, prepping it and getting it completely dry, I spray it with a solution that allows the clear acrylic spray to do its job and stay on there. I also do another service using a Rain-X product, which is a little less expensive and only takes about 35 minutes, but doesn’t last quite as long.

Why is having clean headlights so important?

It’s a matter of safety. Having foggy headlights is no good, especially at night, it diminishes your ability to see. I did an insurance agent’s car recently, and she even commented about how so many cars drive around with bad headlights and how dangerous that is.