Tuesday, July 30, 2013

a quick fix to headlight hazing

If there's one thing that dates a car prematurely that yellowing-brown grunge corroding the headlights. The best fix can be a bit pricey, replacing the lens covers. If you're looking for an economical quick fix polish your existing ones. I've seen several video's that use a kit from the automotive store and the result is similar to our simple method below.

BEFORE                                                              AFTER 
Stage 1, assessing your approach to that grungy lamp cover.
The best approach is not the simplest take off the headlamp lens cover. This will allow you  to handle the cover without damaging your cars paint (we skipped these steps because each car will vary on the difficulty and method). If you choose not to take it off you can mask off the area to protect the cars paint.

stage 1, assessing your approach (to remove or not)
stage 1, grungy lens cover off
Stage 2, wet sanding the cover.
Using a sponge sanding block wrap block with 1500-2000 grit paper wet lens and start sanding. Make sure to sand complete area adding water when needed. Rinse the lens cover and sand paper then re-sand. Continue this process until you have completely removed the grunge from the cover. It may take a couple of minutes depending on the severity of grunge on your lens cover.

stage 2, wet sanding lens cover with 1500-2000 grit sand paper
Stage 3, polishing the cover with a sock and Colgate all white toothpaste.
Slip your hand into an old sock and squirt a dab of toothpaste on it (the toothpaste acts as a rubbing compound/scratch remover). Wet your lens cover and start polishing. This step is probably the hardest and takes some elbow grease. The lens final product is dependent on how well it gets polished. Be sure to add water when needed and re charge your sock with toothpaste. Keep polishing until you like the final result.

stage 3, polishing the lens cover with toothpaste
Stage 4, rinse and clean off cover then let dry.
When the cover is wet the final result will look deceiving. It has to totally dry and even then you may need more polishing. You'll know if it needs more polishing because it dries hazy.
stage 4, rinse clean and let dry off
Stage 5, (optional) clear coat lens cover with a crystal clear UV spray protective coating.
Per clear coat instructions spray lens cover with a minimum of (2) coats. Let cover dry completely then re-install. This optional step will give the lens added protection and add to the life of your finish.

stage 5, (the final product) lens cover coated and re-installed

In the end the final product is definitely worth your effort as a temporary substitution for cover replacement. The whole process (minus dry times for clear coat) takes about an hour and be sure to take caution when washing your car lens covers if you clear coated. Use a sponge so you don't scratch or damage the coating...