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Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit #4815863
07/16/18 07:42 PM
07/16/18 07:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,775
Flaherty, KY
92saturnsl2 Offline OP
92saturnsl2  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,775
Flaherty, KY
I'm a big fan of 3M's headlight renewal system-- they come in three flavors, basic, plus (includes high quality masking tape) and top-of-the-line (includes masking tape and 3M sealant for a final coat).

This one was the "plus" edition which had the masking tape which is a necessity unless you have an older car or you don't care about leaving scratches on the surrounding bumper/fascia. 3M's kit takes a while-- it took probably an hour each side, and I haven't even sprayed down the mess it made around the headlights (which you can see in the pics.) The time spent is well worth it, the results are pretty amazing every time. I get about 18 months before the plastic starts to cloud and yellow again, requiring reapplication. Not bad for a $20 kit. I'm surprised this is not a universal pre-sale procedure at used car lots- it adds huge value to a used car IMO.

This is a used 2007 Chrysler Pacifica Limited with 129k miles I purchased recently for $5k. The headlights were yellow, and the motor mounts were shot when I bought it. I was able to negotiate the price down a fair bit because of these two things. A couple afternoons and both are fixed. This particular car has the $595 (when new) Xenon HID option which is only available on Limited models-- The 3M kit did a fantastic job, I topped it off with some good synthetic wax, but in the future I'll spring for the version that includes 3M's sealer.

The spatter from the rubbing compound/polish look like scratches in the photos, but it'll wash right off.







1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Castrol GTX 15w-40
04 Odyssey EX 190k Valv. Durablend 5w-30
96 Maxima GLE 265k Chevron Delo LE 5w-40
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 4.0L 140k Belgian Castrol Edge 0w-30 Euro
Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4815884
07/16/18 08:04 PM
07/16/18 08:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 588
Connecticut
cheesepuffs Offline
cheesepuffs  Offline

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 588
Connecticut
Wow, I would have thought you just bought brand new headlights. That came out perfect!


2008 Honda Accord Coupe V6
Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4815947
07/16/18 09:16 PM
07/16/18 09:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,957
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
irv Offline
irv  Offline

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,957
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
I need to do my Father's Buick Allure. Just can't decide to try a kit or just use my new DA polisher and some compound?

I need to do some reading/research first.

Your's turned out great. Cheers2


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
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Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4815953
07/16/18 09:23 PM
07/16/18 09:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 361
PA
copcarguy Offline
copcarguy  Offline

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 361
PA
Spray some WD-40 on a paper towel, wipe it on your yellowed headlights, and wipe off with a new paper towel. Takes about 30 seconds per side.

Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: copcarguy] #4815957
07/16/18 09:30 PM
07/16/18 09:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,349
North Carolina
rooflessVW Online content
rooflessVW  Online Content

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 6,349
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: copcarguy
Spray some WD-40 on a paper towel, wipe it on your yellowed headlights, and wipe off with a new paper towel. Takes about 30 seconds per side.

Yeah no.

If they're heavily oxidized, they need sanding. No way around it.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4815969
07/16/18 09:47 PM
07/16/18 09:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 76
MO
reemoe2 Offline
reemoe2  Offline

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 76
MO
I have had similar success with the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit on my Santa Fe. It includes a UV block clear coat, which aids in longevity of the results. Also has a lifetime warranty for as long as you own the car. I applied mine late last fall, and so far looks great.

Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4815978
07/16/18 10:14 PM
07/16/18 10:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,022
Ohio
hallstevenson Offline
hallstevenson  Offline

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,022
Ohio
I've had good results on 'simple' headlight assembly designs (like shown in the OP). On my G35 they're way too 'curvy' for me to get consistent sanding and polishing. It was pretty frustrating but at least I was able to make a tiny, tiny improvement (vs making them worse than they were).

Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4816002
07/16/18 10:59 PM
07/16/18 10:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,700
Los Gatos, CA
JeffKeryk Offline
JeffKeryk  Offline

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,700
Los Gatos, CA
Mothers Mag Wheel Polish on a buffing wheel.
But I have to say your results are stunning...


2018 Tesla Model 3, Medium Range Battery
2018 Lexus RX450h
2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport
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Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4816003
07/16/18 11:01 PM
07/16/18 11:01 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 17,568
Michigan
daves87rs Offline
daves87rs  Offline

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 17,568
Michigan
Wow....wish I saw the before pictures.....

May try this one the wife's Cavalier.....


2019 Chevrolet Equinox LS
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt LS
Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4816150
07/17/18 08:18 AM
07/17/18 08:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 507
NJ
JLawrence08648 Offline
JLawrence08648  Offline

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 507
NJ
I use various grades of sandpaper going to 3000 grit the then I followed with Rustoleum clear coat, next time I'll try a top coat that is specific to auto headlights.

Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: irv] #4816186
07/17/18 09:08 AM
07/17/18 09:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 22,018
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 22,018
MA, Mittelfranken.de


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4816219
07/17/18 09:41 AM
07/17/18 09:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 22,863
Central Florida
Mr Nice Offline
Mr Nice  Offline

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 22,863
Central Florida
Looks good.

Ive used Meguires Plast X with also good results.

Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4816263
07/17/18 10:46 AM
07/17/18 10:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 511
Chester County/Pa.
BAJA_05 Offline
BAJA_05  Offline

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 511
Chester County/Pa.
Looks great -- good job!!!


2017 VW Jetta SE TSI 1.4L Turbo (hers)
M1 Euro 0W40 & FU (19K)
2008 Acura TL 3.2L PPPP 0W20 & FU (108K)
2005 Subaru Baja AWD 2.5L N/A 5spd.
QSHM 5W30 & FU (100K)
2000 Ram 4X4 5.9L (93K) PYB 10W30 & FU
Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4816368
07/17/18 12:56 PM
07/17/18 12:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 209
Canada
Broo Offline
Broo  Offline

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 209
Canada
I so miss the days of glass headlights.

I also use Meguar's PlastX, but it's only a restorer, it doesn't protect. I have to do it 2 or 3 times a year despite spray waxing my headlights every week.

Re: Another headlight "restoration" using 3M kit [Re: Broo] #4816379
07/17/18 01:04 PM
07/17/18 01:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 11,482
OH
SatinSilver Offline
SatinSilver  Offline

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 11,482
OH
Walmart TLE has a headlight restoration service that runs $29.99 or so. I thought maybe they just use a simple wipe restorer on it. But come to find out from one of the techs that works there that they use a 3M kit. Nothing is done by hand. Many turn out well but others only show moderate improvement. For instance on some Nissans.

Here's the kit they use.




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