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Headlight Restoration


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A customer brought me his wifes vehicle for a winter protection package that included a wash/vac, minor correction, Wax and sealant and wanted to have the headlights fixed due to the elements taking its toll.

Products included:

Adams Wash

Clay bar and Detail spray

Flex with the Green pad and SSR/ Orange pad SHR

Black pad on PC with MSS/MSW

A coat of Americana to top them off and keep them protected!



Here are the headlights before and after:











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Very nice indeed, if I may suggest. Go to a junkyard and get a bucket or 2 and practice wet sanding them. That's what I did so now if they are REALLY bad I am confident enough to so that as well and it sure beat ruining my own lenses!!

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Very nice indeed, if I may suggest. Go to a junkyard and get a bucket or 2 and practice wet sanding them. That's what I did so now if they are REALLY bad I am confident enough to so that as well and it sure beat ruining my own lenses!!


He's right wet sanding does wonders!


Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk

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I did the exact same thing to the wife's Jetta this week. I considered buying new lenses simply because I wanted something different. So I bought a cheap corded drill and went at it. The headlights look great and I burned up that cheap chinese piece of junk drill too.

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I once heard that a new OEM headlight has a protective layer to help against hazing. Once hazing starts and we do a restore, you have to polish them almost every month to keep them from going back to hazing. And that they will haze faster once restored. Any truth to this?


They will not last as long as they did when they had the original coating, but you should not need to do this every month. My son's Civic has large lenses and it needs touching up about every 6 months or so. That being said, I protected them in October with MSS on one light and QS on the other, and they are still looking good and I cannot tell the difference between the sealants.

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Nice job LowNslo....


When I perform my Headlight Lens Restoral services, I always resurface the lenses to remove the failed OEM UV coating first. Depending on the auto manufacturer, some coatings are tougher than others....specifically the German vehicles like Porsche and BMW.


Personally I provide two types of Headlight Lens Restoral, one for older vehicles that have that common symptom of a yellowed, dull and foggy appearance and also ones that get damaged from rock and gravel damage.

UV Coating failure




Resurfaced and Aerosol UV coating cured with UV lamp




Gravel & Stone damage




Resurfaced and polished to its ultimate luster.






Once the lens has been resurfaced using 320>500>800>1500>3000, there are 3 ways to go....


When I provide this service I use either my 3" Snap On pneumatic or my Metabo electric d/a for the resufacing stages. I prefer a small detail tool, because many lenses are very intricate in shape and curves. I can compare this to a dentist using small hand tools when cleaning your teeth, big tools are bulky for this job and sometimes get in the way.


Polish and seal using a rotary and a d/a

Pros- Easy to perform, doesn't require any special products or tools other than a drill (rotary and D/A are a big plus) actually for the DIY'er.


Cons - Short lasting, will dull and yellow quickly, lens can become brittle and subjected to quicker deterioration. This is because it has no permanant UV coating and requires continuous applications of a wax or sealant

Recoat using a OEM replacement type UV coating and cure with a UV lamp.


Pros- Similar to OEM UV coating, aerosol application, Crystal Clear results that can guarantee at least 2 years of durability.


Cons - Prep is very important and vehicle must be properly masked off for overspray, slight orange peel finish, but acceptable, system is costly, UV coating and UV light retails for about $350.00. Must be applied in a nice enviroment to avoid contamination, must use a breathing mask for fumes



Newer wipe on 2 part coatings.

So far my 1 year testing to date has failed, lights are streaky and hazy again on a VW Jetta. These were done with a solvent based 2 part coating, they looked great at the begining but over a year later, they look like, well I rather not say. I have recently been testing a water based 2 part coating but honesly I was not at all happy with the results.


All of the systems above have their pro's and con's, none are 100% perfect, but if you consider the replacement cost, its a great alternative and it definitely pays to do it yourself or pay a pro.


Stay tuned for a very extensive write up on a HLR project that I performed for a set of extremely gravel blasted Corvette C6 lenses that were destroyed, restored for the owner and sold on Ebay.......

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thanks for all the replies and def for the tips from the pros!!!!!


These lights have seen some rough times, the inside of the lens was actually cracked and weathered. So all the polishing and sanding I could do, still wouldn't remove the dry cracks on the inside :( I plan on practicing this more, its a great service to offer!

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