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Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: Microman
Date: June 11, 2021 10:31PM
I think I remember, one video showing ToothPaste...

But what is the best method to make those things clear again?
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: davester
Date: June 11, 2021 10:48PM
You need an abrasive followed by a UV protectant (to stop them from clouding over again within a couple of months). Sylvania makes a good kit. There are others. There are plenty of comparative studies on the web. Use google to find them.



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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 11, 2021 11:34PM
.....how big are the headlights.......how big are your hands......????



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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: btfc
Date: June 11, 2021 11:44PM
Here’s a thread from a few months ago:

[forums.macresource.com]

There’s been other discussions in the past as well.
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: Buzz
Date: June 12, 2021 12:35AM
There are some places that'll do it for ya, for $30, or less.... as long as you find a place with good references, you should be good for another 6 - 10 years. I'm pretty sure the trick is to make sure the headlights' lenses are cleaned super good after polishing, and that a high quality UV sealant/protectant is used (then left to dry thoroughly before exposing to the elements). Skimping on these last two steps will shorten the longevity of the clean-up job, so that's what to check for in the reviews.

For DIY'ing, I'm a big fan Colgate's Baking Soda & Peroxide Toothpaste offering, because it's usually the cheapest baking soda w/ peroxide toothpaste at our discount shopping haunts (and is an excellent polishing compound). Most quality car waxes/polishes will provide excellent UV protection, so the longer lasting wax/polish you use, the better off your headlights are gonna be (you won't have to repeat as often). For greatest longevity, however, you're best off using a ceramic coating; typically a bit pricier than plain wax, but for the amount used on a set of headlights, the difference is negligible. The money you save by using the Colgate BS&P, will more than offset the difference.
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 12, 2021 01:09AM
Many methods. Also some folks like to use a clear film at the end.
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: DinerDave
Date: June 12, 2021 06:00AM
Be aware of glass vs plastic headlights, that will make a difference in the cleaners used.

Dave



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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: June 12, 2021 07:55AM
The Sylvania kit has gotten good reviews.

I would lean towards 3M as I know people that have used it successfully. 3M

The Cerakote kit is relatively new, but a lot of detailers seem to like it. Cerakote

Edit: Make sure to use blue or green painters tape around the headlights to protect the paint.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2021 07:56AM by macphanatic.
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: rouderon
Date: June 12, 2021 08:11AM
I have used several of the kits and got meh results (probably user error, but I did follow the directions to a T). Anyway, I came across this video several months back and it seemed pretty convincing [www.youtube.com]

I bought this polishing wheel kit for my drill [www.amazon.com] and this tripoli buffing compound [www.amazon.com] , and I can say it was the easiest method I've tried with the best results!
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 12, 2021 08:54AM
.....once tried to clean some majorly large head lights......got slapped all the way to Australia.....



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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: June 12, 2021 09:37AM
After trying a variety of $30 repairs, I had great success with this one:



It is very important to make sure that, after washing your headlights, you get up all water from surrounding areas. A drop of water from the hood of your car will leave a permanent mark on the drying epoxy-like coating.
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: June 12, 2021 09:54AM
Quote
NewtonMP2100
.....once tried to clean some majorly large head lights......got slapped all the way to Australia.....

You probably started the polishing process too aggressively. You need to start at a slow and gently speed.
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: Rolando
Date: June 12, 2021 11:14AM
I do NOT recommend a Bing search for "awesome headlights"

[forums.macresource.com]



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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 12, 2021 09:04PM
Professional job. Sams club for $35. lasts 5 years. Amazing difference
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: JoeM
Date: June 12, 2021 09:05PM
I have a 2012 Highlander whose lights had become so foggy I was having trouble driving at night. I tried the toothpaste method and it helped a bit but I happened upon Turtlewax’s headlight restorer and figured I’d try it for the $11 and change cost. It did a great job on my lights and they are just about good as new other than scratches I didn’t bother trying to get out. At this point the fog is pretty much gone.

[www.target.com]



JoeM
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 12, 2021 09:50PM
After 20yrs, my cars headlight lenses are starting to show some spiderwebbing along the top of each.

At some point, I'll probably have to address that.

The best thing I did in the meantime is replace the halogen bulbs with LEDs.

A huge difference in performance.

Fortunately, there's no haze or occlusion over that vast majority of the lenses.

For the DIYer, this video looks to be a good way to go, though a bit labor intensive.

There is a certain Zen to this particular DIY.

Since my car's headlights are easily removed, I might give this a shot one day.






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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: June 12, 2021 10:29PM
Our 2001 Tacoma had severely yellowed and fogged headlamps. I'm guessing someone did a treatment just before we purchased this truck about two years ago and failed to apply any UV inhibitor. One of them got a good crack from the snow blower this winter.

So I ordered some aftermarket replacements on Amazon at $85, including corner lamps.

The replacement process took about 40 minutes total. Boy those new ones are shiny...and I can see at night again!



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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: June 13, 2021 09:30AM
Quote
Markintosh
Our 2001 Tacoma had severely yellowed and fogged headlamps. I'm guessing someone did a treatment just before we purchased this truck about two years ago and failed to apply any UV inhibitor. One of them got a good crack from the snow blower this winter.

So I ordered some aftermarket replacements on Amazon at $85, including corner lamps.

The replacement process took about 40 minutes total. Boy those new ones are shiny...and I can see at night again!

Do they have the SAE marking on them? If not, they won't pass inspection in some states.
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: deckeda
Date: June 14, 2021 06:52AM
I replaced both headlamp assemblies in our 2004 Tacoma with these, by TYC: [www.rockauto.com]

DOT/SAE and made a huge difference in output. They even throw in new bulbs (halogens lose lumens over time.)

They're easy to change on this vehicle, so I couldn't justify working on the old ones at that cost.

Our '06 Pilot also needs a refresh, but the TYC kit is 3 times the cost, partly because in '06 Honda decided to make the assemblies more complicated with projectors. I might downgrade to the earlier 2003-2005 assemblies, they are cheaper and because it's all just regular halogens, should be just as good.
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Re: Best way to Clean Headlights
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: June 14, 2021 10:00AM
Quote
macphanatic
Do they have the SAE marking on them? If not, they won't pass inspection in some states.

Yes they do. That said, California is a PITA about a lot of things...but no vehicle inspections these days.



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