After watching the headlights on the 1997 Ford Taurus grow progressively more and more hazy until night driving was impacted we finally decided to invest in the $10 headlight restoration / polish kit which supposedly would restore the headlights to their original haze free condition. I’m certainly a skeptic with these products, as more often than not they’re just a scam. . .
So I got out my drill, cracked open the headlight restoration kit and . . . READ THE DIRECTIONS! The kit basically included 1 arbor to mount whichever pad you were using on it, 2 ~360 grit foam backed sanding discs, and a single foam pad for use with the polishing compound. I of course, having read the directions, figured we were suffering from a severe case of hazing, so I opted for first using plenty of water and the sanding discs to start things off. The second I touched the sanding disc to the headlight I realized my mistake and now deep scratches which would now require extra buffing time. After about 3 seconds of buffing and continuously moving you can almost immediately see results:
Recommendations on Repairing your Own Headlights:
- Carefully clean your headlights before beginning, otherwise you’ll grind the dead bugs into your headlights and have more of a mess to repair!
- Use the foam pad and polishing compound liberally, keep moving so you don’t burn (overheat) the headlights in spots
- You don’t need to be running the drill full throttle, it takes very little pressure and very little speed, take it easy
- Finally, have water handy and occasionally rinse the whole light off to observe any progress and remove anything that’s on the surface so you don’t grind it into the headlight
Finally, if you’re a DIYer, you can likely perform the same repair with toothpaste and a foam pad glued to a drill/dremel/buffer arbor. Better yet you can likely buy some polycarbonate polish for cheap from a plastics store (industrial) near your home. ALWAYS make sure you test your solution on a small unimportant corner of the light to see what’s going to happen before going right to the center of your lense cover and potentially hazing a bad spot in the middle, and ultimately what’s $10 to know you’re doing it right?