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Restore clouded headlights

TomD

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#1
My daily driver is a 2008 so I definitely have clouded headlights.

Don't know if you've stumbled over this guy but he's a real resource for information on everything from best penetrating oil to best rechargeable batteries.

Here he reviews headlight restoration kits.

 

Silver

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#2
I recently used a headlight lens restore product on car I was prepping to sell - the only problem was the clouding was on the outside and the inside of the lens. I wasn't going to try to remove the lens and do both sides. I did the outside and left the lens a little cloudy, didn't effect the sale.
 

oldgaranddad

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#3
The guy from Project Farm can definitely teach outfits like Consumer Reports more than a thing or two
 

Joe King

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#4
My daily driver is a 2008 so I definitely have clouded headlights.
I've had good results just using toothpaste as a buffing compound on the them. Paste type, not gel.
 

Goldhedge

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#5
If you get a new/used car and the headlights are good you can clear wrap (same stuff as a clear bra) them and that keeps them looking good for a long time.

I did it on my CRV at 30K miles and it cost about $90... cheaper than all the hassle of polishing which tends to be a temporary fix.
 

smilershouse

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#6
Water, cutting compound, an electrical high speed buffer does it every time, especially when polish is applied and buffed, much longer lasting.

You guys in USA certainly have some things good with Turtle wax at $5. Here in Australia at 1.5X exchange rate, same turtle wax priced at $40 AUD. I bought it as was the most cost effective and recommended at the time prior to getting great results with above products.

SH
 

dacrunch

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#7
The only car I had with permanently clear headlights was my 1995 Lincoln Town Car... Like new forever...
 

D-FENZ

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#8
Spent a lot of time trying to buff out the clouded headlights on my 2000 F250. Nothing worked very well. Finally looked into just getting new headlight assemblies. Brand new replacement set of 2 headlight assemblies with parking/turn signals- complete with halogen bulbs-shipping and everything for under $75 from Headlight Depot on eBay. Astoundingly cheap. And OEM quality too. Would have swapped them a long time ago had I known.
 

smilershouse

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#9
Spent a lot of time trying to buff out the clouded headlights on my 2000 F250. Nothing worked very well. Finally looked into just getting new headlight assemblies. Brand new replacement set of 2 headlight assemblies with parking/turn signals- complete with halogen bulbs-shipping and everything for under $75 from Headlight Depot on eBay. Astoundingly cheap. And OEM quality too. Would have swapped them a long time ago had I known.
Heard the same here Fenz,

Only, many people today are not practically minded. Changing a headlamp 1960? 10 mins. A complex headlamp change today? 3-5 hrs without a manual. Millennial's do not have this much time to spare, from their communication devices. Everyone else begun to give up working on their vehicles when the ECU was introduced circa 1990's.

SH
 

TomD

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#10
I've had good results just using toothpaste as a buffing compound on the them. Paste type, not gel.
Toothpaste is a form of polishing compound but I've seen headlights so yellowed that it would take you a year to get through it with polishing compound.
 

Voodoo

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#11
I spent a few hours on and off last year and polished the lights on my 2006. It worked pretty well, wouldn't recommend for a show car but for vehicle that drives gravel a lot it worked well. Just wet sanded a couple times and then sprayed on some clear coat.
 

Joe King

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#12
I've seen headlights so yellowed that it would take you a year to get through it with polishing compound.
Maybe if one waits a dozen years to do anything about it, it might.
...but if it's done once a year they shouldn't get that bad to begin with.
 

D-FENZ

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#13
Heard the same here Fenz,

Only, many people today are not practically minded. Changing a headlamp 1960? 10 mins. A complex headlamp change today? 3-5 hrs without a manual. Millennial's do not have this much time to spare, from their communication devices. Everyone else begun to give up working on their vehicles when the ECU was introduced circa 1990's.

SH
There is an online video for just about everything these days. These took about 15 minutes each to replace. I think it took that long just to watch the how-to video. Never would have figured them out otherwise. Could have buffed on the old ones for 5 hours, swearing the entire time and they would still have cataracts. Screw that. Looks like a new truck now for under $75! And I didn't have to go anywhere.

God I love the internet- sometimes.
 

Spike

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#15
Put away your toothpaste, sandpaper, grinders, blow torches and napalm. Now go get your insect repellent, OFF deep woods works great.
Or you can buy at WMT, Repel 100 98% DEET. Anything with deet. A rag and deet, 30 seconds later, almost new lense. Don't spray on paint.
 

Goldhedge

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#16
Spent a lot of time trying to buff out the clouded headlights on my 2000 F250. Nothing worked very well. Finally looked into just getting new headlight assemblies. Brand new replacement set of 2 headlight assemblies with parking/turn signals- complete with halogen bulbs-shipping and everything for under $75 from Headlight Depot on eBay. Astoundingly cheap. And OEM quality too. Would have swapped them a long time ago had I known.
I used to have a 1980's Subaru Legacy with glass headlights. Rocks would hit the glass and like a BB pop a round piece out.
Rain would enter and actually rust the inside silvering.

Replacement lights $400 a pop!! Japanese cars won't leave you stranded on the side of the road, but they 'get you' on the essentials.

Aftermarket made a plastic piece $40 each that shielded the glass.

What a PITA! Never bought another Subie because of that and those CV joints that would eventually go out because the rubber boot cracked.
 

MrLucky

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#17
"Wipe New" around $15. (as seen on tv) I can do both headlamps on the car in less time then it takes to watch this video.

Replacement headlights for the subie are $300 ea.