Problems with Headlight Restoration Kits

Our company, Headlight Restoration Austin, has tested most headlight-restoration kits on the market. While results varied, all had a singular problem: Longevity. None are designed to last! Other problems are briefly summarized below:

The poorest-performing kits only contain wipes to remove oxidation. On headlights that we tested, the initial wipes cleared superficial damage only; the final wipe, the coating application, was no better than a coat of wax.

The better performing kits, including 3M and Meguiars, focus on the basics of headlight restoration: Sanding and buffing. If used by experienced personnel, proper sanding with the correct grid paper and buffing with the correct compounds and pad provide good results.

Unskilled applications can cause problems, however. Problems we’ve encountered when servicing customers’ headlights after improper sanding or buffing include:

  • Sanding marks on the paint (improper prep and taping)
  • Sanding gouges on the plastic (incorrect sanding grit and/or technique)
  • Buffer burns on the lenses (improper use of polishing methods and/or product selection)

Not one headlight restoration kit we tested contained a long lasting UV coating. Some kits contained a wax-like product. Higher grade ones had a wipe-on coating. None of them could last more than a year in the heat of Texas!

The key preservation factor after proper oxidation removal and re-surfacing is the UV coating. Our company uses a coating that is comparable to the clear coat of automotive paint. Its skillful application in a controlled environment ensures an incredibly long-lasting restoration.