When car companies moved to plastic headlight lenses they opened the door to them oxidizing over and majorly reducing the transmitted light. I’m surprised they haven’t been sued yet actually. I really do not like the fact that light is reduced and people are driving with less and less visibility at night – that seems wrong to me. However, if they don’t correct this problem we can at least fix it with annual polishing of the lenses.
For badly deteriorated lenses, I use Meguiar’s Heavy Duty Headlight restoration kit. It comes with sandpaper and polish to really let you get through the yellow oxidized plastic. I have sworn by that kit for several years now and you can do a number of vehicles with each package. It was also a pretty good price considering you could avoid having to buy new lenses for at least 3-4 cars.
I just learned a trick from my son who was home for a visit. He uses toothpaste to fix lightly oxidized headlights. Yes, plan old Crest toothpaste. Now this isn’t some odd chemical fix that disappears in a few hours. Toothpaste has a very mild abrasive in it for cleaning your teeth. Apparently it does an awesome job on car headlight lenses also. The following is my wife’s Camry that has gone about a year since I last polished it:
Basically he would pour water on the headlight, get the toothbrush wet, added the toothpaste to the old tooth brush and then vigorously rubbed all over the lens. He’d then pour water, wipe it off, look at the results and repeated it about three times per light until he got it just the way he wanted it. I’m impressed.
He really didn’t use much toothpaste either. This is real cheap and effective on light oxidation. I’m doing this for now on and saving the Meguiar’s HD kit for lenses that are badly damaged.
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