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How to Make Your Headlights Shine Like New
popularmechanics ^ | March 31, 2014 1:30 PM | By Michael Austin

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 ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Reference
KEYWORDS: dyi; haze; headlights
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Prep : Wipe as much grime as possible off the headlights with glass cleaner or soap and water....

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]

1 posted on 04/01/2014 8:17:39 PM PDT by virgil283
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To: virgil283

Thanks for posting - my ‘95 Saturn is in desperate need of this


2 posted on 04/01/2014 8:19:38 PM PDT by 11th_VA (Decriminalize Tax Evasion)
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To: virgil283

I just replaced my headlights and taillights and it made a huge difference.


3 posted on 04/01/2014 8:21:12 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: 11th_VA

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.


4 posted on 04/01/2014 8:21:39 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Want to keep your doctor? Remove your Democrat Senator.)
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To: 11th_VA

“Thanks for posting - my ‘95 Saturn is in desperate need of this”

You mean a Satrin.


5 posted on 04/01/2014 8:23:24 PM PDT by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: virgil283

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.


6 posted on 04/01/2014 8:25:20 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: virgil283

Maybe I could buff up an old girlfriend or two the same way.
Just take off a few lawyers of nasty.


7 posted on 04/01/2014 8:28:36 PM PDT by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: DaxtonBrown

ooops, a few layers of nasty. Though one is a lawyer, come to think of it.


8 posted on 04/01/2014 8:29:55 PM PDT by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: virgil283

later


9 posted on 04/01/2014 8:30:52 PM PDT by deweyfrank
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To: virgil283

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.


10 posted on 04/01/2014 8:34:50 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: virgil283

And ... those two pictures look like two different cars, to me.


11 posted on 04/01/2014 8:35:47 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: virgil283

“Sand : All of these products use an abrasive such as sandpaper to scuff away the outer layer of haze....”

But what grit?

1000? 1200?


12 posted on 04/01/2014 8:37:00 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: 11th_VA

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.


13 posted on 04/01/2014 8:42:53 PM PDT by Flick Lives ("I can't believe it's not Fascism!")
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To: virgil283

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.


14 posted on 04/01/2014 8:44:46 PM PDT by AirForce-TechSgt ("The American Indians found out what happens when you don't control immigration.")
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To: Star Traveler

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.


15 posted on 04/01/2014 8:44:51 PM PDT by miele man
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To: Jack Hydrazine; RegulatorCountry; All

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!


16 posted on 04/01/2014 8:46:04 PM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!!)
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To: DaxtonBrown

ROFLOL!!!


17 posted on 04/01/2014 8:47:22 PM PDT by Osage Orange (I have strong feelings about gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be controlling it.)
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To: mabarker1

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 posted on 04/01/2014 8:48:58 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: AirForce-TechSgt

Interesting

18 years selling parts myself, but that was before plastic headlight lenses.

? Does it help with bug splatters ?


19 posted on 04/01/2014 8:49:02 PM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!!)
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To: AirForce-TechSgt

And Thank You for Your Service.


20 posted on 04/01/2014 8:50:04 PM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

LOL!


21 posted on 04/01/2014 8:50:54 PM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!!)
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To: RegulatorCountry; Jack Hydrazine
"All of these products use an abrasive such as sandpaper".... The kit comes with the abrasive sandcloth...
22 posted on 04/01/2014 8:57:23 PM PDT by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: Mears

bfl


23 posted on 04/01/2014 8:59:44 PM PDT by Mears
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To: Flick Lives
"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."

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.

24 posted on 04/01/2014 9:13:28 PM PDT by theneanderthal
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To: virgil283; All

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!


25 posted on 04/01/2014 9:18:15 PM PDT by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does - by their fruits)
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To: Flick Lives
Check out the car care products by Meguiar’s. They make one specifically for polishing out plastic.

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.

26 posted on 04/01/2014 9:29:35 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: maine-iac7

Do you have a specific recommendation for a brand?


27 posted on 04/01/2014 9:30:01 PM PDT by theneanderthal
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To: virgil283

BFL


28 posted on 04/01/2014 9:31:14 PM PDT by zeugma (Is it evil of me to teach my bird to say "here kitty, kitty"?)
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To: DaxtonBrown

Nothing will remove the “nasty” from her (lawyer, that is.)


29 posted on 04/01/2014 9:36:30 PM PDT by zerosix (Native Sunflower)
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To: virgil283
B T T T ! ! ! ©

30 posted on 04/01/2014 9:39:23 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: virgil283

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.


31 posted on 04/01/2014 9:40:08 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: virgil283

I used the Turtle Wax kit on my old car, and it worked.


32 posted on 04/01/2014 10:03:03 PM PDT by scott7278 ("...I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked..." - BHO)
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To: virgil283

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.


33 posted on 04/01/2014 10:21:59 PM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: AirForce-TechSgt

Did you add a coat of UV protectant afterwards? How long did/does it last?


34 posted on 04/01/2014 10:27:20 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: virgil283

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.


35 posted on 04/01/2014 10:29:51 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: DaxtonBrown

I think you had it right the first time (8^D).


36 posted on 04/01/2014 10:30:58 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Star Traveler

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.


37 posted on 04/01/2014 10:36:59 PM PDT by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: virgil283

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.


38 posted on 04/01/2014 10:42:31 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: virgil283
If I do the headlights....the rest of the car won't *match*.


39 posted on 04/01/2014 10:47:33 PM PDT by Daffynition ("If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." ~ Henry Ford)
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To: Daffynition

That one has glass headlights, but the ugly is not going to buff out.
Sorry.


40 posted on 04/01/2014 10:52:02 PM PDT by right way right (America has embraced the suck of Freedumb.)
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To: virgil283

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.


41 posted on 04/02/2014 12:06:09 AM PDT by VerySadAmerican
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To: virgil283

A cheap tube of white tooth PASTE will accomplish the same results. Been using it for years. Haven’t used the UV sealant.


42 posted on 04/02/2014 12:29:18 AM PDT by ourworldawry
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To: ourworldawry

Yep. Toothpaste.

Pretty much any mild abrasive will do.


43 posted on 04/02/2014 12:53:01 AM PDT by Rodney Dangerfield (Has any President in history sunk to such a level of self-flattery & validation-seeking?)
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To: right way right

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. ;)


44 posted on 04/02/2014 1:20:41 AM PDT by Daffynition ("If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." ~ Henry Ford)
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To: virgil283

Been using a medium then light cut rubbing compound and a high speed buffer for years.. works well.


45 posted on 04/02/2014 2:17:24 AM PDT by maddog55 (I'd be Pro-Choice if we could abort liberals.)
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To: Daffynition

Clark? Clark Griswold, is that you?


46 posted on 04/02/2014 3:28:06 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Daffynition

Buy Amish wood milk for the paneling. Available through late night TV. /s

(actually.., she’s a beaut’)


47 posted on 04/02/2014 3:38:02 AM PDT by outofsalt (If history teaches us anything it's that history rarely teaches us anything.)
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To: Daffynition

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.


48 posted on 04/02/2014 3:43:06 AM PDT by right way right (America has embraced the suck of Freedumb.)
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To: miele man

Different angle.


49 posted on 04/02/2014 4:30:29 AM PDT by al_c (Obama's standing in the world has fallen so much that Kenya now claims he was born in America.)
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To: virgil283

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 :(


50 posted on 04/02/2014 4:40:29 AM PDT by visualops (artlife.us)
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