dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
2128
share rss forum feed


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4

[Tech] Plastic head light refinish

Does anyone have an opinion/recommendation on the products that are suppose to refinish the plastic headlight lens?


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3


They work, but it is short-term at best. The plastic tends to be permanently damaged once it starts to crystallize and gets cloudy like that.

There are several kits available, I really don't think any of them are especially better than the next. You can do about the same thing with a good rubbing compound and a green pot-scrubber pad from 3M.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to SparkChaser
I bought some headlight lens restorer liquid from AutoZone and it worked great. Used it on my x-wifes Honda Accord too and it cleaned them right up with just a rag and some elbow grease.

Definitely worth the effort. Can't remember the brand but it's in a black bottle.


Vamp
5c077
Premium
join:2003-01-28
MD
kudos:1
reply to SparkChaser
Try spending time with some of the headlight polish, if it doesn't seem to be working then best to remove the lights or mask off the surounding areas and work with different grits of wet sandpaper and work your way to highest grit wet and then use the polish after that.
--
75/35 FIOS || MSN Msgr: scott001^gmail_com

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to SparkChaser
i used the kit they sell up here at canadian tire, 4 different sandpapers and a glaze, got rid of my grand prix cataracts pretty well


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to SparkChaser
Had a local place do it and it looks like it's still foggy on the inside. They refunded my money since it didn't look much different than me cleaning it myself. I'll have to figure out how to take the head light covers off, and then clean inside. Should look fine then.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Just replace them.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to fartness
said by fartness:

Had a local place do it and it looks like it's still foggy on the inside.

I'll have to figure out how to take the head light covers off, and then clean inside. Should look fine then.

You have a different issue. The sun bakes/oxidizes the exterior plastic. Internal fogging isn't from the sun, but from a leak in the seal or some contaminant inside the headlight housings. You will not polish out contamination and they will leak or hold water if you break the seal holding the housing together.

You should just replace the headlight housings.......
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

PrntRhd
Premium
join:2004-11-03
Fairfield, CA
reply to Cho Baka
said by Cho Baka:

Just replace them.

+1

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
reply to SparkChaser
I used Go-Jo hand cleaner and had it worked just fine.


Zatochi
Premium
join:2004-01-17
Bossier City, LA
reply to SparkChaser
Click for full size
This is what I use but like mattmag said....it only lasts about a month.
--
"You gonna pull them pistols.....or whistle Dixie"
Josey Wales


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to SparkChaser
Thanks for the comments.

I did think of replacement but didn't price it, yet. Looking on the internet the dealer price is about $340 each. I can get a honda part for $250. I do see them for $100 at some places. I assume these are after market. Not sure I could put it in myself due to back problems. So, I'd have to pay for installation.

I think a $20 bottle of restore is the way to go. If it fails I can look in to replacing. Fortunately, we don't use it a night very much.
--
--
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.." - Mitt Romney


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Zatochi
said by Zatochi:

This is what I use but like mattmag said....it only lasts about a month.

That's no fun. What's the point?


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by alkizmo:

said by Zatochi:

This is what I use but like mattmag said....it only lasts about a month.

That's no fun. What's the point?

I'd like to see how long it last with good UV protection.


MooJohn

join:2005-12-18
Milledgeville, GA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Windstream
reply to SparkChaser
The kits work for a while. I used the Meguiar's PlastX kit that included a buffer wheel for your drill.

Here's how it went on my 1992 Lexus SC400:

Before: (Didn't get a pic before washing the area)



Wetsanded:



After polishing:



Most lights won't need the sanding step. If there is a lot of flaking of the surface you can skip this step. Just load the buffing wheel with polish and let 'er rip.

Without re-clearcoating the lights they will get a little hazy every 6-8 weeks. I just wax mine monthly and they're doing ok. One day I'll try spraying them with clear to see if it's a more permanent solution.

This $20 fix is fine for my 20 year old car!
--
John M - Cranky network guy

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
reply to SparkChaser
I used this kit:

»www.autozone.com/autozone/access···381_0_0_

With fantastic results on my VW. It is a lot of work though. Took me the better part of the morning to complete both headlights.

It's been about 6 months in since I did it and the lights still look like new.


