gmfans

Headlight Lenses

6 posts in this topic

My headlight lenses on my wife's 99 Altima are real dull & cloudy. I thought about replacing them but now I see that there are some restoration kits available. Has anybody tried anything like this? Does it really work? Here's a couple I was looking at: 3M Headlight Restoration System and Symtech Headlamp Polishing Kit

Thanks

I bought the Meguiar's kit, which I had heard good things about, but in the end, headlight clusters for the '99 GP were only $30 bucks each. Since the ones in the car were REAL cloudy, I figured it would be easier to just replace them.

I put them in the garage, and I might still polish them if another GP needs them...

I also had a cheaper kit... similar to that Symtech kit... I tried to use it on the fog lights... but IMHO, it was a lot of work and barely did anything. Also, once I got up close to the fog lights, I found the problem was also a series of small radial cracks, which the polishing kits can't fix.

So, from my limited exposure, I have this to say... get the one that has some sort of buffing wheel. Its going to be a lot less work. I would also remove the cluster and put it in a holder or vise so that I didn't splatter or damage the surrounding paint or trim while buffing. Finally, some kits include a liquid UV protectant you apply after polishing... I like this idea, as the reason the headlights get cloudy in the first place is because the UV resistance fails, but I'm somewhat skeptical to how good this coating would be, so I'd look for a reputable product.

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It is possible to restore your headlights to new or close to new condition, but the trick is keeping them that way. What you are doing is removing the layer of oxidation, which is the UV protection layer. You must reseal the headlight with a new layer of UV protective coating, either a kit that comes with it or clear coat after you've restored the headlight or it will quickly cloud back up.

Another good idea to do is once you've restored and recoated the headlights, it to use 3M protective film on the headlight. I have it on one of my headlights, and you can clearly see that the headlight without the film is more clouded. That headlight is destined to either be replaced or restored, so I haven't done it yet.

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I restored the headlights on my SC2 by wetsanding all the original UV protection off, then wetsanding down to a high # grit, then thorough cleaning, then a high temp clearcoat. Been about a year, and aside from some bugs stuck to them, they still look new.

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I didn't use a kit... I just wetsanded my clouded plastic lense covers, then used a rubbing compound by hand, then finally a mild polish with an orbital polish. They look great now.

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