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Thread: Headlight Restoration Kits...Educate me...

  1. #1
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    Default Headlight Restoration Kits...Educate me...

    I picked up a 206 Rav 4 for my son but the headlights are severely faded.

    Anyone use one of those headlight restoration kits before.

    how did it turn out ? Should I bother ?

    Recommended brand ?


    Thanks.
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    They mostly all do the same thing. Wet sand down and buff and polish.

    The key is to ensure there is a clear coat or coating that is UV rated to help stop it.

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    I used a generic meguiars one, it was semi-worth it; the important part is re-sealing the headlights with something after. If you only use the kit, they will haze over again (that's what happened to me). There is an old thread here somewhere with someone posting their recipe for a solution to coat the headlights with after doing the kit - basically clearcoat+mineral spirits or something like that. I never actually tried the last step since I sold that car, and my cars since have been new enough that this isn't an issue.

    All that is to say, don't bother unless you plan on re-clearing them after. The last step is not a lot of work, but if you don't do it, you're wasting your time.

    edit: here's a good writeup

    https://www.audizine.com/forum/showt...n-walk-through
    Last edited by cjblair; 11-05-2020 at 03:30 PM.

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    See this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDB5U4QUdD0

    I used the Sylvania kit over a year ago and aside from damaging the finish by putting the power washer right up to the lens, the coating has held up pretty well with a very small amount of UV failing. My buddy used the Mothers or Meguiars at the same time and his look as bad as they did before the polish/coat.

    Edit: I think the ceramic coatings do as well as the Sylvania coating, for all I know, the Sylvania coating is a ceramic coating.
    Last edited by 98brg2d; 11-05-2020 at 03:26 PM.

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    ChrisFix that.


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    I've done it. Worthwhile, but not magic.
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    sand, sand finer, sand finer, sand finer, UV clearcoat
    User title molested by Rage2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaco View Post
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    sand, sand finer, sand finer, sand finer, UV clearcoat
    *Not starting with a 40-grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaco View Post
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    sand, sand finer, sand finer, sand finer, UV clearcoat
    Pretty much this. Grits I used were 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000. You'll need to go lower than 1000 to start if they are severely yellowed.

    As others have said, coating after is key. UV rays will mess up a great job in no time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kloubek View Post
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    ...

    As others have said, coating after is key. UV rays will mess up a great job in no time.
    It's amazing. Like, weeks until they look exactly like shit, again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePenIsMightier View Post
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    ChrisFix that.

    Was just about to post that. As stated above, the important key is to UV clearcoat it with automotive grade clearcoat after all the polishing. If you dont clear coat, it'll just look the same in 6 months.
    Originally posted by GTS Jeff
    You know those bored stay at home moms who's entire lives revolve around driving their kids to soccer, various cleaning accessories, and worrying about neighbourhood rapists? The kind of people that watch the View and go "uh huh..." Those unfulfilled people who try to fill the void in their empty lives by writing whiny letters to the editor complaining about shit that no one really cares about?

    Well imagine if instead of writing that letter to the editor, she just posts on a car forum for car enthusiasts. That's Kritafo.

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    On my old car first time using the mother's headlight restoration kit, it took some elbow grease but I decided not to clear it because if that faded, it becomes a massive pain to sand and fix.
    Every few months I'd just give it a quick once over with the product. Like new. Lasts longer in winter than summer.
    Guess it can help teach your kid some basic car care too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePenIsMightier View Post
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    *Not starting with a 40-grit
    I was thinking of starting with a wire wheel on an angle grinder...

    Too aggressive ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nufy View Post
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    I was thinking of starting with a wire wheel on an angle grinder...

    Too aggressive ?
    I usually start with a thick pair of gloves and a handful of slate gravel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePenIsMightier View Post
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    It's amazing. Like, weeks until they look exactly like shit, again.
    Absolutely. The first time I did a headlight restore I had no idea it had to be coated. Like you said... maybe 6-7 weeks and you could barely tell I did a thing. Pretty disappointing considering the amount of time I put into them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suntan View Post
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    Like in Post#4...

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    I use this one:

    https://www.lowes.ca/product/car-ext...ion-kit-470351

    I also picked up some 3m film and 3m'ed my headlights afterwards.

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    Yeah well I wonder how they get the soft flowing caramel inside the Caramilk bar but you don't see me making a god damn thread about it. Slap your wife Baygirl, straighten him out.

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    I used this one, as I mentioned earlier, my only tip is to be more agressive than you think.
    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/m...w.ds#store=419
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    Oh god, don't get him started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePenIsMightier View Post
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    Like in Post#4...
    Oops, I'll post it again.

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