Motoring Discussion > Headlight restoration Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Bobby Replies: 19

 Headlight restoration - Bobby
Son has bought an old cheap Clio from a family member who had it.
Headlights have got that musty cloudy look about them. Common in this type of Clio apparently.

Lots of headlight restoration kits around. Most are about the £20 mark. Anyone used these and any feedback? Videos look simple enough to follow and some like Autoglym actually use your normal hand held drill to attach the “sander” and buffer.

But would it be easier to buy a couple of second hand ones from EBay? My concern with that is that I guess an 18 year old Clios headlamp clips may be very brittle?

 Headlight restoration - Duncan
Toothpaste.
 Headlight restoration - Lygonos
Toothpaste can work when it's very slight UV damage covered with grime, but usually you need to scrape off 0.1mm or more of the damaged plastic.

Have done it using wet'n'dry paper in the past - think I started with 400 grit and worked down to 2000grit.
 Headlight restoration - Netsur
I was watching a YouTube video last night (Car Wizard) and he mentioned an upcoming video using DoT3 brake fluid to clear headlights...
 Headlight restoration - Zero
Restored my mothers clio lenses with the 3M kit, not the cheapest but everything you need other than a drill, and good instructions

www.amazon.co.uk/3M-39073-Restoration-Discoloured-Headlights/dp/B0078IHJ1K
 Headlight restoration - slowdown avenue
if you get them cleaned then wax them after. this seems to help for a while
 Headlight restoration - Fullchat
Eurocarparts and Halfords do kits. ECP being significantly cheaper.

Watched a guy do one the other night using a machine polisher and 2 grades of compound.
 Headlight restoration - Rudedog
I guess it depends how deep the marks are but I think the only long term solution that seems to work is to use an abrasive like the various grades of wet & dry, probably goes totally against the grain to take sandpaper to something clear but unless you want the clouding to come back you've got to remove the top layer of the lens.

I've lens covers on mine since new so when I remove them they sort of look out of place compared to the rest of the 14 year old Golf.

 Headlight restoration - Duncan
www.wikihow.com/Clean-Headlights-with-Toothpaste
 Headlight restoration - Shiny
Also search for someone in your area how will do it.
A Polish man did mine for a price that wasn't worth me buying all the stuff.
He taped everything off and put a plastic sheet over the engine.
Then used small 2.5-3" sanding discs on a cordless drill with soapy water getting finer and finer to 3000 grade.
Next polished using the same sized pads on his drill with something by autoglym then I think Meguirs headlight protector. It might have been £60 but they looked like new. £1500 for new headlights £400-500 used!
 Headlight restoration - legacylad
At MOT time is the efficacy of headlights tested ? I’ve never owned a car with opaque or cloudy headlight lenses so assume it severely reduced depth penetration and efficiency.

Years ago on my Mk1 Golf I had a pair of huge Carello pencil beam spotlights fitted. They illuminated miles ahead. Looked ridiculous in hindsight and probably illegal to boot.
 Headlight restoration - sooty123
>> At MOT time is the efficacy of headlights tested ? I’ve never owned a car
>> with opaque or cloudy headlight lenses so assume it severely reduced depth penetration and efficiency.
>>
>>

They test the beam pattern but it doesn't necessarily mean it'll fail an Mot if the headlights are cloudy. I had a couple of cars with them, sometimes they got noted on the mot sometimes not.
 Headlight restoration - legacylad
I understood the MOT test was beam pattern, but assuming that’s ok, then depth of light penetration is irrelevant.
I suppose living in a semi rural area with fast unlit A roads then good headlights are something I really appreciate. I don’t want nice but dim.
 Headlight restoration - sooty123
>> I understood the MOT test was beam pattern, but assuming that’s ok, then depth of
>> light penetration is irrelevant.
>> I suppose living in a semi rural area with fast unlit A roads then good
>> headlights are something I really appreciate. I don’t want nice but dim.
>>

Likewise, however I don't remember thinking that they were unsafe on such roads round here at night.
 Headlight restoration - Zero
It beam pattern and colour. You won't get a fail until the cloudiness scatters the light pattern sufficiently to fail the beam pattern machine, or the tester decides its no longer white.

(or you crash because you can't see where you are going)
Last edited by: Zero on Mon 18 May 20 at 10:04
 Headlight restoration - smokie
The headlamps are notoriously bad on my Ampera such that people have replaced them with HIDs and, more recently, LEDs. Apparently those can now be a Fail as they are not the same as the standard fitted lamp. Some swap them back before MOT but most say it's never been mentioned.
 Headlight restoration - Duncan
>> £60
>>

Did you try my toothpaste method first?
 Headlight restoration - Boxsterboy
Toothpaste works if the plastic is not too badly discoloured. Mrs BB is a dentist which means we have a garage overflowing with mini-tubes of toothpaste from manufacturers keen to flog their wares. We have shiny bright headlights in our household :-)
 Headlight restoration - hawkeye
I bought a kit like this for the Jaguar which had very cloudy lights: tinyurl.com/ycmcjnzm

Everything worked well; I just had to be careful not to let the sanding discs get clogged. I'm pleased with the appearance of the lamps but as Mr Z pointed out a while ago, the lights are rubbish anyway, even when the lenses sparkle.

One of my neighbours advised using toothpaste but I bashed on with the kit. Our toothpaste is from Holland and Barrett and looks like green jelly; I couldn't see it making much of an impression on the plastic.
Last edited by: hawkeye on Sat 23 May 20 at 12:03
 Headlight restoration - Duncan
I recommend Colgate.
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