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)
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.