I like to mention things that seemingly defy common sense.
Well, my 2006 car which is now 16 years old, was purchased when it was 11. Since it was from a new car dealer, on the used lot, they reconditioned the headlights, and as such, they were crystal clear when I first got the vehicle.
Over the last 5 years, they got hazy again.
After hemming an hawing about what product I would use, because every product has reviews where it did not work, I bought a kit for $17.
There were 3 steps. Wipe oxidation off, using 4 wipes per headlight. The wipes started off really yellow, and by the 4th, not so much.
Then there was wet sanding by hand, with 2 different grits. This made me skeptical. By the time I was done with step 2, having sanded with both grits, the headlight clearly looked worse than when I started? RUH ROH!!!
The third step was to apply a ceramic coating. After doing so, the headlights looked brand new? HUH???!! Seeing is believing, before/after pics show it, but it truly defies common sense hahahahahahahaha
There is a lifetime warranty, but if it lasts 4-5 years and I had to do it again? that's fine. I'm not exaggerating when I say the lights now look crystal clear, as if brand new.
The product is called Cerakote. Just thought I'd share, believe me, I was skeptical.
I've had hazy headlights on my 2004 Nissan Titan truck for some time now and back more than a year ago I bought a kit called Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit to fix the cloudy lens. The kit uses the same process that johnnatash4 describes above. This product is marketed by the light manufacturer company of the same name.
My project has been on the back burner awaiting and getting a "round tuit".
I use car polish on mine. It's cheap, takes only a few minutes and works like a charm. Wipe some on, let it dry, wipe it off. Presto, clear headlights! I've even used toothpaste before, but while it gets the job done it doesn't do as good a job as simple car polish.
Never got toothpaste to work
used simple Comet cleanser on another car, to make things look cleaner and less yellow, but it would last less than a week. I'm hoping the actual 3 step process works. Right now I would guess it will, as they are crystal clear, unlike with the Comet which is less yellow but very scratchy. Maybe someone can chemically explain what step 1 does. Why not simply go right to sanding? The difference imho is not appearance, but somehow treating the plastic...and lastly sealing it, protecting from UV, and maintaining a wet look. i.e. cleaning with Comet looks great when there's water on the lenses. When dried, scratchy and less clear.
Not chemically, but the oxidation can't br completely be removed by sanding. The wipes react with the oxidation and remove it completely.
I used some cheap white paste and it worked alright. The gel type doesn't work, and it seems that the more expensive "smoother" pastes don't work as well.
But if you have a choice, simple car polish works wonders without having to buy those expensive headlight restoring kits. I tried using a restoring kit that belonged to a friend once and it worked no better than regular car polish.
Meguiars cleaner wax, which I use to remove anything tough to remove from the car bodies. I have used it on headlights, and as mentioned, it does not produce results anywhere near the $17 kit. My hope was that it would be a quick hit and offer some protection from the elements, being a wax. It really doesn't work, in the big picture. I'm talking to yield results that look brand new. Actual polish, I do have, as I was prepared to use it to get the red paint off of my wife's car. But the cleaner wax with the Dewalt worked, so I went down the road more friendly to the clear coat.
I totally understand that many people don't care, as exhibited by the numbers of cars with cloudy headlamps. I guess I didn't care either until this year. imho $17 yields professional results, the other stuff, does not. If it did, then car dealers would use lesser expensive stuff when flipping used cars. They're all about putting the minimal into a used car for sale...my .02
Seeing is believing, before/after pics show it, but it truly defies common sense
Meguiars cleaner wax, which I use to remove anything tough to remove from the car bodies. I have used it on headlights, and as mentioned, it does not produce results anywhere near the $17 kit. My hope was that it would be a quick hit and offer some protection from the elements, being a wax.
As you’ve discovered Meguiar's cleaner wax doesn’t work well. But Meguiar's makes two headlight restoration kits, one G2970 is a two step headlight restoration kit and it works well. There is also a “heavy duty” version, I believe #G2980. I’ve never had need for the heavy duty product, but the G2970 works well.
Thanks for the post, good to know it actually works!
Anyone here tried this on a car that isn't that old? Mine's only 8 year old and I don't really see any haze on it (unlike my previous car).
Is the plastic on newer vehicles more resistant to breakdown from UV?
Is the plastic on newer vehicles more resistant to breakdown from UV?
