Headlight Restoration Kits – fact or fallacy
Motor vehicles coming into their second or third year and sitting in baking conditions are going to show some residual colouring of the outer part of polycarbonate lens over the headlights. This is a result of UV. Although your polycarb headlight lenses are protected against UV this protection eventually does succumb to the suns rays eating through the outer layer. Tail-lights are a different story, they are manufactured from acrylic which becomes brittle after much exposure to UV. The interesting thing, in my experience, is that vehicles at about the ten year age which have not been well maintained show lots of cloudiness over the headlight lenses but often the tail-lights still look unblemished.
Headlight Restoration Kit – South African flavour
So your soul mate is looking a bit down in the dumps and suffering from a bit of sun burn – what to do, what to do. I have experienced only products on the South African market and for about 15/18 U$ Shield make a product under code: SH655, SH756 (Sandpaper Refill) available at most mass retailers and auto shops. We can vouch for this product, it comes with all the bells and whistles but do note that plenty of elbow grease is involved. We are not affiliates neither do they endorse our website – it’s what we have tested.
An interesting thing about sun damaged headlight lenses is that on some vehicles it just takes more time than others to clean. On my 2003 X-Trail it took 30 minutes to clean both headlights, on my 2006 Volvo it’s still not finished. However there is one remarkable difference, the Volvo shows signs of water spot damage which is internal. My wife’s 2006 Ford pickup (Bantam) shows no signs of damage whatsoever. In order of replacement costs the Ford is the cheapest and the X-Trail the most expensive (apparently).
Headlight restoration kits using solvents?
In the forums of which there’s plenty it’s quite an eye-opener to come across users cleaning their lenses with acetone. Even brake fluid. Unless you really know what you are doing and have plenty of money when the entire project fails don’t even think of taking this route.
Our experts recommend sealing the lens with polyurethane. Just make sure this is sun proof and you should be good to go for a few more months.
In reality it has been proven that there are good products on the market, it will take a large bit of elbow grease but more importantly there are no short cuts. If you are fortunate you may only need a mild abrasive, even toothpaste may work – otherwise stick to rubbing compound. Popular Mechanics ran an article on Headlight Restoration Kits.