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Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: March 30, 2021 05:52PM
So you've got yellowed, hazy headlights and want to be able to see at night again? It turns out that high difficulty of application doesn't always equal high quality results. One happy surprise, one astounding surprise, and one that just flat-out didn't work in the final assessment-

I Bought EVERY Headlight Restoration Kit At O'Reillys *And Tested Them* (26:56) [www.youtube.com]



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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: March 30, 2021 05:56PM
$29.88 plus tax and Walmart/Sams Club will do it for you.



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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 30, 2021 05:58PM
Had tried Sam's on a 2002 BMW 325i....was not happy with the results, but they said that's the best they could do.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: March 30, 2021 06:06PM
I had it done on two 2006/2007 Subaru Impreza's, a 2005 Ford Taurus, and a Saab 9-3. They all turned out acceptable. I wouldn't rave about it, but they went from cloudy mess you couldn't see the bulb through to completely clear with some buffing/sanding marks.



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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 30, 2021 06:14PM
.....so let me get this....str8.....you are lookin' for a nice set of headlights....????


.....so is every guy in this forum.....



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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: March 30, 2021 06:16PM
In the video is a product that is cheap (less than $10), quick, and easy to use yet produces exceptional results, the only downside being that it offers no specific or separate UV protectant... In other words, not perfect but great for a quick touch-up if you're in a hurry.



WARNING- If I posted a link in the above message, assume it is at minimum "NSFW- Language". Occasionally you'll be wrong.

Lie to me if you must, but don't lie to me and insult my intelligence in the same sentence.

Resist the Thought Police: George Orwell's book 1984 was meant as a warning, not an instruction manual.

"Political correctness is just intellectual colonialism and psychological fascism for the creation of thought crime" - Steve Hughes
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 30, 2021 06:16PM
Definitely not the case with my experience. They seemed to reduce the cloudiness by half. An improvement, but far from clear. Who knows, maybe it was something to do with BMW's headlights.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: March 30, 2021 06:25PM
Quote
Carnos Jax
Definitely not the case with my experience. They seemed to reduce the cloudiness by half. An improvement, but far from clear. Who knows, maybe it was something to do with BMW's headlights.

A 2003 BMW X5 with the most horribly cloudy headlights of the three vehicles used in the comparison (one kit used per headlight on each) by chance wound up getting the kit that blew them away by producing a literal "like new" look with relative ease. The kit used on the BMW's other headlight took a lot more work to apply and didn't produce results that were half as good.



WARNING- If I posted a link in the above message, assume it is at minimum "NSFW- Language". Occasionally you'll be wrong.

Lie to me if you must, but don't lie to me and insult my intelligence in the same sentence.

Resist the Thought Police: George Orwell's book 1984 was meant as a warning, not an instruction manual.

"Political correctness is just intellectual colonialism and psychological fascism for the creation of thought crime" - Steve Hughes
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 30, 2021 07:50PM
If they are fuzzy... then its time for a new car =)





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 30, 2021 08:03PM
Quote
jdc
If they are fuzzy... then its time for a new car =)


I know people who do that and their finances are a mess
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: March 30, 2021 08:18PM
Quote
space-time
Quote
jdc
If they are fuzzy... then its time for a new car =)


I know people who do that and their finances are a mess

I dunno, I wish I would have taken that advice on the Subaru....



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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: March 30, 2021 08:19PM
Quote
jdc
If they are fuzzy... then its time for a new car =)

For less than most monthly payments, one could buy replacement housings.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Buzz
Date: March 30, 2021 08:34PM
Toothpaste + buffing wheel + cordless drill = clear headlights

Bonus = tape off surrounding area w/ blue painter's tape
==
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 30, 2021 08:46PM
The sams club solution is the best one. It’s all about the sealant. They use a UV cured product that lasts a bit more than 5 years.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: March 30, 2021 08:54PM
Quote
Buzz
Toothpaste + buffing wheel + cordless drill = clear headlights

Bonus = tape off surrounding area w/ blue painter's tape
==

He talks about that in the video. Basically toothpaste is polishing compound for your teeth and the method you describe does work to an extent, but there are more efficient and more effective methods and compounds available specifically for cleaning headlights.

Just out of curiosity, did no-one actually watch the video?



WARNING- If I posted a link in the above message, assume it is at minimum "NSFW- Language". Occasionally you'll be wrong.

Lie to me if you must, but don't lie to me and insult my intelligence in the same sentence.

