“What a piece of junk!” – restoring 19 year old headlights to glass-like clarity

Being able to see the road is Key – restoring the headlights to a crystal-clear sheen

The vehicle has the stock headlights on it, and they are known to have awful low beams and excellent high beams.  The car is also 19 years old, so the lenses yellowed quite a bit over time.

right headlight lens, pre-restoration

right headlight lens, pre-restoration

Low beams are pretty bad, and my eyes are really bad – and since I cannot easily sand and polish my corneas using a cordless drill, I decided to give the 3M Headlight Restoration Kit I got on sale a try, and after about 2 hours of buffing and grinding and sanding and polishing (with the help of an old but functional cordless drill I got as a gift from a nice guy at krav, thanks Mike!), the headlights were NOTICEABLY clearer.

final product

final product

The true test, however, is comparing pre- and post-restoration light output.  As the following photos demonstrate, there is a LARGE increase in lumen output:

Low beams, left is old

The high beams always seemed like they were just fine to me.  Now that I see both how much clearer I got the lenses and also the comparison photos, I see JUST how wrong I was:

high beams, left is old

All told, the $31 I got for $11 after mail-in-rebates was QUITE the bargain.   Thanks as per ever to the Wallet Destroyer for that find on SlickDeals!  :)

the actual 3M Headlight Restoration Kit

the actual 3M Headlight Restoration Kit


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