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Headlights are expensive, and, once they’ve become weathered with age, they experience issues that can be difficult and frustrating to resolve. Luckily, you can easily address most of these issues using a car headlight restoration kit.
Despite these helpful products and tools, people often spend too much money on their headlights, either paying a professional to perform the necessary repairs or replacing their oxidized lenses completely. However, nine times out of ten, you don’t need to purchase a brand-new pair of headlights. Before forking over that extra cash, make sure you know the truth about the 3 most costly myths that cause people to overspend on their lenses.
Most people aren’t willing to spend $10-20 on headlight restoration kits because they believe the oxidation they spent all that time and effort to remove will just come back in a couple of months. And that would be true—if the only product in a headlight restoration kit was a lens restorer compound.
The rubbing compound in your headlight restoration kit removes the oxidized layer of plastic that causes your lenses to appear dim and foggy. When paired with water and a sanding pad, this product makes it easy to remove yellowing and oxidation to restore their clarity and brightness of your headlights in a matter of seconds. But if you just restored your headlights without protecting your lenses, the minerals in rainwater and prolonged exposure to the sun would cause this oxidation to form again in just a few months.
That’s why your restoration kit also comes with a quick-acting sealant to prevent damage to your newly restored headlight lenses. This protective coating prevents rainwater or harmful UV rays from oxidizing the plastic surfaces of your lenses for up to a year, saving you hundreds of dollars in repairs in the long run.
While some headlight restorer kits require the use of a drill, you don’t need one to correct those foggy lenses. Drills allow you to remove oxidation from your headlights instantly for a smoother lens restoration; but in the same way that buffing machines speed up the car waxing process, sanding drills are an optional tool that make your restoration faster and more convenient. Since most people don’t have this equipment readily available, they assume they need to go to a repair shop to get their headlights repaired or replaced by a professional.
Luckily, there are plenty of kits out there, like the Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer Kit, that don’t require a drill, allowing you to complete the entire process by hand! And while your headlight restoration may take a bit of extra time, restoring your lenses by hand will save you the extra $40-50 you would have spent on a drill-based kit.
When people do decide to restore their headlights themselves, they tend reach for the most aggressive rubbing compound first, thinking it will do the quickest and most effective job of removing that pesky layer of oxidation. However, this approach often results in more harm than good, cutting deep into the plastic of your lenses and creating even more damage to repair.
You should always start your restoration with the gentlest compound first to determine the severity of the oxidation on your lenses. If this compound isn’t enough to remove all the oxidation from your headlights, then repeat this process with a medium strength compound and then finally, the most aggressive compound.
In the same way, you should always start correcting your lenses with the gentlest sanding pad first, slowly working your way up if necessary to ensure that you only strip away the oxidized layer of your lenses. This is the safest and quickest way to restore your headlights to their original, sparkling, showroom condition!
Remember, sanding pads with the highest grit ranking are the lightest, while those with a lower grit ranking are tough and more abrasive.
Although there are many misconceptions out there about restoring your headlights, the process is much simpler than it appears at first glance. And with just a few products and a garden hose, you can save yourself a hefty bill at the auto repair shop and restore what you have. Once you finish, you may find that your headlight clarity is just as good as it was when you first bought your car!
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