First of all most head lamps have a clear coat designed to protect the polycarbonate lens from UV light and oxidation. The coating degrades over time, allowing UV light/oxidation to yellow the lenses and lose their clarity. Speeding up the process is not keeping a car in a garage, although that only minimizes the effects of UV light. I have a 21 year old Porsche that is garage kept and the headlights are crystal clear. Just taking its current mileage of 70000 and figuring it has averaged 40 mph, it has spent 1750 hours on the highway, most of that daytime driving by the way. 1750 hours is equivalent to about 73 days. I also have a 2012 Lincoln MKX, NOT garage kept and about the same mileage. It has been outside for about 3300 days. In spite of that outdoor time, the headlights are clear. So the outdoor time of the Lincoln is 45X that of the Porsche. I might add that I use 303 Aerospace UV Protectant on the head lamps of both vehicles and apply it about once per month. You can also help protect the clear coat that is on most lenses by using 3M Quick Headlight Clear Coat. It's about $6.
But should you need to use any of these refinishing products, make sure you use a product that ends with an attempt to renew the clear coat. The home brew methods that use various mixtures of WD-40, toothpaste, baking soda and vinegar can work well, but often the head lamps are hazy after a few months of summer sun because they lack a clear coat. IT is possible to renew the clear coat using a product like Sylvania's UV Block. See https://www.sylvania-automotive.com/sylvania-uv-block-clear-...
Thank you for sharing
If anyone is considering doing this, I found a helpful video:
This guy tests all kinds of things such as tools to Seafoam. I've learned quite a bit from these (he's kind of a poor man's Consumer Reports laboratory.)
Here is a link to his Youtube site:
Thanks for the info, I need to do this to my SUV.
here's a link to the product.
I'll need to find an image hosting site to be able to show the before and after pics, but they look just like everyone else's who reviewed the product..
My before and after are on par with this person's...
I tried a kit from another manufacturer. Ended up only lasting a month. Went back to polishing with plastic treatment which lasted almost as long with less work.
I'll try your brand next time as regular polishing gets old after awhile.
A neighbor and I tried the Armor All headlight cleaning kit and it worked well. It included several chemical wipes that removed nearly all of the yellow haze from their 2006 Honda. The kit also includes UV sealant wipes, but we are going to try a final cleaning before using them.
Thanks for the info johnnatash4. I bought a kit for my '94 Ford truck a couple of weeks and it came out fantastic. I then bought another kit for my '11 BMW the results were unbelievable. I had similar doubts as yours when I finished stage 2......but then stage 3 "cleared" all doubts.
Glad you got good results!
My cousin has really bad headlights on a '05 CR-V and sorta starting to get hazy on a '14 Pilot. He said he wants to wait until spring and see if mine remain clear, and then buy the kit.
I am hopeful, because as mentioned, my used car in '16 had something done to it before I bought it, and it lasted about 4 years where it stayed clear. I have a 2nd kit but haven't done my wife's car. Was addressing other stuff and I did the Meguiar's cleaner wax temp job lol on the headlamps...limited improvement and doesn't last...
I knew the home remedies weren't much good, but didn't realize you could (for a few years, anyway) get good results for $17 and some time and elbow grease.
You can bet ours are getting cloudy, parked outdoors near the coast. Everything outdoors ages faster than inland here. Including me!
Does anybody miss old-skool glass headlights? I never had an oxidized one of those. Never broke one, either. Easier to replace than some of the newfangled ones out today, When a bulb blew on the front of my Saturm, the replacement started at $350 ... plus bulbs, eight of them (both low- and high-beams, turn signals and marker lights). The entire front end of the car had to come off in order to change just one bulb! I was not going to pay that kind of money to do it again, so ... $450. Glass headlights, back in the day, were five bucks or so, and could be replaced by an idiot with a screwdriver (me).
While glass is Environmentally friendly...
Does not oxidize
It's HEAVY - "CAFE" makes cars light... Corporate Ave Fuel Economy...
It why German Cars need $$$$$$$ - the Radiator was all aluminum... now its aluminum center and plastic sides...
The plastic cracks.. Block overheats and warps...
In order to make CAFE mileage work... Well VW faked emissions tests... and paid BILLIONS
These plastic bit make cars disposable....
If you polish your headlights- well done...
There is a secret... the SUNBLOCK on the original lights has failed...
When you polish them clear, they don't have sunblock and will haze / oxidize again
Some folks use a spray product called 2K clear.
It is a 2 part clearcoat in 1 can.
You shake for 2 min
you press a button on the bottom of the can to release a hardening agent
Shake for 2 more minutes and spray like spray paint.
Once activated you have 6 hours to use up the can.
If your car wax or ceramic coating allows the headlights to haze again... Look up the 2K Clearcoat.
It's on Amazon and on internet web stores... it's made by a few companies...
Ordered my kit on Sunday. Will arrive on Friday. We'll see how it goes!
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