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Old 07-03-2010, 07:26 PM   #1
JCPreza
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Default Restoring headlights without a kit?

Well I just bought a 2006 Impreza Outback Sport yesterday, and I want to know if there's a way to get the dingy yellow tint off the headlights, without going to the auto store and buying a kit. Are there any age old secrets that work?
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:41 PM   #2
MadElectroScientist
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Yeah, make the headlight out of GLASS!

*Grumble* We probably won't ever see glass headlights again on any cars produced after the 90's...

Unfortunately the yellow haze is the actual material the headlight is made out of, the material itself is breaking down from the outside in, grinding off the oxidized layer is the only option (other than getting a new headlight which would of course do the same thing).

If you were looking to accomplish the same effect as the kit without buying the actual kit, you need to get various grit wet sanding pads, starting at course and ending at fine with a final polish to get it clear again.

There are one step polishes out there which seem to be a combination of a solvent and polish which works on light hazing, but I have not seen them work as well as wet sanding all the hazed plastic off and re-polishing...

Harbor Freight sells a functional kit and comes with adhesive backed foam pads with I think a pair of three progressive grit sanding discs, a drill disc (to attach the sanding pads) and polishing compound. If you catch it on sale I'm pretty sure it is under $10
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadElectroScientist View Post
Yeah, make the headlight out of GLASS!

*Grumble* We probably won't ever see glass headlights again on any cars produced after the 90's...

Unfortunately the yellow haze is the actual material the headlight is made out of, the material itself is breaking down from the outside in, grinding off the oxidized layer is the only option (other than getting a new headlight which would of course do the same thing).

If you were looking to accomplish the same effect as the kit without buying the actual kit, you need to get various grit wet sanding pads, starting at course and ending at fine with a final polish to get it clear again.

There are one step polishes out there which seem to be a combination of a solvent and polish which works on light hazing, but I have not seen them work as well as wet sanding all the hazed plastic off and re-polishing...

Harbor Freight sells a functional kit and comes with adhesive backed foam pads with I think a pair of three progressive grit sanding discs, a drill disc (to attach the sanding pads) and polishing compound. If you catch it on sale I'm pretty sure it is under $10
Thanks but wow, I didn't know it would be THAT much work. I was thinking about just spraying some windex on them, but I guess that won't work haha

I might get a kit like the Turtle Wax kit someone mentioned in another thread, or just leave them as is, and save up money to get new headlights a few years from now.

It's definitely not a huge issue, but aesthetically the hazy yellowy look is pretty bad, especially for a relatively new car. Oh well......
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:07 PM   #4
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Meguiars has a product called plastic-x or something to that nature. I've found it to work really well to get slight hazing out of my headlights. Use cotton to buff it out rather than microfiber since it's more aggressive and the process will go more quickly. If they're in pretty bad shape, it might take a while to get them looking nice, but once they are nice, a quick annual buffing will keep them that way.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 573 View Post
Meguiars has a product called plastic-x or something to that nature. I've found it to work really well to get slight hazing out of my headlights. Use cotton to buff it out rather than microfiber since it's more aggressive and the process will go more quickly. If they're in pretty bad shape, it might take a while to get them looking nice, but once they are nice, a quick annual buffing will keep them that way.
Cool. I found it on amazon, for about $8!
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:39 PM   #6
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about to post write up/ how to tonight with pics....stayed tuned
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:14 PM   #7
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I used plastix with a wax applicator and it worked like a charm...took 5 minutes. Was $8 at autozone so I'd skip out on the waiting for shipping business.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by imaJEENYUS View Post
about to post write up/ how to tonight with pics....stayed tuned
Awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kickniteasy View Post
I used plastix with a wax applicator and it worked like a charm...took 5 minutes. Was $8 at autozone so I'd skip out on the waiting for shipping business.
Yeah, I think getting it locally is a good idea. I'll just have to make time to get out to an auto store next week or sometime.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:54 PM   #9
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:04 PM   #10
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toothpaste
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:47 PM   #11
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rubbing compound!! picked this tip up from lightwerkz and does wonders. most jobs out there dont require sanding but they get fooled into doing it anyway. if you dont own rubbing compound you can pick it up for $2-3

