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Discussion Starter #1
My headlight are showing their 14 years of age and I'm wanting to make them look new again. I've seen a bunch of products and services but I wanted to survey you all before I take a plunge.
So....
Who has jumped into this?
What did you do and how did it work?
Were you pleased with the outcome?

Thanks for your feedback.
wizzr
 

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Slingshot Rules!
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Not me, Wizzr . . . I'm too lazy.

However, my neighbor had her Toyota Highlander Headlights "restored" at the local Sam's Club for about 29 bucks and the results were amazing.

Too bad I didn't think "Before and After Pictures" but . . .

! :surprise: ! :banghead ! :surprise: ! :banghead ! :surprise: !
 

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ONE OWNER !!!!
2004 Smokin' Asphalt #11150
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A few guys on here have used Sam's club headlight restoration service and were very satisfied. I think it cost around $40 and they cover the cars front end with plastic so no mess.
 

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I have done several of my cars and it is very easy. I get a kit from Harbor Freight and use it. The worst one was on a Chevy Tracker. The head lights on it were pretty bad and it took quite a bit of sanding to get them to clear up but they came out like new. I did my wife's HHR and it was not bad I just used the polishing compound on them and they came out great as well. My 05 SSR was not bad and I hit it with a light sanding and then polished them and they are good to go. I also did the tail lights on my wife's HHR. It is easy and doesn't take long to do. The kit at Harbor Freight is like $14. On a vehicle that is not bad you can do more than one car with the kit.
 

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One of the "restoration" car shows claim to use toothpaste to renew the headlights. I don't know the specifics of the brand or whether it was a cavity fighter or a tooth whitener. lol

Dave
Funny you should mention this, Dave . . .

There was a "Toothpaste Headlight Restoration" demonstration at a local Car Show about a year or so ago. At first I thought it was some kind of a joke but it actually turned into a show stopper. With only some plain ole Crest Toothpaste and a couple Micro-Fiber Rags . . . the process definitely made a huge improvement on the headlights and was fun to watch.

! :surprise: ! :glol ! :surprise: ! :glol ! :surprise: !
 

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BAD BOW TIE
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Almost all of the toothpaste and cleaners don't work. Took my wife's Pontiac to Sams club and for $39 they did the restoration and sprayed the lenses with a anti enviromental type spray and guaranteed it for 5 years or they do it over for free. Picked a day they were demonstrating food all over the store and got full while waiting. Took a little over an hour and they called me over the loud speaker and said it was done. Looked like new. Check it out.
 
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I have used toothpaste too buff out scratches on several pairs of Glasses. Not a Gel paste but the white, they have a very fine abrasive so it should work on the headlights as well. My 2cents
 

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BAD BOW TIE
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I have used toothpaste too buff out scratches on several pairs of Glasses. Not a Gel paste but the white, they have a very fine abrasive so it should work on the headlights as well. My 2cents
Without the final spray coating they cloud up right away.
 

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Super Road Rocket Pilot
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Toothpaste is a minor abrasive but will more than likely not clean up the headlights if they are pretty foggy. You can try wax, or rubbing compound for automotive paint. If that fails to clean them then it is time for the wet sandpaper method. Use some 600-2000 (leave rougher for clear coating or smoother for plastic polish) or get an off the shelf kit and sand away, make sure you tape off the paint and other areas you don't want sanded in case you get a little over zealous or slop off. The lens will obviously look dull when you get done sanding, but when you apply a coating it will become crystal clear.

After cleaning they will look great...... but since the weather and your work has removed the UV coating from the headlights it will probably yellow much faster now. You could use some plastic polish along with wax to keep up the clarity and keep the yellow away but you would need to do that every few months. If you want a long term solution you need to either paint them with automotive clear coat with UV protection or coat them with one of many over the counter products that claim to have UV coating that you can just wipe on.

Depending on how bad they are chipped and worn, the amount of work you do to clean them, the method of clear coating and your daily environment will all determine the longevity of your work. Usually if you paint them or use a high quality coating you can get 3-5 years.

This coating is rated pretty good on Amazon, never tried it though -

Sanding and painting
 

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BAD BOW TIE
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Like I said;
1. Go to Sams Club.
2. Takes about an hour.
3. They get all the discolor off.
4. Spray with the UV protection.
5. Cost $39.
6. Guaranteed 5 years or they do over.

Can't beat it.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I have done several of my cars and it is very easy. I get a kit from Harbor Freight and use it. The worst one was on a Chevy Tracker. The head lights on it were pretty bad and it took quite a bit of sanding to get them to clear up but they came out like new. I did my wife's HHR and it was not bad I just used the polishing compound on them and they came out great as well. My 05 SSR was not bad and I hit it with a light sanding and then polished them and they are good to go. I also did the tail lights on my wife's HHR. It is easy and doesn't take long to do. The kit at Harbor Freight is like $14. On a vehicle that is not bad you can do more than one car with the kit.
Stlhotrod, spot on!

I usually prefer to try and do things myself and this task was no exception. Made a trip to Harbor Freight this morning (awesome cool morning drive with the top down) and picked up one of their $14 kits. Using one of their coupons it was only $12. Got back home and went to work. Took the spear off the truck and masked around the head lights. Dove in and started sanding and polishing. Less than an hour later (my lights weren't really that bad) and WOW!! What a difference.

Frankly I don't really mind if I end up doing this once a year or so. It was easy peasy and makes the headlights shine!

Before and after pics.
 

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Cantankerous SSR CaretakR
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Now that you have them all polished up and smooth, I would suggest you get and install a set of Xpel headlight protectors. The film will protect against rock chips and help avoid UV degradation. Xpel headlight film is about 1/16" and is the best on the market. 2001 F150 was my daily driver and with 200k miles headlights still look like new.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Now that you have them all polished up and smooth, I would suggest you get and install a set of Xpel headlight protectors. The film will protect against rock chips and help avoid UV degradation. Xpel headlight film is about 1/16" and is the best on the market. 2001 F150 was my daily driver and with 200k miles headlights still look like new.
Probably a good idea, but geez, yet another pot to pee cash into. Ah, the joys of collector cars and trucks.
 

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Whatever happened to the Old Fashioned Glass Sealed Beams like . . .

THE BUMMER's?
The old round ones were mandated by federal law if I remember correctly. Once that law was changed came the rectangle lights. Then the next phase was the plastic contoured lights that allowed auto makers to make the lights be more aero dynamic and improve fuel economy, by reducing weight and lowering the wind drag.
 

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Sounds like another example of "New and Improved" being more BS . . .

The Bummer's headlights are about 20 years old and look exactly the same as they did when new. No special polishing or buffing kits required . . . just a bath about once a month.

If I remember correctly when one of the originals burned out, the replacements as seen in the pictures were less than 30 bucks for the pair and took about ten minutes to replace.

Ain't progress wonderful?

! :willy: ! :bs ! :willy: ! :bs ! :willy: !
 

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Almost all of the toothpaste and cleaners don't work. Took my wife's Pontiac to Sams club and for $39 they did the restoration and sprayed the lenses with a anti enviromental type spray and guaranteed it for 5 years or they do it over for free. Picked a day they were demonstrating food all over the store and got full while waiting. Took a little over an hour and they called me over the loud speaker and said it was done. Looked like new. Check it out.
This might be a dumb question. Do you have to be a member ??:confused:confused:yellow:
 
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