Headlight Restoration

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While out shopping for other things, on a whim I purchased this headlight restoration kit. You see, the car the wife drives has one headlight that is so oxidized that I swear no light makes it though the lens. The kit was only $8 and works like most others kits out there.  The kit contains the typical tools for the job:

  • 3 sanding pads of various grits from 1800 to 8000 grit
  • 1 – 4 fl oz clarifying compound
  • 1 – 4 fl oz sanding lubricant
  • 1 – Lens sealant wipe

So here we go!

Here is what the lens looks like before i got started.  The headlight is washed and clean what you are seeing is 9 years of oxidation and UV damage. Since part of the process is sanding, I taped off the paint around the headlight to protect it.

After the first pass of me following the directions to the letter which was using the clarifying compound, wet sanding, using the clarifying compound again, and buffing.  Not too bad, but not great either so I gave it a go again and tried another round polishing and sanding.

After the second pass it was really starting to look good, maybe I’m getting better with practice. To be honest I was actually shocked at how well this was going, much better than my expectations! Next up was to clean up the headlight and and apply the sealer.

Here is the finished project. The headlamp now almost looks like new and it should be much safer as well!  Total time from beginning to end was just over 30 minutes including setup and cleanup so this is a quick project but the sealer does need to setup for 24 hours to be completely dry.  If your headlamps look weathered you might want to give this a try.

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  1. I used to do this process…until I found Meguiar’s Headlight Restoration Kit. It is so easy to use and quick! There is also far less chance of damage when using the kit. Don’t misunderstand…doing it as described above is tried and true….but the slightest error can ruin a lens that costs more than $100 to replace. There is safety in the kit.

    1. Yes, there seems to be new methods coming out all the time, the newest being the acid treatments. Just don’t go for the really old 3M kits where you use sanding wheels with your drill! Shudder! 🙂

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