i would rubbing compound the light first. then follow it up with plastx, followed by a wax
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jxkim View Post
rubbing compound!! picked this tip up from lightwerkz and does wonders. most jobs out there dont require sanding but they get fooled into doing it anyway. if you dont own rubbing compound you can pick it up for $2-3

i would rubbing compound the light first. then follow it up with plastx, followed by a wax

^THIS. Worked like a charm for me.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:09 PM   #13
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my headlights haven't really hazed all too much but i have used a number of things before

couple days ago, i tried claybar, rubbing compound, plastix and finally wax.. i doubt my headlights will be really bad but i guess it wouldn't hurt to try toothpaste and magic eraser like that other person did.. dunno why i've never thought of that one lol
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:34 AM   #14
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mighty mods did a bunch of different items test. avocado, tooth paste, urine, etc... i would stick w the rubbing compound though... entertaining to watch

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Old 07-06-2010, 04:01 AM   #15
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For $10 at a local auto store I don't think you can beat something like that Turtle Wax kit. Ultimately though, the hazing has to do with the nature of the material when it's allowed to oxidize. You'll want to polish them up real good and purty then Lamin-X them so it doesn't happen again.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imaJEENYUS View Post
thanks for the link. It's great to see the results on a real car
Quote:
Originally Posted by jxkim View Post
rubbing compound!! picked this tip up from lightwerkz and does wonders. most jobs out there dont require sanding but they get fooled into doing it anyway. if you dont own rubbing compound you can pick it up for $2-3

i would rubbing compound the light first. then follow it up with plastx, followed by a wax
That's great to here, because I'm hesistant about using sand paper as well. My headlights aren't "that" bad, but they probably need a little rubbing compound and wax.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jxkim View Post
mighty mods did a bunch of different items test. avocado, tooth paste, urine, etc... i would stick w the rubbing compound though... entertaining to watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy_WF5Iei_I


Now I gotta decide if I wanna use piss, avocados, or a kit...
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:51 AM   #17
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Piss is free....avocados smell bad...and a kit costs money. Tough decision mang, tough decision.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #18
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rubbing compound and some elbow grease will do wonders, be careful if you do get the turtle wax kit not to use the really rough pads they will do more damage than good.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:34 PM   #19
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toothpaste
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:31 AM   #20
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Yeah that Platix really do work though.....
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:15 PM   #21
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talk to blue-sun he fixed my kit **** up
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:47 PM   #22
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I dunno I've used whitening toothaste and some armorall to protect it afterwards and that worked when I had some nasty oxidation on the camry back in the day. Did the same on the VR4 a buddy had but some rubbing compound and some 2k grit helped a little more on that since it helped get some of the pits out but some oxidation remained until we used the toothpaste. No urine. Unless you want to.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:48 PM   #23
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those kits are overkill, plastx from meguiars (which is just a liquid formula that you apply on) works wonders.

those kits are only necessary if you have tiny chips on your headlights and you want to sand them out. but even then you can use sandpaper and sand your headlights, and then apply plastx to clear it back up.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:29 PM   #24
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i picked up a kit at advanced autoparts for like 18 bucks. I forget the name but it comes in a shiney ass chrome bag. Worked awesome, i got my subie down in salisbury, MD next to the beach basically and the lights were so yellow you could harly see in them. Used that kit and now they are crystal clear
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:00 PM   #25
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pretreatment cleaning, wipe clean. wet sand 1000 grit, wet sand 1500 grit...dont press down very hard. Wipe clean, oxidation remover with orbital, wipe clean. repeat of necessary. finish with shine restore/protector.
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