Skip to comments.How to Make Your Headlights Shine Like New
Posted on 04/01/2014 8:17:39 PM PDT by virgil283
"Most headlights are made of polycarbonate plastic, which is durable and scratch-resistant. But over time polycarbonate clouds over, mostly due to UV rays that degrade the outer layer of plastic. .....
.....Good do it yourself project;
(Excerpt) Read more at popularmechanics.com ...
Sand : All of these products use an abrasive such as sandpaper to scuff away the outer layer of haze....
Polish : A fine polish cleans up the sandpaper scratches and makes the headlight lenses clear again......
Apply : UV Sealant There's a reason we tested only headlight lens restorers with a UV protectant. The sanding step removes any protective layer that was originally applied to the headlight, and if you don't reapply that shield your lights will haze over again in as little as a few weeks. ....
Best product - Rain-X Headlight Restoration Kit--$12-$20 ---[h/t instapundit]
Thanks for posting - my ‘95 Saturn is in desperate need of this
I just replaced my headlights and taillights and it made a huge difference.
I simply went to Ebay and bought a new set of headlights for a 2001 vehicle we have. $45 for two headlamps, complete with bulbs.
“Thanks for posting - my 95 Saturn is in desperate need of this”
You mean a Satrin.
I read the article and still am not quite sure whether they’re advocating the use of actual sandpaper or not, and if so wet or dry sanding. I’ve used the kits with abrasive paste before, they work so-so if the lens is not starting to get a rough texture. Improved appearance and clarity but not anywhere near being like new.
Maybe I could buff up an old girlfriend or two the same way.
Just take off a few lawyers of nasty.
ooops, a few layers of nasty. Though one is a lawyer, come to think of it.
I’m not sure what to think about that. I’ve seen the products before and have read about them ... but I’m thinking about just getting another assembly, instead.
And ... those two pictures look like two different cars, to me.
“Sand : All of these products use an abrasive such as sandpaper to scuff away the outer layer of haze....”
But what grit?
Check out the car care products by Meguiar’s. They make one specifically for polishing out plastic. Any of their products which I’ve tried have been excellent.
Take it from an old parts guy; Deep Woods Off.
Spray it on and let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it clean. Yes, it does work.
I agree. The fender underneath the headlight is rounded in the 2nd picture while it is more angular in the first picture and the hood is also different from the first to the second pix. Paint color is also different.
Buy a good kit:
3M I have used- just follow the instructions.
Have not used any others.
Have not used the UV Protectant.
Don’t just go buy XXXX grit sandpaper and some polishing compound unless you know what you are doing, USE A KIT!
When I was in France with the army
One day I looked inside my kit
I thought i would find me a sandwich
But the darn thing was loaded with ...
Shaving cream, be nice and clean
Shave every day and you’ll always look keen
18 years selling parts myself, but that was before plastic headlight lenses.
? Does it help with bug splatters ?
And Thank You for Your Service.
I agree the Meguires kit worked well for me. I've done two sets of headlights with a single kit and I have enough left for two or three more.
good golly, folks - no longer need the buffer/sander/sand paper, the 3- piece kit - etc - just go to your auto supply and buy a small bottle of polishing cream made for it! - Takes about 5 minutes - to do both headlights!
I've used PlastX for a few years. It has to be reapplied every 3 months or so, but one bottle lasts a long time.
Do you have a specific recommendation for a brand?
Nothing will remove the “nasty” from her (lawyer, that is.)
Saw a display of these on my last trip to the auto parts store and wondered if they actually work. Something tells me it isn’t really that easy.
I used the Turtle Wax kit on my old car, and it worked.
One day I had my car parked in the driveway. My wife pulled out of the garage, didn’t see me and sideswiped my car. No real damage but she had black paint marks on her silver car. A friend told me to use headlight cleaner that I had instead of compound to take the paint off. Worked like a charm, much better than it did on my headlights.
Did you add a coat of UV protectant afterwards? How long did/does it last?
I have done this with a couple of vehicles. Whatever kit you get, review the instructions first, don’t rush, and follow the instructions precisely for best results. It made a huge difference in both of the vehicles.
I think you had it right the first time (8^D).
It’s the same car. Slightly different angle and lighting is all. The headlight lens is exactly the same; note the arrangement and number of the different refraction elements in each.
Getting ready to try the Wipe New as I also needed it for some sun faded plastic.
I found something that works for a few months. Used Mothers Brazilian Carnauba Cleaner Wax for a while on a car as normal. Somebody told me to try it on the headlights. Didn’t look as good as a kit but still was a great improvement. Tried it on other cars and it looked great also. Had better results than I did with Plastic X.
That one has glass headlights, but the ugly is not going to buff out.
I used that “sand paper” kit. Ruined one headlite. Didn’t use it on the other one. Those assemblies cost around $500 or so each.
A cheap tube of white tooth PASTE will accomplish the same results. Been using it for years. Haven’t used the UV sealant.
Pretty much any mild abrasive will do.
Heh. We like to think it is *quaint* and *funky*. More like an ugly duckling. It’s been great fun. We affectionately call it the *Ronnie Raygun* ...b/c he was still president when it was built. ;)
Been using a medium then light cut rubbing compound and a high speed buffer for years.. works well.
Clark? Clark Griswold, is that you?
Buy Amish wood milk for the paneling. Available through late night TV. /s
(actually.., she’s a beaut’)
I’m a mechanic.
Those cars were actually pretty good for the times.
At least its not a Ford Fairmont, I had one of those,what a POS.
Now I drive an 86 Nissan Sentra for my eco car daily so I can drive my Ram 04 1500 4x4 with the hemi (when I can afford the gas that is) Man, that Hemi Sucks! I should sell it.
I used a kit once and it worked well on one but not the other. Also, it was very time consuming and used up a lot of elbow grease. I may try Soft Scrub next time. What I really need is a hubcap but I don’t want to shell out $35 for one :(