Plastic headlight restoration

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Headlight restoration or Plastic headlight restoration is the act of refinishing aged headlight lenses that have become discolored or dull due to headlamp oxidation and other environmental factors such as rain and UV light and exposure to caustic chemicals. This condition which results in cloudy lenses is known for causing reduced night time visibility for travelers as the condition becomes worse. Because cloudy headlights can be restored to a like new condition, it is much more economical to restore the headlight lens, rather than replace the lens. [1]

Profession Headlight Restoration Services[edit]

There are an increasing number of professional headlight restoration services that charge approximately $60 to $125 to restore both headlights on a vehicle. [2] Replacing the lens can be much more expensive. For example, some brand new headlight lens assemblies can cost over $2600 each (plus the labor to replace the lens) (Example: 2003 Porsche 996TT, dealer verified price as of 9/15/2014, $2633.00 per lens assembly; 2006 Infinit M35, dealer price verified as of 9/15/2014, $1286 per lens assembly.) There are many do it yourself headlight restoration kits available on the market, however, most of the kits do not restore the headlights nearly as well as an expert headlight restoration service.[citation needed] The main reason for this is because most of the do it yourself kits do not include the proper tools needed for professional results. Furthermore, some professional headlight restoration shops are applying a urethane or acrylic clear coat to help protect the plastic lens from UV exposure after the headlight lens is restored.[3]

DIY Headlight Restoration Products[edit]

There are many "do it yourself" headlight restoration kits available for purchase. A few of the major brands that produce these "kits" include 3M, Turtle Wax, Sylvania, Headlight Wizard, Meguiar's, Mothers, and Rain-X. Most of these kits require multiple stages of wet sanding to remove the oxidation of the headlight lens, usually with ascending level of grit. Some kits include a UV sealant which is said to protect the lens of the headlight longer. Kits with the UV sealant include some of the 3M, Sylvania, and Headlight Wizard.[4] Another common option to delay the aging process of headlight lenses, is the use of press and snap-on headlight covers, or laminates with adhesives that can be applied over the headlight lenses, such as Paint Protection Film sold by 3M.


  1. ^ "Professional How to Clear Foggy Headlights". 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Professional Headlight Restoration Servicese". 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Dangerously Dim: A CBS4 I-Team Investigation: Learn How Fading Headlights Could Make Your Drive Dangerous". WFOR-TV, Miami. 2006. [full citation needed]
  4. ^ "Headlight restoration kits buying guide". 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.