My headlight lenses on my wife’s car 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:
I had a car that was given to me that came with a couple of problems. It had a bra and it had plastic headlight lenses that looked like they had been sandblasted..in fact that's kinda how the hood looked too after that old bra was removed. These lenses were so opaque that you couldn't see the lamps inside, I ended up with a combination that worked better and faster than the overpriced lens restoration products...flitz metal polish loaded into a shammy cloth buff ball on my cordless drill...about a minute per lens removed all of the haze and about 95% of the yellow and it won't damage paint. I used the same setup to remove the nasty scuff line that bra left on the hood too.
I've used a couple of different lens restoring kits, but I've found that the plastic lenses on some vehicles will need redone in a short time.
3m polishing compound works very well and on some lenses, 1200grit sandpaper, then a polishing compound works well...
The kits are for convenience, the contents of the kits can be bought for much less if you know what you need. Those cute foam balls that some kits offer look good, but a little elbow grease or a real buffer work much better.
In the end, what needs done is...remove a layer of plastic, to get below the yellowing/scratches and polish.
I used one of the 3M kits that I purchased from Amazon about a year ago, it ended up being something like $15 after a rebate.
I bought the highest end kit they had for the drill-based solutions because it came with a packet of UV protectant. The refinishing process removes a layer of plastic from your headlamps, which also happens to be the outer protective layer. If you do not reapply a product to replace the coating they will become cloudy again even faster than they did before.
I removed my headlights when doing the whole process as it was much easier to have them in my lap than try to focus on keeping the sandpaper away from the paint. It took me about 1/2hr per side including removal and reinstallation on a BMW e39.
If you have a dual action polisher those work really well with a medium pad and Meguiar's ultimate compound too! Skip the whole kit and just use that with a protectant after.