Introduction To Best Plastic Headlight Restoration Kits
Prior to the early 90’s, automotive manufacturers were using glass on every vehicle headlight. However, after realizing just how expensive they are to manufacture and fix, the replacement for glass was polycarbonate plastic.
There are a few reasons why manufacturers leaned towards the use of plastic instead of glass, a few main ones are; much better durability, a drastically lower manufacturing cost, and an easier overall fixing process. With all those benefits, comes a BIG problem that burdens all automobiles at one point or another.
Oxidation of the polycarbonate headlight surface.
This is the process of aging the surface plastic, which as a result causes fogging and yellowing. The cloudiness occurs only when your vehicle factory clear coat is worn down completely. To fix this, is actually quite easy and is VERY cost effective than buying a new set of headlights.
Headlight restoration by the use of wet sanding, fine polishing, buffing and reapplying a new clear coat. Don’t worry it’s easier than it sounds, and to be honest… the process is in order from start to finish.
How To Perform Foggy Headlight Restoration (Simplified Process)
1. Wash the headlights by hand
2. Wet send it in order from lowest grit to highest
3. Use a polishing compound to polish out the fine scratches made by the highest grit sandpaper
4. Use a soft buffing pad to give it a final touch
5. Clean and apply a new layer of sealant
Here’s a list of the best headlight restoration kits that tackle foggy, cloudy, yellowing, or murky headlights. These products can be used by anyone with nearly any skill level.
Here’s 5 Best Car Headlight Restoration Kits To Buy
This kit in particular, is one of the most popular and inexpensive ones you can buy right now. Turtle Wax Headlight lens Restorer Kit is made for light to medium duty restoration jobs. Being less than 10 dollars, you aren’t getting much in terms of size and quantity. However, when used properly, this kit works quite well.
It includes 3 restoration pads with various grits, ranging from 2400 to 8000 grit. There’s a spray lubricant that allows you to constantly apply it as you “wet sand” your headlight lenses. After that, there’s also a lens clarifying compound which buffs outs fine marks left by the 8000 grit sandpaper. Lastly, the lens sealing wipe applies a thin layer of protection which will help to keep your headlights looking new for a bit.
The only concern we have with this kit, is the effectiveness on heavily oxidized headlights. For the price through, it’s to be expected. Check this product out below for the best price, and what over 1,500 others have rated this.
4. 3M Car Headlight Restoration Kit
Moving down to our #4 most recommended headlight restoration kit, is the 3m Lens Restoration Kit. First off, unlike with the above-mentioned kit where you sand by hand.. you won’t have to with this one. Using a much more efficient and effective method for sanding, you’ll be using a power drill to effectively sand down your headlights. There’s the buffing pad and two packs of polishing compound. In the end, you have a great system for wet sanding, and polishing your headlights.
This kit will work well on light, medium and heavy-duty oxidation due to the nature of sanding. The only downside we found with this kit, is that there’s no sealant available with this kit. Getting an aftermarket sealant is a MUST with this kit.
Overall, we are pleased with this unit and so are over 3,100 other’s who bought it. Click on Amazon below to see the current price, and what others have said so far.
3. Mothers NuLens Car Headlight Restoration Kit
This kit is more of a complete kit than the above mentioned two. Mothers NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit is a cost effective way to tackle light to heavy duty oxidation found on automotive headlights. For starters, this kit comes with a buffing pad that works phenomenally well on polishing.
On top of that, you also receive a backing plate with velcro that attaches directly to a cordless or corded drill. Using the sandpaper in order will allow you to tackle most challenges that come your way while performing this restoration job.
Using the PowerPlastic polishing compound, you’ll be able to bring out the new shine that your headlights deserve. To finish it all off, there’s a sealant that is included to protect your headlights from any near future oxidation.
This kit is 100% worth the money, at less than $20. When followed step by step, great results can easily be expected!
2. Sylvania Car Headlight Restoration kit
Taking an analog approach to sanding down your headlights, but this time with all the compounds and sealants required, we have the Sylvania Headlight Restoration kit. This kit consists of practically everything you could possibly need for restoration of your headlights, the things include: proper sandpaper, microfiber clothes, gloves, initial cleaning liquid, polishing compound, protective clear coat compound, and also masking tape.
By going from A-Z, you’ll be able to most likely tackle light to medium oxidation levels. Price is overall quite reasonable, and you should get a pretty good result when done in sequence. Take a look below for the best price, and over 2K user ratings/reviews.
1. Meguiars G3000 Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit
Now, moving down to the #1 best headlight restoration kit to buy is Meguiar’s G3000 Heavy Duty Restoration Kit. This s product is the real deal when it comes down getting the process done in aa “1,2,3” type of way. For starters, there’s the sanding disks which can be applied using the special applicator pad OR, using the drill pad. After all the initial sanding is done, you can use “PlastX” to carefully polish your finely sanded headlights until you see complete clarity.
Once it’s all said and done, apply some clear coat to protect your hard work. You’re done. Essentially the same process with every kit we’ve mentioned so far, but with Meguiars you’ll be able to tackle HEAVY oxidation with ease.
This comes as a complete kit, so doing just your own vehicle headlights should suffice. To see the current best price and, what others have rated/reviewed, click below.
In conclusion, headlight restoration is a HUGE money saver. When done right, you’ll have headlights that look “brand new”, literally. With that being said, it’s also important to remember that heat produced from your headlight bulbs can sometimes accelerate the oxidation process and the deterioration of the headlight clear coat.
Xenon and HID bulbs operate at high temperatures, while LED light bulbs operate at very low temperatures. For max protection from deteriorating headlights, consider switching to LED powered headlight bulbs.