I’m going to show you how to permanently restore yellowing headlights fast and easy. Yellowing headlights is something very common in casts and not only do they look bad but they also have a very poor light output on the road at night. What happens is this lens on the headlight is made of polycarbonate plastic and even though you can’t see it? This comes with the UV protective coating from the factory overtime decoding wears off and then while you’re driving and leave the car outside in bright sunlight the UV rays coming from the Sun is breaking polycarbonate construction of the lens.
So the color of the lens goes from transparent to yellow over time this gets even worse and starts to look like this headlights looks bad can be restored, but it has to be done quickly because over time the damage can spread deep into the lens and create little cracks known as cry scenes all the time these cracks get bigger and destroy the lens. You can to buy a new headlight which could be expensive and that’s why you need to restore your headlights before it’s too late and the restoration process I’m going to show you only has three steps.
Starting with the first step even arrange the headlight and the surrounding area using a microfiber towel to remove any dirt, then dry the headlight.
We can move the step 2 which is removing the top layer of yellow plastic on the lens with some abrasives. I have some cutting compound car polish and metal polish which are liquid abrasives and some sand papers which are dry abrasives.
All these products contain aluminium oxide as the abrasive agent in different amounts up to 5% in college up to 10% in compound up to 25% in metal polish and up to 100% in sand papers but with different grid sizes. The reason I explained you all this is because for storing your headlights to the brand new condition is all about choosing the right polish and the right sandpaper. For headlights it is best to go with 600 grit followed by 1500 grit followed by 3000 grit. Also it is best to wrap the sandpaper around the foam backing pad. You can put the uniform pressure on the latest is sanding and if you held drill then he can go to the headlight polishing kit. So you get a backing plate for the drill a wool pad a foam pad and you have your sandpapers – 240, 320, 600, 800, 1200, 1500, 2000 and 3000 grit.
First your mask of the surrounding body panels using some masking tape. You wouldn’t damage the paint on those panels while sanding, then spray some water on the lens and on the sandpaper and start sanding. it is best to do this ending in one direction. I’m doing horizontal with overlapping passes to cover the entire area of the lens. spray water as you need and keep sanding with light to medium pressure on the sandpaper. when the water running down the lens turn from yellow to sort of milky white.
Any can see the yellow in plastic is gone but now there’s a uniform white haze on the lens. These are sanding scratches from the 600 grit sandpaper. so now at the 1500 grit and start sanding again.
This time instead of going horizontal, you can go vertical so you can remove the horizontal scratches a little easier. Once you get over the entire lens wipe the lens again and now you have an even fire haze from the 1500 grit. It’s kind of hard to see so now get the 3000 grit and do this one more time in the horizontal strokes to remove the vertical scratches and you’re ready for the compound. For this you can use a microfiber towel if you do this by hand or the wool pad if you are using the drill.
I’m gonna go with the drill because it is much quicker. get some compound on the pad and then remove the tape and start buffing. Maintain a consistent pressure on the pad while keeping the pad flat against the headlight and keep the pad moving to avoid heat buildup and burning the plastic. Cover the entire area with horizontal overlapping passes and then switch to vertical passes and cover the entire area again.
I’m gonna go one extra step I’m gonna switch to the foam pad and is a little bit of polish to bring back the factory shine. This is completely optional but this brings up that mirror shine you see on a brand new headlight.
I’m gonna wipe the lens and this is exactly what I’m talking about. I mean here’s the clarity is back just like in a brand new headlight so that’s how you restore headlights with very bad yellow beam using sand papers.
But for headlights with only minor yellowing you can skip all the sanding work and start out with the compound. Just get some compound on the pad and start buffing and buffing and buffing until the headlight starts to look really clean and then wipe the headlight.
I’m also gonna need some isopropyl alcohol to remove any leftover compound and that is a brand new looking headlight. Now you can move the step three which is applying a protective coating on the headlight to keep the headlight from yellowing again and I’m going to show you five counting options you could choose the one that makes more sense to you.
First you could use UV hard-coat. this is the most commonly used product occurring on headlights at the factory but this only comes in commercial quantities and you need to have professional grade spray gun and a compressor set up to use this. You also need a UV heat lamp you’ve had in this one the headlight. so as you can tell this is too expensive for most people at home and this only lasts about five years, so this option is not the option for me. Second you could use an aftermarket headlight coating. These coatings achieved by comparing om style coating and they come in spray cans. You just spray a thin coat on, let the coating dry then apply a second coat and you’re done. this is actually a good option but these coatings only last about a year so this option is also not the option for me.
You could use a clear coat clickers come in cheap rattle tails. They occurred and they only last few years before they start to peel. That’s why common factor is to take liquor on casts which is suppose in clicker mixed with hardness because they provide no hardness chip and scratch resistance. Then acrylic records they do come in rattle cans but the manufacturers do not advise using these on headlights and they make special clay coat for headlights with special primers to go with it.
Regular vehicles have a higher refractive index than headlight coating. I’m gonna spray some clicker on the headlight lens.
I often see these edges turn yellow over time and personally I don’t like the look of these so this option is also not the option for me and that brings us unto my fifth option which is installing a headlight protection film.
These films generally last about five years and the best thing is this doesn’t get binded under the lens like a coating. When this goes bad remove the bad film and install a new one. You don’t have to restore the lens and that makes this old permanent way to restore your headlights. Now it starts to make sense why this is of rather expensive option at car dealerships. This is by far the best option for me and here’s what you need to install the film. you need your razor blade, a small squeegee the heat gun or a hairdryer, a spray bottle with some distilled water and some dishwashing liquid or isopropyl alcohol depending on the film you’re using. First you clean the lens to remove any leftover polish. Soapy water is good for this but isopropyl alcohol is better. You also want to clean your hands as well otherwise you’re gonna leave fingerprints on the film.
Then spray down the lens and filled with water. place the film over the lens then start going from one corner to the other corner along the center of the headlight. That way you can push all the wrinkles to the edges. after that you can start squeezing out the water in short strokes. If the film is bunching up around the curves they’re not trying to flatten it down with the squeegee instead you lift up the film missed it down with some water. Use the heat gun to warm the film very lightly and then stretch the film around the curves and then use short strokes until you get rid of all the wrinkles. This could be little hard but totally doable at home and if you see some moisture under the film that you can’t remove don’t worry because they evaporate through the film in few days because this is a breathable material and also very thin so this wouldn’t affect the heat dissipation from the headlight needed.
Once you’re done you get your razor blade and trim the excess film on the edge. Then work out all the holes one last time and check this out. Now this headlight is predicted from yellowing fading and also from getting rock sheets for the years to come.
And that wraps up my final step on restoring yellowing headlights permanently so leave a comment down below let me know what you think and if you’re wondering.