Am I seeing that accurately? Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST. Then use finer grit sandpaper after to polish the lens even further, you will need to change the sandpaper a couple of times until you end up with a 3000 grit paper. Headlight Restoration using Clear Coat. Any solution that contains a UV protectant should be fine, even if you opt for a clear sealant or coating. If there is any doubt as to whether the condition of your lights merits professional resurfacing or replacement, contact one of our certified mechanics for advice. Soak a soft cloth or sponge in the mix, then gently rub away grit and grime from the surface of your headlights. Once you have thoroughly polished your headlights, wipe any excess compound off with a clean cloth, then rinse with water. Make sure you always sand in the same direction and make sure to also keep the surface of the headlights wet throughout the process. Isopropyl alcohol, when used properly has a few different uses in detailing as I recently discussed in this post. If you have a messed up lens and you have to resurface, you may have to use sand paper. If you haven’t already, clean your headlights with soap and water, then dry thoroughly. The toothpaste trick, even compounding and polishing — but still that foggy haze remained. This is a crosshatching technique that can help remove scratches as you work. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Use the polishing compound on a soft cloth in a circular motion on your … Use the polishing compound on a soft cloth in a circular motion on your headlights, as described above. Taking proper care of your headlights is much more than cosmetic, as damaged lights also present a serious safety issue. Ensure the sandpaper is wet at all times, dipping into water as needed. Water acts as a lubricant needed to polish out the scratches dry sanding produced. I’ve gotten a better experience with Johnathan than most repair shops. There is a list of disappointments which untidy and dirty headlights can cause, considering the priority ‘the looks of the car’ and they also reduce the visibility at night or in a different atmosphere. The worse the headlight damage, the great the incidence of accidents occurring from poor visibility. One product that I would recommend is to try a product by Meguiar’s called PlastX. Using the spray bottle, be sure to keep both wet as you lightly move the sandpaper against the lens in a circular motion. -Get out your 1/4 sheet of 800 grit sandpaper, and spray it with the water bottle. I use the cheapest Colgate toothpaste i can find for this. Clean the headlights again with clean water. Dry sanding is best for removing substances, while wet sanding is really for polishing. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Headlight Door Motor. After doing some research, I decided to try to restore my truck’s plastic headlights today. But for the fog /oxidation that collects on Neon headlights. If you have reached the point where nothing seems to be working like I had, it may be time for wet sanding. Begin by using the 500p sandpaper disc attached to the drill in a circular motion over the entire headlight. Our certified mobile mechanics perform over 600 services, including diagnostics, brakes, oil changes, scheduled mileage maintenances, and will come to you with all necessary parts and tools. Advantages, Soaps, & Recommendations. Well worth the price and convenience. Nevertheless, you should be able to get your headlights pretty close to clear after compounding and polishing. 7 Products to Understand, 5 Benefits of Using a Foam Cannon vs Hand Washing, 5 Best Electric Pressure Washers for Detailing on a Budget, Foam Gun or Cannon? Once you have applied compound, the next step is to polish. Clean your headlights with water. Spray the headlights with the water and then use the sandpaper to, you know, sand. Keep in mind that this is a DIY solution, and individual results may vary. Time to sand! Put some elbow grease into it to make sure all of the cloudy headlights are removed. Nissan Altima - Headlight Bulb Replacement (Driver Side Low Beam) - Atlanta, Georgia. Go over the headlight again with wet 600-grit sandpaper, using a circular motion Once you’ve sanded the whole headlight, wash it off with clean water While this is something possible to do at home with kits containing the necessary materials available at most auto parts stores, you may want to ask a professional to help with this more difficult and time-consuming procedure. Professional detailers use wet sanding methods with various sandpaper grits along with polishers to get the desired clarity from the lens. Use clean water to remove any remaining toothpaste residue from the headlight. I think you can get the kit that comes with the PlastX and a wool pad. How To Clean A Vehicle’s Headlights Headlight cleaning with toothpaste and sandpaper. Instead, wash carefully with warm water and a mild soap. Will there often be some type of scratch left, even if it’s pretty faint/hard to see? To get the oxidation off these headlights we’re going to be using three different grits of sandpaper to sand down any oxidation we’re gonna start with a 500 grit. Hey, I'm Baxter! I hope this post has been helpful if you are considering tackling wetsanding. Place the sand paper on the headlight (it will stick by itself) and continue to spray the whole headlight until the whole headlight is wet. Step 2: Begin washing your headlights. As that is happening use the water hose … Cracks and peels indicate serious damage to the polycarbonate lens of your headlights, and this will require professional resurfacing (at the bare minimum) to