• This topic has 25 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by IHN.
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  • Best headlight restoration kit
  • Premier Icon dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    I could do with sorting the headlight lenses out on the family wagon as they’ve gotten a bit dull and candle like……

    There’s the Turtle Wax kit which relies on a bit of elbow grease or the 3M kit which is a bit more drastic with several grades of sanding and polishing with a drill……

    What’s the recommended kit now days?

    Thanks

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Watches with interest…

    Premier Icon finishthat
    Full Member

    I have used 3 or 4 different ones – Autoglym kit by far the best.

    edit – adding – you need a water mist bottle spray thing.
    and obviously an electric drill that will run long enough.
    (no a hand drill will hurt after 1/2 hour or so 😉
    Must mask around lamp . If you remove it its safer for the paint work but holding it is not trivial.
    Follow instructions and do not rush.

    Premier Icon paton
    Free Member

    Armor All

    or

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    I used wet & dry sandpaper I already had, and a £6 plastic polishing compound from eBay. The headlight is massively better than it was, and passed the MoT, but it’s not as clear as the other headlight which is new.

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    Elbow grease and a drill pad. G3 compound works well, but it’s messy with a drill head. My car is nearly 20, and I find a once every 3 months with autoglym super resin brings them up again. The first ‘polish’ took ages though.

    Premier Icon nuke
    Full Member

    I used the 3m kit as per link in op after it came up as a warning/aware on mot…half way through i was thinking that it was looking terrible and what have i done which is i guess what’s to be expected but by the end it looked nearly as good as new.

    Comes with a satchet of compound but, if resealed well, is certainly enough for more than one set of lights

    Premier Icon ginkster
    Full Member

    I’ve used Fenwicks Windowize and Meguiars PlastRX in the past. They clear the haze nicely. Use some car wax afterwards to keep the lenses protected. You could also use toothpaste as it is a mild abrasive. The lenses will smell nice afterwards too!!

    Premier Icon singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Arm amd hammer bicarbonate of soda toothpaste plus orbital sander with clothe or foam pad
    Trigger spray with some soapy water and 15mins free time

    Premier Icon singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Failing that G3 rubbing compound also works

    Premier Icon superleggero
    Full Member

    I’ve used a Meguiars kit which comes with their PlastX plastic polishing compound and a woollen polishing pad which attaches to a drill. Protect the bodywork surrounding the headlights with masking tape and it’s important to start by setting the drill to a low speed and keep working the paste into the headlight lens, methodically covering the whole lens horizontally then vertically repeating as necessary. Using the drill pad makes easy work of cutting through the haziness and achieving a clear finish. NB some sort of polish/protector afterwards to stop the lenses going hazy again quite quickly is essential (not included in kit).

    The kit is the ‘Meguiar’s G1900KEU One-Step Car Headlight Restoration Kit’ on Amazon (other retailers are available). Also comes with a couple of more abrasive hand sanding pads to get you started if the lenses are really far gone, then use the drill pad. I went straight in with the drill pad attachment and got good results – as clear as the ones in the pic on paton’s post above.

    Premier Icon BearBack
    Free Member

    2k epoxy clearcoat after all your polishing efforts (after an isopropyl degrease) might be worth it to prevent the immediate degradation of the unprotected surface

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    Epoxy is UV unstable, it might look good but it will degrade faster than the headlight!

    I used a 1000 grit scouring pad (think green dish kleaner thing) think they are 3m. They’re so useful for so many things they worth having a selection.

    Then some polish I had lying around. In all it probably cost a pound to do, you don’t need a power tool, if you can’t touch it with hand power alone you need to drop the grit then climb up to a finer grit until polishing is good to go. Less like to **** up the paintwork that way.

    Really satisfying 15minutes.

    Premier Icon aide
    Full Member

    Toothpaste, neighbour done it after a recommendation and looks like it worked well

    Premier Icon andy4d
    Full Member

    I only used the autoglym kit once and it did a fine job. As others said above, half way in I thought I had made a mess the way looked but it is all part of the process and ended up looking way better than what I started with, so don’t be scared. I never did any protective coating afterwards but I believe you are meant to, Wife wrote the car off a few months later so don’t know how it held up.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    18quid for a kit is taking the piss.

    Premier Icon paton
    Free Member

    The 2K urethane is uv resistant.

    Premier Icon TedC
    Full Member

    Just used a bit of autoglym metal polish on mine (had some already so cost me nothing). Mk1 Focus if that makes a difference, had to redo it after ~6months.

    Premier Icon BearBack
    Free Member

    Epoxy is UV unstable

    Sorry, to be clear, 2k laquer like you’d find over a cars colour coat.
    Available in a spray can.

    If you manage to cut polish a new headlight you’ll see it hazes/yellows very quickly.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    18quid for a kit is taking the piss.

    Which is why toothpaste is often suggested, but you can use T-cut or Brasso, after using a fine grade scouring pad. Fine abrasive pads are what the paint and bodywork guys use in our workshop. A couple of tubes of cheap own-brand tooth should do the trick.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    Wet and dry 2000, 3000 then 5000 works fine with a small foam sanding block. The polishes add little but we did use a kit with sealant. Keep off the paintwork.

    Works fine on a 16 year old mini.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    To be clear, is the toothpaste used as the scour, or the polish?

    Premier Icon finishthat
    Full Member

    It does depend on how badly the lenses are affected , some will be completely frosted , or just have a bloom, either way the damaged surface needs to be removed, if they are frosted that layer has to be removed and staged sanding to super fine followed by polish and a protective something put on , if its just a bloom you might get away with a cutting compound, most toothpaste is full of gummy stuff and just makes a mess .
    Always wash/clean lens before starting otherwise its more work ,
    spray regularly with water to wash off the gunk .
    If you do not have several grades of wet and dry down to x000 a pad, and the needed compounds then it will cost similar to a kit if you go somewhere like Halfords :
    wet and dry assorted 6.50 (down to 1200 – ideally need down to 4000)
    rubber sanding pad 4.00
    Tcut or similar 6.00 – 10.00
    polish or some protector xx.xx more

    Also it seems to end up needing doing every year .

    Premier Icon bensongd
    Free Member

    Used the auto glum kit on an old A3, worked really well. Used a battery drill and plenty of water to keep the lens clear of debris.

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Full Member

    I used toothpaste on a cheap polishing mop drill attachment. Big old Fiat Panda headlights which had gone completely dull. Took a while but came up mint.

    They just need polishing, there’s no need to overcomplicate it. I’ve got some 0000 wire wool, I’d be tempted to try that next time.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    EDIT – actually, ignore that, I was being thick

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