Resist the Thought Police: George Orwell's book 1984 was meant as a warning, not an instruction manual.

"Political correctness is just intellectual colonialism and psychological fascism for the creation of thought crime" - Steve Hughes
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 30, 2021 09:18PM
Quote
space-time
I know people who do that and their finances are a mess

that seems like a bigger issue...

Quote
macphanatic
For less than most monthly payments, one could buy replacement housings.

Wifes 2010 Mazda 3 replacement units were $800 each. (at least in 2011 when it was hit =)





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Buzz
Date: March 30, 2021 09:26PM
Yes, the after-polish UV sealant is the key... it'll significantly extend the time between treatments.
==
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Speedy
Date: March 30, 2021 10:30PM
I thought I read on this forum that Costco did this type of work.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 30, 2021 10:33PM
....but at what.....Cost.....???



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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Spiff
Date: March 30, 2021 10:34PM
Dude. No mask in the store? C'mon!
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: davester
Date: March 30, 2021 11:03PM
If a kit doesn't come with some UV protectant, it will be back to clouded over in no time flat. Don't even bother. Sounds like the Turtle Wax kit is the one to get. I have used a Sylvania kit (not mentioned in the review) which is pretty darn good and does have a UV protectant, but I don't think it comes up to the Turtle Wax standard.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: Bernie
Date: March 31, 2021 05:40AM
3M kit at Amazon

I saw where a guy scrubbed them up with steal wool and then took cloth with I don't remember ,Ethanol ? and wipe the lens.

I tried it and it would work on a small lens but if you have to do two swipes it leaves a seam.

Turtle was okay and I still have some. I used it with leftovers from the 3M kit.

That said just get the 3M kit. Use the left overs on those solar lights




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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: tlh828
Date: March 31, 2021 07:03AM
40% Deet and an old sock work very well for me.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: modelamac
Date: March 31, 2021 08:59AM
Quote
jdc
If they are fuzzy... then its time for a new car =)

Let someone else do the work?



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: March 31, 2021 11:40AM
Quote
Bernie
3M kit at Amazon

I saw where a guy scrubbed them up with steal wool and then took cloth with I don't remember ,Ethanol ? and wipe the lens.

I tried it and it would work on a small lens but if you have to do two swipes it leaves a seam.

Turtle was okay and I still have some. I used it with leftovers from the 3M kit.

That said just get the 3M kit. Use the left overs on those solar lights

On sale right now for $11.69
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 31, 2021 01:22PM
It's interesting that it's recommended to leave some slight haze on the lenses before applying the UV protectant.

It seems that it provided the last bit of clarity in the lenses.

Depending on the damage done to the lenses, a lot of sanding may be required, as the 'crazing' can be much deeper than mere discoloration.

Here's a video that purports to show a very long term fix for occluded lenses.

It's just a lot of labor with wet sanding, no magic.

But it uses a UV resistant, non yellowing spray paint to protect the lenses, and I'm guessing that will last a lot longer than a wipe on protectant.


Based on how important headlights are, it confounds me how people let them get so bad.

I've seen really, really occluded lights, and it's just incredibly disappointing.

My car has only started to show some hazing at the very top of the lenses, so it would clean up quickly.

But doing so will remove the UV protectant that's keeping the 98% of the lenses optically clear.

And for older cars, once the headlights are clear, converting them the LED bulbs is simply amazing.

Those of you with cars boasting factory LED headlights know what an improvement they are.

My only gripe is that like adding artificial thump to headphone to please the kidz, so many aftermarket bulbs have far too cool of a color temperature — 6500K and higher.

But a good LED bulb in properly aimed headlights is a real winner.





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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: tenders
Date: April 01, 2021 12:31AM
Drill, buffing pad, brown "tripoli" grit polish, and about thirty seconds per headlight.

[www.youtube.com]

He's absolutely correct that the UV filters provided in restoration kits turn yellow, and by and large are not worth applying.
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Re: Headlight Restoration Kit Comparison
Posted by: davester
Date: April 06, 2021 10:06PM
Quote
tenders
Drill, buffing pad, brown "tripoli" grit polish, and about thirty seconds per headlight.

[www.youtube.com]

He's absolutely correct that the UV filters provided in restoration kits turn yellow, and by and large are not worth applying.

He didn't actually say that. He said that if you clear coat it will yellow. That is not the same thing as applying UV protectant.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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