VegasMan
Are We There Yet?
Premium
join:2002-11-17
Schaumburg, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
reply to SparkChaser
About 10 years ago my brother wanted to do this with his Ranger. He tried many methods and none seemed to do the job, after some research he found that the South American version used glass lenses that were the same fit. He ordered some off Ebay and they worked fine.
Might be a solution.
--
In need of a Vegas vacation.


neonhomer
KK4BFN
Premium
join:2004-01-27
Edgewater, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House
reply to SparkChaser
I've used Novus Plastic Polish on the headlights on my Caravan, using a random orbit polisher/sander. Works pretty good, but really doesn't last.

On my Jeep, I just bought new headlights. $80 for the complete set on eBay... Headlights, turn signals, corner lights....

My van is about $140 for the set...
--
"F is for Fire that burns down the whole town...
U is for Uranium...... Bombs...
N is for NO SURVIVORS!!!!!" Sheldon Plankton


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to SparkChaser
Click for full size
Click for full size
coating on
Click for full size
mixture
Click for full size
Click for full size
This is what I use..

1:1 of mineral spirits and spar-urethane

But first wet sand the headlights, since these were bad I started at 400 git and worked up to 2500 grit.

I would like to point out after you let it dry after wet sanding it will want to go cloudy again but as soon as you dip the paper towel in the mixture and wipe it turns clear and it puts on the coating, and from a tester his headlights had no fading for 2 years so far.
--
It's NOT Ni-kon It's NE-KON!




LG is NOT Lifes Good It's Lucky Goldstar!



jabarnut
Light Years Away
Premium,MVM
join:2005-01-22
Galaxy M31
kudos:2
reply to SparkChaser
For what it's worth, Consumer Reports tested a few products back in March of this year:
»www.consumerreports.org/cro/head···uide.htm
--
I had a life once.....now I have a Computer and a Modem.


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to SparkChaser
This is the tread I got my idea from

»www.autogeekonline.net/forum/sho···0-a.html

26 pages long

For the last (at least) 20 years I have used (and will continue to use) Mother mag polish.
»www.mothers.com/02_products/05100-05101.html

Nowhere will they say that it's good for this type of use...but who am I to care ?
It costs less than any of the lense polishing kits, is much easier to find (hell, Home Depot and Walmart has it...and probably your local grocery store too) and there is much more than just a use or two in the jar.

I would never take any sandpaper to a lense since it removes the coating, and they are all coated.

Try it, 2 minutes tops per lense.


MooJohn

join:2005-12-18
Milledgeville, GA
kudos:1
If you have to sand because the plastic is just too cloudy, flaking, or yellowed, the coating is long gone anyway.
--
John M - Cranky network guy

dragonfly5

join:2012-09-04
reply to SparkChaser
Seems useless unless you also re-coat the interior of the headlight with some UV protector. Otherwise the whole process will just happen all over again.


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to SparkChaser
I'm going to be doing the same process I did above on this guy's wifes Forester next month I'm going to try and get a video this time, I think people get freaked out by the color lol.

I tried mag polish and it's only good for maybe 6-7 weeks and back to clouding.. The stuff I'm using is the only stuff so far that has Uv protectant since it's meant to be used on wood outdoors it works well on the clear plastic.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to TypeNameHere
said by TypeNameHere :

For the last (at least) 20 years I have used (and will continue to use) Mother mag polish.
»www.mothers.com/02_products/05100-05101.html

Nowhere will they say that it's good for this type of use...but who am I to care ?
It costs less than any of the lense polishing kits, is much easier to find (hell, Home Depot and Walmart has it...and probably your local grocery store too) and there is much more than just a use or two in the jar.

I would never take any sandpaper to a lense since it removes the coating, and they are all coated.

Try it, 2 minutes tops per lense.

I will never sand a lens.

That Autozone stuff worked great for me. Like your method.


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to dragonfly5
said by dragonfly5:

Seems useless unless you also re-coat the interior of the headlight with some UV protector. Otherwise the whole process will just happen all over again.

Are you saying the UV is coming from the headlight and not the sun?

dragonfly5

join:2012-09-04
Yep. Halogen lights make a lot of UV.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
No they don't.
»www.newport.com/Quartz-Tungsten-···nfo.aspx

Perhaps you are thinking of some discharge bulbs.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
reply to TypeNameHere
said by TypeNameHere :

I would never take any sandpaper to a lense since it removes the coating, and they are all coated.

And the Sylvania kit puts the coating back on...