Black headlights or taillights look good, but is painting even allowed? In the field of vehicle tuning, hardly any vehicle part remains untouched. It doesn't matter whether it's the rims, the chassis or the body. Purely technical changes are conceivable and possible almost everywhere. Tuners from all over the world therefore also use the headlights as an object of their desire for individualization. And it doesn't always have to be the installation of xenon headlights meant to get an individual look. The targeted reach for the paint pot may also conjure up colorful light on the streets. But bulbs of a different color than those prescribed by law are always inadmissible. The idea of painting the transparent cover of the headlights is also not far off. But: Can headlights be painted at all? We have dealt with this in our following tuning guide.
FAQ on the topic
Painting headlights with clear coat: is that allowed?
- No, because the color of the paint is irrelevant. As soon as headlights are painted, the type approval automatically expires.
Is an exemption from the TÜV possible?
- Under certain circumstances, the TÜV agrees to painting with a clear coat as soon as the headlights or taillights function as a result improved is.
The color of the headlights - which ones are allowed?
- The StVZO clearly stipulates which colors are permitted for lighting devices and which are not. Accordingly, are forward white, backwards red and to the side yellow lights allowed. There is an exception for the reversing lights.
Painting the headlights: illegal or allowed?
The headlight covers are permanently installed elements in most vehicles. The plastics can become blind over time due to wear and tear from rain, stone chips or other environmental influences. This will dull or scratch the cover. This in turn affects the light scattering. Using a new headlight immediately for this is questionable. Anyone who researches the Internet will find numerous tips and even offers for the admissibility of refurbishing the worn headlight and then painting it with clear lacquer. This is to prevent expensive expenditure for the installation of new headlights.
Caution, because the general rule is: Every change, no matter how small, to headlights and other vehicle components with an E number designation is carried out automatically for the expiry of the type approval. This initially applies to the affected component, but then affects the entire vehicle. This is also the case when painting the headlights with clear lacquer. It is irrelevantwhether the headlights are sealed from the outside or inside with a clear coat or whether the headlights are painted completely black. Even if this is intended to avoid new damage, the lighting equipment must not be modified under any circumstances, no matter what form, as this would invalidate its approval.
An exception is possible if the rear lights and/or the headlights are provided with a clear coat to improve functionality to improve. However, this change must be checked and approved by a testing organization. Therefore absolutely and before every change, consult with the experts to what extent such an acceptance can take place. By the way, colored paintwork is not allowed under any circumstances!
In § 49a StVZO the permitted luminous colors are firmly defined:
- Facing forward: white light
- Rear-facing: red light (the exception being the reversing lights)
- Aimed to the side: yellow light
This means that all other colors are taboo and you are therefore not allowed to paint any front headlights red, yellow or black.
It is also forbidden to paint the inside of headlights!
When assessing the admissibility, it does not matter whether the paint layer outside or inside is applied. Xenon headlights in particular should be used with caution. These have a special coating on the inside in order to be able to withstand the luminosity of the lights and to ensure optimal distribution. The coating and thus the functionality of the headlights can be restricted by an additional layer of paint. In addition, unpleasant and toxic solvent vapors can develop due to the heat generated. In the worst case, a deflagration can lead to the entire headlight being destroyed.
Headlight paintwork/glazing: table of fines
|Vehicle guided with non-approved lighting equipment||20 Euros|
|Vehicle driven and no valid operating license||50 Euros|
|... endangering traffic safety||90 Euros||1|
Painting headlight bezels!
The situation is different when painting Scheinwerferblendenthat are not part of the cover itself. If the functionality of the headlights is not restricted by the paint and the cover of the headlight is not affected by the paint, this change is permitted. However, before making any changes, please ask the relevant experts whether this will jeopardize the type approval or not. Ideally, have the headlight bezels painted and gripped by a professional not even to the spray can.
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