achieve a like-new look. Have a clean cloth around, so that you can wipe off the residue.Then, you have to move to the 1400 grit sandpaper to start smoothing out the headlight. Different grits of wet/dry sandpaper (1000, 2000 and 3000) Blue painters tape; Polishing compound; Paste wax; UV sealant; Microfiber towels; How to Clean Headlights with Toothpaste. Scrub gently in a circular motion ensuring the headlights and sandpaper are both wet After a few minutes of gentle scrubbing, sand horizontally to finish up Using 600-grit sandpaper, start the entire process again going over the entire headlight Wash off … Keep the surface wet and dip the sandpaper in water to avoid it from getting clogged, continue scrubbing until you have covered every square inch of the headlights. Clean using a microfiber cloth without risk of scratching your headlights. Thanks for the feedback! Thanks for checking out Carwash Country — a place where you can find answers and recommendations related to washing and protecting cars, trucks, or SUVs. Step 2: Polish your headlights. I've had him work on all of our vehicles - domestic and import - and he's awesome! Even though applying wax to your car’s finish is a pretty straightforward process, it can turn out poorly if... No one likes riding in a smelly car. As the vast majority of headlights are made of plastic, they require different care than other exterior surfaces of your car. Start by taping off the headlights with the painter’s tape, making sure to create a tight seal. Repairs covered by 12-month/12,000-mile warranty. In between these various phases I sprayed down the surface with soap and water to remove this milky white liquid. The purpose of wetsanding is simply to polish away light scratches. Step 3: Start sanding the headlights. With With all of the different relays that are on a car, it can feel like a full-time job keeping up with them all. The lower … However, you should never use a cleaning solvent or bleach on the seat belt. If you started with 800, wet sand with 1,000 grit, (and so on). For moderate damage to the polycarbonate lens of plastic headlights, which results in a yellow tinge, sanding out the abrasions that cause this appearance will be necessary to achieve a like-new look. Do the same thing on the other headlight. Afterwards, wipe your lights with another clean cloth. This is where I would apply isopropyl alcohol (or an IPA wipedown solution) with a microfiber towel. If you started with 600, wet sand with 800. I was careful around the edges, but will definitely do this in the future. They make handheld palm sanders you can use (with circular sanding sheets) that make it easier to apply more pressure which I’d recommend. I would recommend a dual-action polisher or rotary buffer (more powerful) when applying compound. First, clean the headlights with Windex or soap and water. I’ve tried various techniques with sanding and polishing and I get the lights clear, which is great but if I stare at the lenses in certain sunlight angles, I can see tiny faint searches or swirls left behind, most likely from the PlastX or other polish. LEARN MORE. I will choose him again with my next repair. I just found a pack of rectangular sandpaper sheets in numerous grits on Amazon, but they make them for palm sanders also. I’d say budget somewhere around 30 to 45 minutes per headlight to achieve the results you want, but it depends on how cloudy your headlights are. Keep the headlight wet as you work, sanding in a circular motion. YourMechanic All rights reserved. Clean off the headlights with water and a paper towel to get rid of any plastic that you’ve sanded off. The dry sanding really is what should remove the actual UV coating itself. As with a comprehensive cleaning, you will want to protect the other surfaces on your vehicle with painter's masking tape. Step 3: Wipe and rinse excess compound. Whenever Whenever you wax your car, you expect the end result to be a clean, bright finish that protects your paint. Let me know in the comments any additional tips to be aware of that worked for you. Tip: Be sure to keep the surfaces wet throughout the procedure by periodically dipping the sandpaper in your water. Sand in a circular motion, using light pressure, keeping the sandpaper and headlight wet Once you’ve sanded the whole headlight, sand in horizontal lines to finish. Simply put, this is a UV coating applied by the manufacturer to help protect your headlights from fading or turning yellow over time. Sanding in layers gives a better and more even finish. Very helpful....went into detail about his entire process. Step 6: Apply car wax. Acts as a great polish for plastic housing and copper contacts, like in my rear Suburban door. Tape off the areas surrounding your headlights because the polishing compound can damage paint and other surfaces (such as chrome). Step 1: Prepare a soapy water bucket. Changing from one to the other is easy. For that reason, I wouldn’t really go too overboard with the sandpaper alone (using too much grit), because sandpaper alone will create scratches that were not already on your headlight once the UV layer is gone. Carwash Country is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to these websites. Introduction: How to Clean Car Headlights. For example, you might mix three cups of water with one cup of vinegar. This is where it gets fun. Step 1: Tape off the headlights and cover the paint Before you get started, it’s a good idea to tape off your headlights with painters tape since you will be using sandpaper. It’s always best to apply several light coats than a heavy one, especially since you will already have everything