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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know that there is already a headlight polishing thread from about two years ago, but I had such unexpectedly positive results today that I wanted to share the results of this awesome day with you guys! :D


The short of it is that I have a 2002 Golf. I bought it second-hand—hence the small dent you may see in some of the photos. :mad: Anyway, I assume that nothing has been done to the headlights for a good decade, because I literally couldn't see sh!t last time I had to drive 1,000km from Calgary to Vancouver. (I usually start at 2am to beat traffic, but the headlights were so bad I was in virtual darkness for 2-3 hours, praying that a deer won't decide to play chicken with the car.)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided to put an end to this nightmare, so I headed to my local Canadian Tire and bought a Permatex Headlight Lens Restoration Kit (CAD $17.99)—I'm sure my American friends can buy it at a local Walmart.


The kit includes a pair of rubber gloves (I didn't use them), four different grits of sandpaper (1000, 1500, 2000, and 2500—if memory serves right), a bottle of polishing liquid, a polishing cloth, and a set of instructions (I did use them ;-)). In retrospect, I realise that there isn't anything special about this kit, but because those guys included everything I needed, and because everything went so well, I'll go ahead and say that $17.99 is more than a fair price.

Here, my experience differs greatly from that of missioncirca in the other thread:
I originally used sand paper and rubbing compound and it just made it worse. Be prepared to sand your arm off. I went out and got the 3M kit and it did wonders. It comes with a drill bit that has sandpaper attached to it so you get it done so fast.
In my case, I didn't need any sort of drill bit or sander. I can't even say that it even took an extreme amount of elbow grease—just about an hour per headlight. The important thing was to pay attention to my sanding.

The process was exceedingly simple: Using the kit's plastic box as a tray, I soaked the sandpaper sheets in water for 10 minutes. Then, I began sanding the headlight with the coarsest sandpaper, working it in a left-to-right motion for another 10 minutes. I made sure that the sandpaper remained wet and that no dirt got onto the headlight. I did the same with the less-coarse sandpaper, working it in a top-to-bottom motion for another ten minutes. Next, I sanded left-to-right with the finer sandpaper for 6 minutes. Finally, I used the finest sandpaper in a left-to-right motion for 6 minutes.

After I washed and dried the headlight, it was free of scratches and other crap. However, its surface looked uniform but dull. Thus, I picked up the polishing liquid and the polishing cloth and began to polish the headlight in a circular motion for a good 20 minutes. The results almost floored me—I could actually see the internal headlight components! :eek: The rest, as they say, is history. It took me just about an hour to do the second headlight, and I am extremely happy with the results. :cool:
 

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Glad you're happy with the results.
You might have to do it a couple times a year as the plastic lacks a durable finish.

If you think this is good though you should see glass lenses. Mind blowing.
 

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I have the mothe powerball kit from canadian tire. Made the thing look brand new. This looks like a nice kit aswell. Seem it on the self the other day whenni was looking at threadlocker.
 

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@Shameless That's probably good advice. I can do it without much grumbling, too, seeing how cheap and quick the process is. ;) I followed your advice and looked up glass lenses on eBay—they actually go for about $280-330 a pair, which to me sounds pretty decent. Noob question: are there any caveats or tricks for replacing the stock lenses with the aftermarket glass ones?

@maximuz Good to know!
 

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Nice job! :K:

I personally use the 3M kit and do it by hand. Usually about once a year. And the longer you sand the better it comes out.

Glass lenses are definitely a good idea though. Pretty easy enough to do yourself as well.
 

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I have not tried this on the Jetta yet, headlights are not bad. On a different car, I did the toothpaste polish. You smear a big stream of toothpaste across the lens and polish, sand or rub it with a wet rag. I used a white gym sock. I was amazed at the improvement. Rinse and repeat and put a coat of wax on it. It lasts about a year. I have seen the kits in the store and a friend tried one of the kits and put some waves and pits in his lenses.
 

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to replace lenses..

use a heat gun.. heat the lens where it attaches to the housing.. its glued on with black silicone.. when it melts.. use a putty knife or something of that effect and gently pry the lens off..
heat the rest of the glue and scrape off.

use black silicone.. apply a decent amount.. put new lens on.
use the clips u take off the original lenses.. re install.
allow to sit 24 hours for the silicone to dry and cure.

install on car.

VOLA.

also.. laminex coating over plastic lenses works extremely well to prevent corrosion / fading.
 
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