Headlight Restoration

toyota
camry

#1

My mechanic pointed out that my headlight lenses are scratched. Offered to use a restoration kit that will restore them to as-new condition. Cost is about $250, as opposed to $600 or so to replace both lenses.



I have 90K miles. Two questions:



Are restorations any good?

Will I get at least another 90k miles out of it?


#2

Go to an auto parts store and invest about $10 in a bottle of Meguiars PlastX. Spend about 20 minutes with a terri cloth rag once every couple of months and you’ll be good to go.

If you want to go crazy there are more complicated and time consuming methods. None of them need to cost $250


#3

How many complaints do we see every week due to those plastic lenses. Why did we allow the auto industry to get the law changed so they could go from very functional sealed beam lights with real glass, easy and cheap to change when they burned out, with these fancy but malfunctional plastic lens junk that cost more and have shorter life.

Many people appear to not notice or bother to correct the condition so they are running on far less light than they should have.  This is especially a problem for older drivers who may already have night vision issues.

#4

You could do the same thing yourself for a lot less than $250. There are headlight polishing kits on the market in various prices. Check out your local auto parts store.

DIY for less than $50.

Some say the restoration lasts a while, others say not so long. I wouldn’t pay $250 to find out, but I might pay $50.

I’ve also read that simply wet sanding the lens with super-fine sandpaper (#1000 or finer) will work.

Google this and see what you come up with.


#5

If the lenses are just scratched, and not hazy or fogged (in other words, if it’s just cosmetic damage and doesn’t interfere with their operation) I would do nothing. Once you start polishing them, you’ll need to repeat periodically.


#6

I’ve had excellent results with a drill mounted buffing pad, automotive polishing compound (not to be confused with car wax), and lots of water (to lube the abrasve some).

I’m told that waxing the light after polishing it will prolong the “fix” significantly.