taped off. If you observed hazing or yellowing on your headlights during your inspection, there is likely some corruption of the polycarbonate lens. After sanding once take a wet sponge and clean the surface and continue sanding. Step 1: Protect surrounding surfaces with tape. Shows up, works quickly, and does a great job. In fact sandpaper has never been the recommended method of removing oxidation from anything but metal. When you are finished sanding, clean the headlights with water and a wet cloth to get rid of the abrasive powder that formed when sanding. Apply a decent amount to a clean pad, and evenly apply it to the headlight lens. Continue for 5 minutes. Washing with dish liquid I don’t recommend, but it does have it’s place in detailing as I wrote about here. How Is a Dirty Light Bulb Socket Cleaned? If you don’t keep the surface wet, you run the risk of scratching the headlight. Clean … This vinegar-baking soda solution is actually so abrasive that you do not need to apply too much pressure. They all contain a fine abrasive that sloughs away imperfections on plastic surfaces without leaving scratches behind, much like a very fine sandpaper. Wet sanding didn’t give me any problems, but the dust tends to get everywhere. How to Clean Headlights: 14 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow Step 5: Rinse off the headlights and let dry. Let's say you need your headlights clean, but you don't want to buy a … Your Altima has both high and low beam functionality. Chevrolet Malibu - Headlight Bulb Replacement (Driver Side Low Beam) - Whittier, California. A 600 grit sandpaper will do the job just fine. Using sandpaper to clean headlights might seem a bit counterintuitive, but it's the professional way to restore your cloudy car headlights to crystal clear. Put the vinegar and water solution in an empty spray bottle. Start with the lower grit sandpaper and rub it in circular motions over the plastic lens. Take your time and add compound as needed - this will likely take 10 minutes per headlight. This will make it quicker to work since you won’t have to worry about making contact with the paint. Here’s how: Push the headlight lever forward to change from your low... Get a fair & transparent quote instantly before booking. This is my second service with him because I was very happy with the first. However, in some circumstances where the plastic is just old, there may not be much you can do. As with a comprehensive cleaning, you will want to protect the other surfaces on your vehicle with painter's masking tape. Repeat with each variety of sandpaper from coarsest to smoothest grade (smallest to largest grit number). Sanding on plastic removes big scratches while creating smaller ones, so by working in opposite directions for each grit of sandpaper, the goal is to eventually get to the point where there are no visible scratches, and you have a clear surface. It is also advisable to do a quick cleaning with soapy water and a sponge or cloth, followed by a rinse, before inspecting your headlights to ensure you don't confuse dirt with more serious damage. For more extreme damage, replacement may be your only option. The problem is that the sun will actually burn up this coating as the car gets older, causing your headlights to appear foggy. A standard wash is just as it sounds. To make a vinegar glass cleaning solution, you can mix three parts water with one part white distilled vinegar. Prepare a soapy mix in a bucket or similar container using warm water and a mild detergent like dish soap. 2021 The headlights surface needs to be dry for the next step. After you have removed the polish and buffed the surface, everything should look pretty clear. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair. Repeat this process using each sandpaper grade from roughest to smoothest until you have finished with the 3000-grit paper. Dry sandpaper will cause more scratches requiring more buffing and work to get the scratches out, so this is a necessary step before using the sandpaper to thoroughly clean your auto lamps. Apply a bit of water to the sandpaper (800 grit to start), then work it … How To Clean Your Headlights With Sandpaper If you can’t clean your foggy headlights using this method, then you need new headlights. Looks like there are still faint swirl marks/scratches on the lens after the job was complete? And since a lot of us are at the brink of mind numbing boredom, now is the perfect … Meguiars makes a headlight coating specifically for this purpose that I use, but you can find a variety of UV coatings from manufacturers like Sylvania or Spraymax. Only after you are satisfied with the clarity of your headlights should you proceed to applying UV protective coating. Wet sand your headlights - Wet your coarsest (smallest grit number) sandpaper in cool water, then firmly rub the surface of each headlight in a back-and-forth motion. After going over the headlights with your coarse paper, switch to a sandpaper with a higher grit-count and repeat the process until the finish changes from dull to kind of satiny. Car repair professional detailers use wet sanding methods with various sandpaper grits along with polishers get! Take your time and add compound as needed - this will likely take 10 minutes this will it! 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Hard worker and performs a great polish for plastic housing and copper contacts, like in my rear door... Dipping the sandpaper method does just that back-and-forth motion across the entire lens with water and to! Behind, much like a very fine sandpaper then use the same direction and make sure you always sand horizontal...