Plastic lenses yellow over time and reduce headlight brightness, which is bound to cause you a lot of grief long-term, not to mention the added dangers of a reduced visibility when driving. With the highly popular 3M 39008 headlight lens restoration kit, you can restore such lenses to their original shine with minimal effort. This improves your vehicle headlight performance as well as the car’s look. With the 3M 39008 headlight lens restoration kit in particular, you get the benefit of having all the necessary tools at your disposal, in a package that offers a lot more than pretty much any other kit in this price range.
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A Guide To Headlight Restoration Kits
Over time, headlights can take on a foggy appearance. This not only has a significant effect on how the vehicle looks, but also makes it harder for the driver of the vehicle to see. When that happens, a lot of people tend to just replace the entire headlight, but there is a better and cheaper method of bringing headlight back to life—and that method is headlight restoration kits. These kits can bring headlight back from the brink, and in some cases, they can even return a vehicle’s headlights to a showroom appearance. Unfortunately, far too few people know how to choose the best headlight restoration kit for their vehicle or even how to use them. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide—a guide that will help our readers tackle both of these tasks.
Choosing A Headlight Restoration Kit
Even though it looks like buying a headlight restoration kit is difficult, nothing could be further from the truth. While most kits boast a wide variety of different features that they provide, the fact of the matter is that there are only three different models. These models include light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty restoration kits—and that’s all there is to it. Which one of these that a person selects will depend on just how hazy their headlights are. If their headlights are just lightly hazy, then they would choose a light-duty kit. If their headlights are completely fogged over, then they would probably choose a heavy-duty kit. Let’s take a look at each of these kits and see how these three kits differ from one another.
Light Duty Restoration Kits
Like we stated above, these kits are designed to deal with headlights that are just beginning to fog. Because of this purpose, they’re ideal for doing a light touchup on the headlights to ensure they stay in good condition and prevent them from fogging up in the first place. What’s usually found in light-duty kits is just some type of rubbing compound, product instructions, and a sanding pad. A few of them also feature a microfiber buffing pad, but those are a rarity in these kits, so if the consumer buys one of these kits, then they should expect to buy their buffing pad separately.
- Ideal for light headlight restoration jobs
- They aren’t very expensive
- They don’t come with microfiber buffing pads
- They can’t handle heavy headlight fogging
Medium-Duty Restoration Kits
Just about 75% of the headlight restoration kits sold online or in automotive stores fall into this category. These kits can handle more advanced cases of hazing than light-duty kits but lack the power of heavy-duty kits. Most of these kits come with three separate hand sanding pads, a foam applicator pad, and a buffing compound. Most of them lack a microfiber buffing cloth, which the car owner has to purchase separately, but there are a couple of kits that we found that did come with a cloth. The sanding pads that can be found in these kits include a 1,000-grit pad, a 3,000-grit pad and a 5,000-grit pad.
- Can handle more advanced lens fog and haziness than light-duty kits
- Are easy to use by most people
- They don’t usually come with a microfiber buffing pad
- They can’t handle advanced cases of lens fogging
Heavy-Duty Restoration Kits
As their name suggests, these kits are designed for headlights that have been seriously neglected. That means headlights that are so foggy that they’re opaque and completely prevent the headlight from functioning. In the past, the car owner would just replace the whole headlight, but thanks to these kits that no longer has to be the case. These kits usually come with all different types of sanding pads, buffing pads and rubbing compounds, and require the user to use an electric drill for using the product. Some of them even come with a headlight protectant for applying after the lens has been cleaned to help prevent it from becoming hazy again. What these kits don’t come with, however, are microfiber cloths. Those will still have to be bought by the consumer.
- Can handle all lens fogging problems
- Comes with an assortment of accessories
- Requires power tools to use
- Costs more than other types of kits
Using A Headlight Restoration Kit Properly
After reading over our top ten list of the best headlight restoration kits and reading our guide on what to look for when choosing a new kit, most of our readers have all the information they need to grab a great kit. Now, it’s time for them to turn their attention to using these kits properly. With that in mind, we’ve added the following points to this guide that will give just about anyone a quick start to using these types of products.
Read The Instructions
The first step to using these headlight kits properly is to thoroughly read the instructions before even beginning. The consumer should do that regardless of whether they’ve used these products before. That’s because there’s a large number of these kits available and many of them use different methods of restoring a headlight. Having a good understanding of how a particular kit should be used will help the consumer use the product more effectively and prevent them from wasting product.
Get Your Tools Ready For The Job
Another thing that the consumer should do to ensure that their lens cleaning process is smooth is to assemble all of the tools they need for the job. Since every headlight restoration kit is different and there’s not a standard set of tools needed for each one, we can do a general overview of what the consumer might need when cleaning their headlights. Below are the most common tools that will be used for a lens cleaning operation. Some of the tools listed below will be included in some kits, and other tools the consumer will have to supply for themselves.
Recommend Tools For Headlight Cleaning
- Rubber gloves
- Sanding discs
- Microfiber towels
- masking tape
- rubbing compound
- wax protectant
- foam applicators
- buffing pads
- Water spray bottle
The Headlight Restoration Process
With all of the tools assembled for the job and the instructions thoroughly read, it’s now time to clean the headlights. Although it’s impossible for a guide of this nature to be able to list all of the different procedures that might be used for cleaning a headlight, we will list the procedure that the headlight restoration kit that we own uses. Below are the steps we used to bring the headlights of our vehicle back to their former glory.
- Tape off the headlight with masking tape to avoid getting rubbing compound on the car’s paint.
- Spray water on the headlight using the spray bottle.
- Attack a 1,000-grit sanding disk to a drill.
- Apply rubbing-compound to the disc.
- Use the drill to sand the headlight thoroughly.
- Switch to the 3,000-grit disc and apply rubbing compound to it.
- Sand the entire headlight with the disc.
- Use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the headlight.
- Using a different cloth, apply wax protectant to the headlight.
- Viola! The headlight is now clear and ready to be used.