Today's Top Stories. Over time, headlights can become foggy or hazy as small scratches develop in the headlights. Furthermore, most of these improvements are not permanent.
It may make more sense if the lens is badly degraded to buy a replacement headlight assembly from a local auto parts store or online from an outfit like Headlightsdepot. All of the headlight lenses were first cleaned with either water or ordinary household cleaner to remove surface dirt, a step that all the kit manufacturers recommend.
Then we applied the products per the instructions. We read the directions and followed them. This kit left the test headlight clearer and newer-looking than any of the others. Be warned: It was also the most time-consuming process of all. All you need is a clean towel and a hose for this one, everything else is provided in the box for you.
The tested light showed a massive improvement over the cloudiness from the beginning, with the only downside being a long four-plus hour waiting period for the UV protection to take effect. Sylvania offers a lifetime warranty claiming that your lights will stay clear for the life of the car with its kit. One side of the block is green, the other is gray. Dunk the block in a cup of water and use the green side first.
After thoroughly abrading the surface, switch to the gray side. Next, tear open the enclosed foil pouch and use the Wipe-It cloth inside, a microfiber towelette saturated with the proprietary Wipe-It sealant. The MSDS for the product says that it contains 1-chloro trifluoromethyl benzene, a powerful solvent with a variety of chemical manufacturing purposes, among them to make coatings. All we can say is that it gives off a strong and unpleasant odor, something like ammonia blended with hydrocarbon solvents.
Wiping the surface with the towelette converts it from slightly hazy to shiny and clear. Rain-X was a breeze. Directions were clearly printed and included graphic instructions. The sanding squares are easier to grip than traditional sand paper too. The 3M Headlight Restoration Kit is so compact and nicely designed that even after your headlights are done, you could keep it around to do them again or touch them up if needed.
Since the heaviest sanding is done with the coarsest, , grit, the kit contains six of those, four discs of the , and one each of the and discs. You spread a quarter-size glob of this onto the foam pad, buff it on, and buff it off, preferably with a microfiber cloth, not something like an old T shirt.
Since some of the abrasive steps require water, the instructions advise you to use a small spray bottle with water in it. You have to provide this, along with a microfiber cloth. We found that the kit works exactly as 3M said it would and provides a smoothly abraded and well-polished lens. It does require a fair amount of work; experience with using abrasives either in wood or metal work is also an advantage.
Since the abrasives cut away the surface of the lens so thoroughly, the process is fairly dusty. We used this one and the Rain-X kit back-to-back, and the process was almost the same. The results were almost identical to those from the Rain-X. Our test headlight had a distinct oxidized band of plastic going across its top half that was easily stripped away by the abrasive cleaning solution applied with the plastic abrasive pad supplied with the kit it comes with two.
Wipe off with a paper towel occasionally to check your progress. Then make two passes over the light with the spray lens coating included. The second pass overlaps the first. Repeat after the coating has dried in about five minutes. The result was a clear and lustrous lens. Wet the surface as you work. Rub the polishing compound into the headlights again with the flannel or microfiber cloth. Wash the headlights thoroughly with the car wash soap and cloth.
Dry thoroughly and wax the light covers with car wax to seal them against developing haze. This article was written by the It Still Works team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Works, contact us. Step 1 Wash your car's headlights to remove surface dirt. Step 2 Apply polishing compound to a microfiber or flannel cloth.
Step 3 Fill a bowl with water and soak a piece of grit sandpaper in the bowl for ten minutes. Step 4 Rub the polishing compound into the headlights again with the flannel or microfiber cloth. Items you will need Car wash solution Cloth Lint-free cloth Water grit sandpaper Polishing compound Flannel or microfiber cloth Car wax.
About the Author This article was written by the It Still Works team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.
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